Scenic design

Scenic design (also known as scenography, stage design, set design, or production design) is the creation of theatrical, as well as film or television scenery. Scenic designers come from a variety of artistic backgrounds, but in recent years, are mostly trained professionals, holding a B.F.A. or M.F.A. degrees in theater arts. Scenic designers design sets and scenery that aim to support the overall artistic goals of the production.

Scenic Design, The Family Series, by Glenn Davis
Scenic design, The 2010 Family Series, by Glenn Davis
Marcel Jambon - Giuseppe Verdi - Otello Act I set design model
Set design model by Marcel Jambon for an 1895 Paris production of Giuseppe Verdi's Otello.

Scenic designer

A designer looks at the details searching for evidence through research to produce conceptual ideas that’s best toward supporting the content and values with visual elements. The subject of, “How do we generate creative ideas?” is a very legitimate question. The most consuming part of expanding our horizons toward scenic concepts is much more than witnessing creativity, and creative people. It starts with us opening our mind to the possibilities. To have an attitude toward learning, seeking, and engaging in creativity and to be willing to be adventurous, inquisitive and curious. Our imagination is highly visual. Whether outside or inside, colorful trees or concerts, star lit skies or the architecture of a great building, scenic design is a process of discovery. Discovering what will best clarify and support the setting, environment, atmosphere, ambience, & world that is being created.

The scenic designer works with the director and other designers to establish an overall visual concept for the production and design the stage environment. They are responsible for developing a complete set of design drawings that include the following:

  • basic ground plan showing all stationary scenic elements;
  • composite ground plan showing all moving scenic elements, indicating both their onstage and storage positions;
  • section of the stage space incorporating all elements;
  • front elevations of every scenic element, and additional elevations or sections of units as required.

All of these required drawing elements can be easily created from one accurate 3-D CAD model of the set design.

Responsibility

Robert Edmond Jones
Scenic designer Robert Edmond Jones (1887-1954) drawing at a waist high table (c. 1920).

The scenic designer is responsible for collaborating with the theatre director and other members of the production design team to create an environment for the production and then communicating the details of this environment to the technical director, production manager, charge scenic artist and prop master. Scenic designers are responsible for creating scale models of the scenery, renderings, paint elevations and scale construction drawings as part of their communication with other production staff.

Training

In Europe and Australia,[1] scenic designers take a more holistic approach to theatrical design and will often be responsible not only for scenic design but costume, lighting and sound and are referred to as theatre designers or scenographers or production designers.

Notable scenic designers, past and present, include: Alban Piot, Adolphe Appia, Boris Aronson, Alexandre Benois, Alison Chitty, Antony McDonald, Barry Kay, Caspar Neher, Cyro Del Nero, Aleksandra Ekster, David Gallo, Edward Gordon Craig, Es Devlin, Ezio Frigerio, Christopher Gibbs, Franco Zeffirelli, George Tsypin, Howard Bay, Inigo Jones, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Jo Mielziner, John Lee Beatty, Josef Svoboda, Ken Adam, Léon Bakst, Luciano Damiani, Maria Björnson, Ming Cho Lee, Motley, Natalia Goncharova, Nathan Altman, Nicholas Georgiadis, Oliver Smith, Ralph Koltai, Neil Patel, Robert Wilson, Russell Patterson, Brian Sidney Bembridge, Santo Loquasto, Sean Kenny, Todd Rosenthal, Robin Wagner, Tony Walton, Roger Kirk.

See also

Wood of the Whispering
Theatre decor by Reginald Gray for The Wood of the Whispering by M. J. Molloy

References

  1. ^ "Training as a Theatre Designer". Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London article.

Further reading

  • Making the Scene: A History of Stage Design and Technology in Europe and the United States by Oscar G. Brockett, Margaret Mitchell, and Linda Hardberger (Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, distributed by University of Texas Press; 2010) 365 pages; traces the history of scene design since the ancient Greeks.
  • Designing and Painting for the Theater by Lynn Pecktal. (McGraw-Hill, 1995 - Performing Arts - 601 pages) Detailing production design for theater, opera, and ballet, Designing and Drawing for the Theater is a foundational text that provides a professional picture and encyclopedic reference of the design process. Well illustrated with detailed lined drawings and photographs, the book conveys the beauty and craft of scenic and production design.

External links

  • Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space - the largest scenography event in the world - presenting contemporary work in a variety of performance design disciplines and genres - costume, stage, light, sound design, and theatre architecture for dance, opera, drama, site specific, multi-media performances, and performance art, etc., Prague, CZ
  • What is Scenography Article illustrating the differences between US and European theatre design practices.

Special:WhatLinksHere/Julia Anastasopoulos

Bob Crowley

Bob Crowley (born 1952) is a theatre designer (scenic and costume), and theatre director.

Bobbinet

The Bobbinet machine is a plain-net lacemaking machine invented and patented by John Heathcoat in 1808 (patent no. 3151), and with a slight modification it was patented again in 1809 (patent no. 3216). This machine was known as the Old Loughborough. Heathcoat continued to improve his machine. There were many breaches of his patent. The 'Circular' was an improvement, designed in 1824, by William Morley (patent no.4921). As it gained ascendency, its distinctive name was dropped; it became the bobbinet and Heathcoats machíne the Old Loughborough.

