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Design Sets Like The Pros

2. Analyze Like a Designer


The students will demonstrate their ability to think like a designer by analyzing a chosen script.

Materials Needed

Enough different scene scripts for a class (i.e. 15 for a class of 30), 3 x 5 cards with the genres of the scripts written on one side and the title on the other, “Set Design Analysis” handout, Play List for Scenes

Set Design Analysis.Lesson 2 Play List.Lesson 2

Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook

Give a couple of students a script and tell them they need to analyze and design it in 10 minutes. Based on the students’ responses, ask them why it was scary? What obstacles would they face? Why do they feel they couldn’t do it in the given time? For the smart alecks who think they could design it in the allotted time, ask them how they would be able to pull it off. The idea is to show the students that more goes into a design than looking at a script and putting it on the stage.


Step 1: Tell the students that when analyzing a script, it is important to question everything. What does analyze mean? What sorts of questions should you ask when analyzing a scene? The following are things the students could list on the board.
• Read between the lines
• Look for clues that could help develop the scene
• Read and take note of what is in the italics and parenthesis
• What is the physical environment like?
• Where does the scene take place?
• In what year, season, and time of day does the scene occur?
• Take note of any changes in the setting during the scene.
• What is the socioeconomic status of the characters who inhabit the scene?
• What do the characters do for a living?
• What is the climate like in and out of the scene?
• Is the scene indoors or outdoors?
• Does the scene take place in a rural or urban atmosphere?
• Is the scene realistic or imaginary?
• What is the genre of the scene? (i.e. comedy, drama, romance, musical, etc)
The students may come up with other questions as well. These are only examples.

Step 2: Now that the students know what types of questions to ask, it’s time for them to choose a partner to work with. Let them know that they will be working with this person for the entire unit so they should choose wisely. Once the students have chosen their partner or decided to work alone, they need to consider what genre of scene they would like to design.

Step 3: Put the 3 x 5 cards with the genres/titles on a table in the front of the class. Have the groupings grab a card.

Step 4: Once everyone has their cards, explain the analysis handout that will be attached to the scripts. Explain that they need to fill out the analysis page as they read the script.

Step 5: Hand out the scripts as you collect the genre/title cards.


Step 6: Students will read through the script and fill out the “Set Design List” analysis form.