Teaching Guide: Set Design

This Teaching Guide: Set Design professional document also includes:

The task of creating a set for a theater production may leave theater arts students asking where to begin. Set their minds at ease with a packet that not only provides information about the elements of design, but also guides them through the process with illustrations and models.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Begin by showing videos (such as the videos found here and here) that show designers discussing their rationale for the sets they designed for productions of Hamlet
  • Have groups select a play, research three to five different sets used in productions, and prepare a presentation that points out what the sets reveal about the designers' vision
Classroom Considerations
  • The 20-page packet is intended to introduce first year theater arts classes to the different elements of set design
  • Familiarity with Ibsen's Hedda Gabler and Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie would be helpful but not required
  • The link to Sting and Honey's set is broken: however, images are available on the Internet
Pros
  • Links are provided to photographs of a variety of sets that illustrates the concepts being discussed
  • After reading Ibsen's detailed outline of the set in the introduction to Act 1 of Hedda Gabler, class members compare images of four different sets 
Cons
  • None