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Design Sets Like The Pros

1. A Designer's Duties


The students will demonstrate their understanding of a designer’s tasks by taking a short quiz.

Materials Needed

Props that refer to things a designer needs (i.e. color swatches, graph paper, pencil, ruler, fabric swatches, stage diagrams, toy furniture, etc.)

Designers Quiz and Quiz Key

Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook

Have different props sitting on a table in front of the class that would identify different aspects of a designer’s duties. Have some students come up and grab a prop each. Then they have to say what they think it would be used for. The class then has to decide what order they think the tasks would go in.


Step 1: What are the basic steps of a set designer? Write these on the board.
• Read the script
• Talk to the Director about the concept
• Do research
• Consider the budget and available stock
• Choose colors, fabrics, patterns and furniture
• Measure the space and furniture
• Create a rough sketch floor plan
• Talk to the director again
• Make changes
• Do final design
Explain to the students that this is similar to what they will be doing throughout this unit.

Step 2: What are things the designer needs to know before they can design a set?
• Size/shape of Auditorium
• Space
• Available stock
• Special units needed
• Lighting

Step 3: Ask the class the following questions: Why do we use scenery? What are the purposes of scenery? What can scenery illustrate to the audience? Some possible answers may be the following:
• To help the actors
• To help the audience know the time period, genre, location, and about the characters
• To create a mood, etc.
Any logical answers referring to how scenery may be used are valid.


Erase the board, review the above information and then hand out a quiz. This quiz should be used as an assessment of what the students just learned. Their score does not have to be put on their grade