Set Design

For people who have never designed a set before, it can be extremely daunting to design a Playgoers production, but anyone interested should not be put off! The Head of Design usually meets to allocate the coming season’s shows to designers around the end of June/beginning of July but it is rarely possible to put designers to every show this early, so there may still be some free as late as early Spring. New designers will usually be started on a simple show - perhaps a single interior set - and when they feel ready, having gained experience and confidence, they will be encouraged to tackle more complex productions. Support and help is always available.

Once a designer has committed him or herself to a show, they should read the play and discuss the production with the Director and possibly the Lighting Designer. A rough design is produced from these initial ideas, which can then be discussed again with the Director and Lighting Designer, before the design is finalised. It is a good idea to visit a few rehearsals before the final design. A scale model and ground plan should be produced (help can be given with these) which should be ready for the PreProduction meeting, usually held about six weeks before the first night. The Designer is then responsible for making sure that the set is painted and dressed as required. This includes finding suitable furniture (from stock, hiring, borrowing or buying) and set-dressing. Although designing is a big commitment it is extremely rewarding and, with support and help, need not be excessively frightening.

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