SCENIC DESIGN PROJECT:  
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING

(follow these activities in order if absent for this unit)

Important terms/concepts/info are in RED.

Google Classroom assignments are in BLUE.

Ms. Price is providing this unit in a self-directed format so that absent students can keep up with the PROCESS.

Please read/understand/complete each of the day's activities below in order to keep up with the LEARNING & PROCESS

Our final unit is focused on: 

PROCESS OF (SCENIC) DESIGN

(If absent, read below...)

In our next unit in Stagecraft, we will be learning about THE PROCESS OF DESIGN.

Almost everything created for art or commercial use has gone through a design process.  However, many non-artistic people assume that artists simply have a "flash" of inspiration or "just come up with" ideas because they're creative.  While I wish that was true, that is RARELY the case.  Great ideas and inspiration are typically the culminating results of curiosity, research, and artistic collaboration.  

In our next unit, we're going to explore the design process by talking about one of the most important aspects of design in a show:  the set.  The set in a production can do FAR more than show location.  Since the scenery in stage shows (unlike most films) does not have to be LITERAL, the space in which the story is told can be FIGURATIVE, metaphorical, representational, abstract, poetic, and/or uniquely enhanced to get at the "heart" of the show's meaning or characters.  

 

For me, one of the most FUN aspects of deciding how to stage a play/musical (and its characters) is designing the set that will become the "world" in which the story is told.  This unit is focused on that process.

DAY 1:  Intro to Scenic Design / How to Read a Script  (Thursday, May 5)

1.)  Discussed our next unit:  SCENIC DESIGN

In our next unit in Stagecraft, we will be learning about THE PROCESS OF DESIGN and how to design something used on stage.  Specifically, we will be focusing on scenic (set) design

2.) Learned about the various things that scenic designers must do when designing a set...

  • Discussed  All scenic (set) design begins with the SCRIPT.  

  • Discussed:  What information might a designer be looking for when reading a script?

  • Discussed:  How might the MUSIC of a musical affect design choices?

3.)  Received the ASSIGNMENT for your Summative Stagecraft Project (click HERE) and the RUBRIC (click HERE)(This will be the rubric for your FINAL set designs & presentation.)

4.)  Listened (in class) to the opening numbers from the musicals listed below.  Ms. Price led students in an activity to to determine what the music FEELS like,  (You may want to listen to each below in order to get a "feel" for each musical before you choose one to read.)

  • Once on this Island  (Setting: the French Antilles in the Caribbean Sea)   

  • Hunchback of Notre Dame - listen to at least 5:00  (Setting:  Paris, 1482)

  • Fiddler on the Roof  - listen to at least to 3:05 (Setting:  a Jewish Settlement in Imperial Russia around 1905)

  • Footloose  - listen to at least 5:07 (Setting:  the fictitious town of 'Bomont' in the early 1980's)

  • Little Shop of Horrors  (Setting: Skid Row in New York; early 1960's)

  • Blood Brothers - listen to 3:42  (Setting:  1960's England)

  • Secret Garden (Setting:  1901 British Occupied India > Yorkshire England; Mary Lennox is orphaned after her parents perish from cholera (India) and she is sent to live at her uncle Lord Archibald Craven's mansion in England)

 

*REMEMBER:  The music's "mood" (what it "feels like") ALWAYS impacts design.  In musicals, the music drives certain design decisions (just as much as the listed "setting" does).

5. Chose a musical (from the above list) that you'd like to READ and DESIGN A SET for.  If absent, let Ms. Price know what script you want and she will make you a physical copy of that script.  You can't move forward without choosing & receiving a script.

DAY 2:  Reading a Musical  (Friday, May 6)

1.) Received your assigned musical script.  (If you don't have one, talk to Ms. Price ASAP.)

2. Read & Listen to your chosen musical.  Highlight (on your script) anything that could affect scenic/set design - whether stated or implied in the script.  (i.e. what should be in the space / where the scene takes place / how the space needs to be used, etc. DO NOT HIGHLIGHT PROPS - only information that is needed for SCENIC/SET design.)

 

Use the soundtracks below WHILE reading.  

  • Once on this Island (scriptSetting: the French Antilles in the Caribbean Sea
  • Hunchback of Notre Dame (script  (Setting:  Paris, 1482)

  • Fiddler on the Roof (script)  Setting:  a Jewish Settlement in Imperial Russia around 1905

  • Footloose (script)  (Setting:  the fictitious town of 'Bomont' in the early 1980's)

  • Little Shop of Horrors (scriptSetting: Skid Row in New York; early 1960's

  • Blood Brothers (script)  Setting:  1960's England

  • Secret Garden (Act I / Act II Setting:  1901 British Occupied India > Yorkshire England; Mary Lennox is orphaned after her parents perish from cholera (India) and she is sent to live at her uncle Lord Archibald Craven's mansion in England

  • Newsies     Setting:  Turn of the Century New York City

DAYS 3-4:  PROCESS of Design / Literal vs. Figurative  (Monday, May 9 & Tues, May 10)

1.  Watched:  KP Teaching Video  - Design Process & Literal vs. Figurative Design (5:00)

If absent, watch the above video & answer the following questions in your Google Classroom Reflection Journal  (under May 9-13) after/while watching the video.

