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Design Sets Like The Pros

5. Coloring Your World


The students will demonstrate their ability to use color design effectively in their scene by creating a paint chip breakdown.

Materials Needed

paint chips, “Color Breakdown” handout, the 1995 version of “A Little Princess” movie, stapler
Related Documents
Color Breakdown Worksheet
Color Prompter Handout

Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook

Show a clip from “A Little Princess” that shows the green of her everyday life and the vibrant colors of her dreams. Ask the students what kind of emotions they felt in the different areas. Why did they feel that way? How can color affect our emotions?


Step 1: Draw a wheel on the board separated into 6 segments. Have the students identify the primary colors (red, yellow, blue) and the secondary colors (green, purple, orange) on the wheel. If there are any students who know where the colors should go on the wheel, have them write them in.

Step 2: Explain to the students that each major color helps create a mood. Besides the primary and secondary colors, we also have white, black, brown, gray, and pink that help create moods.

Step 3: Ask the students what they believe the colors mean. A color prompter can be found in the textbook, The Stage and the School, 8th edition, page 422. Examples are listed below:

• red-evil/passionate
• pink-feminine/romantic
• blue-truthful/calm
• brown-poor/common
• black-evil/mysterious
• green-jealous/ natural
• orange-energy/cheerful
• purple-royal/mystery
• yellow-happy/cowardly
• gray-neutral/depressing
• white-pure/peaceful

Step 4: Ask the students what type of mood they think their already analyzed scenes generate. Pass out the Color Breakdown paper. Have the students fill out the breakdown form listing the title of the play and scene and the colors they think they should use to create a mood. Remember to consider the personalities of the characters that live in the acting space.

Step 5: Lie out paint chips on a table in the front of the class and have the students go through them and choose the colors they would like to use for their scene. The students should choose the main wall, furniture, and accessory colors.

Step 6: The students need to cut and staple the colors to the breakdown form in the appropriate places. If the students can’t find the right colors for the mood they want to showcase, have them take home the breakdown and find their own colors.


Step 7: The students need to turn in the breakdown.