Title:  Design Process & Literal vs. Figurative Design  (May 9-13, day 1)

1.) List the steps (in order) of the Design Process

2.) What types of things are designers looking for when reading a script and where (specifically) do they find it?

3.) Set design often begins with a show's what?

4.) Which of the nine set designs shown in the video did you find most intriguing and why?  (You'll need to pause the video on your favorite to be able to analyze the design.)  Was that design literal or figurative?

2. Watched:  Designing a Set (3:35) 

If absent, watch the above video & answer the following questions in your Google Classroom Reflection Journal  (under May 9-13) after/while watching the video.

Title:  Process of Design (May 9-13, day 2)

1.) What do you need to be a scenic designer?  (awareness of space...)

2.) What did the designer share is the PROCESS of designing a set?  (talk to...)

3.) What does the designer say "informs the character and what kind of person they are"? the ________

4.) What advice did she give to future designers?

Write this phrase:  "There's no such thing as an original idea - it's all an amalgamation of your ________ (fill in blank)." 

3. Worked on reading  & listening to a chosen musical using the links below.

  • Highlight anything either stated or implied in the script that may impact what would NEED to be considered in the design of the set.

  • Remember, this information is not spelled out for you, so be a detective while reading.  

  • There are clues in the scene descriptions, the character dialog, the musical lyrics, and the stage directions/playwright's notes.

    • Once on this Island (scriptSetting: the French Antilles in the Caribbean Sea

    • Hunchback of Notre Dame (script  (Setting:  Paris, 1482)

    • Fiddler on the Roof (script)  Setting:  a Jewish Settlement in Imperial Russia around 1905

      •  Soundtrack

    • Footloose (script)  (Setting:  the fictitious town of 'Bomont' in the early 1980's)

    • Little Shop of Horrors (scriptSetting: Skid Row in New York; early 1960's

    • Blood Brothers (script)  Setting:  1960's England

    • Secret Garden (Act I / Act II Setting:  1901 British Occupied India > Yorkshire England; Mary Lennox is orphaned after her parents perish from cholera (India) and she is sent to live at her uncle Lord Archibald Craven's mansion in England

DAY 4:  Continue reading a Script for Scenic NEEDS (Wed, May 11)

1.)  Ms. Price passed out the final musical design project TASK SHEET.  The process of our final project is described on the task sheet.  Click HERE to read about the steps/expectations involved in your final project.

2.) Watched a video (Designing Theatre:  The Comedy of Errors) about what scenic designers DO as a part of their design process.    (If absentanswer the following questions in your Google Classroom Reflection Journal  (May 9-13) after/while watching the video.

Title:  Scenic Design - Comedy of Errors  (May 9-13, day 3)

1.) What does the designer do when she FIRST reads a script?

2.)  What does she do after that? 

3.) What are some feeling/mood/style words given that guided her design?

3.) Continued Reading & Listening to chosen musical AND highlighted (in script) anything that is NEEDED for the set OR impacts set design.  (If absent, be sure to read & listen to your musical using the links provided above. 

Day 5:  Scenic Design NEEDS (Friday, May 13)

1.)  Reviewed the PROCESS of set design.  (If absent, see the back side of your Set Design Task Sheet for review.)

2. Watched a video (Mary Poppins: Creating Mary's World) and discussed needs, inspiration, and transitions as a class.

If absent, watch the above video and answer the following questions in your Google Classroom Reflection Journal  (week May 9-13) after/while watching.

Journal Title:  Scenic Design - Mary Poppins (May 9-13, day 4)

1.) What were some of the NEEDS of the script?

2.) From where did the designer find INSPIRATION for the design?  (both the original design and the touring show's design)

3.) How did the design handle TRANSITIONS?

4.) Completed the following scenic design tasks: 

  • Looked at the script for the overall flow of scenes, by completing this HANDOUT (click to print & do page 1)

  • Decided on which consecutive scenes you want to design a set for (list on handout)

  • Listed, for every time each of your chosen scenes/sets/locations appear, the things highlighted in your script (i.e. the "needs of the script" that you've been working to find/highlight over the past 4 days).  List those needs on your HANDOUT (click to print & do pages 2-3)