David Zinn

David Zinn is a costume and scenic designer based in New York City. He has been nominated seven times for the Tony Award for both his costume designs and scenic designs, winning one Best Scenic Design for a Play award for The Humans and one Best Scenic Design in a Musical award for Spongebob Squarepants . He has over 80 Off-Broadway credits in his lifetime.

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Scenic Design of a Musical

The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Scenic Design of a Musical was an annual award presented by Drama Desk in recognition of achievements in the theatre among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions. The award was originally created in the 1996 ceremony, when the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design was separated into two categories, for plays and musicals. The award was retired after the 2009 ceremony, before being revived once again in the 2016 ceremony.

† - indicates the performance also won the Tony Award

‡ - indicates the performance was nominated but did not win the Tony Award

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Scenic Design of a Play

The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Scenic Design of a Play was an annual award presented by Drama Desk in recognition of achievements in the theatre among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions. The award was originally created in the 1996 ceremony, when the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design was separated into two categories, for plays and musicals. The award was retired after the 2009 ceremony, but was later revived in the 2016 ceremony.

† - indicates the performance won the Tony Award

‡ - indicates the performance was also nominated for the Tony Award

Gene Kelly Awards

The Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater, named after the actor/director Gene Kelly, are given out yearly by the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and the University of Pittsburgh. The award was founded in 1991 and celebrates excellence in the musicals of the Pittsburgh area's high schools. For Best Musical, there are three levels based on budget. The organization also offers scholarships to high school seniors involved in any aspect of the show. As of 2011, there are 29 participating schools. In 2009, the Gene Kelly Awards spawned the National High School Musical Theater Awards, nicknamed "The Jimmys", which the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera co-produces with Nederlander Presentations.

Production designer

In film and television, a production designer (PD) is the person responsible for the overall visual look of the production. Production designers have a key creative role in the creation of motion pictures and television. Working directly with the director, cinematographer, and producer, they must select the settings and style to visually tell the story. The term production designer was coined by William Cameron Menzies while he was working on the film Gone with the Wind. Previously (and often subsequently) the people with the same responsibilities were called art directors. It is sometimes also described as scenic design or set design.

Scrim (material)

The term scrim has two separate meanings in terms of fabric. In each case, it refers to woven material, one a finely woven lightweight fabric widely used in theatre, the other a heavy, coarse woven material used for reinforcement in both building and canvasmaking.

Set construction

Set construction is the process undertaken by a construction manager to build full-scale scenery, as specified by a production designer or art director working in collaboration with the director of a production to create a set for a theatrical, film or television production. The set designer produces a scale model, scale drawings, paint elevations (a scale painting supplied to the scenic painter of each element that requires painting), and research about props, textures, and so on. Scale drawings typically include a groundplan, elevation, and section of the complete set, as well as more detailed drawings of individual scenic elements which, in theatrical productions, may be static, flown, or built onto scenery wagons. Models and paint elevations are frequently hand-produced, though in recent years, many Production Designers and most commercial theatres have begun producing scale drawings with the aid of computer drafting programs such as AutoCAD or Vectorworks.

Set decorator

The set decorator is the head of the set decoration department in the film and television industry, responsible for selecting, designing, fabricating, and sourcing the "set dressing" elements of each set in a Feature Film, Television, or New Media episode or commercial, in support of the story and characters of the script. The set decorator is responsible for each décor element inside the sets, from practical lighting, technology, art, furniture, drapery, floor coverings, books, collectables, to exterior furnishings such as satellite dishes, Old West water troughs, streetlamps, traffic lights, garden furniture and sculptures.

While the Set Decorator provides all of these elements, the Propmaster provides elements that are handled by the actor. For example: a library is decorated with set dressing such as the furniture, books, desk lamp, blotter, framed photos, personal effects, letter trays, letter opener, papers, paper files. The Propmaster provides the props – the letter the actor is opening and reading, the pen he writes with, and the ink into which he dips his pen.

Set dresser

A set dresser in drama (theater, film etc.) prepares the set with props and furniture to give it correct appearance and make sure each item is in correct position for each performance.

Stage machinery

Stage machinery are the mechanical devices used to create special effects in theatrical productions.

Technical director

A technical director (TD) is usually a senior technical person within e.g. a software company, engineering firm, film studio, theatrical company or television studio. This person usually possesses the highest level of skill within a specific technical field.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

The Ellen DeGeneres Show (often shortened to Ellen and stylized as ellen) is an American television variety comedy talk show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Debuting on September 8, 2003, it is produced by Telepictures and airs in syndication, including stations owned by NBCUniversal. For its first five seasons, the show was taped in Studio 11 at NBC Studios in Burbank, California. From season 6 onwards, the show moved to being taped at Stage 1 on the nearby Warner Bros. lot. Since the beginning of the sixth season, Ellen has been broadcast in high definition.

The show has received 166 Daytime Emmy Award Nominations and has won 61 Daytime Emmy Awards as of 2019, including four for Outstanding Talk Show and seven for Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment, surpassing the record held by The Oprah Winfrey Show, which won nine. The show also won 17 People's Choice Awards. The talk show's YouTube channel is in the top 20 most-subscribed YouTube channels. On May 21, 2019, DeGeneres announced she had signed for three more years, renewing the show through 2022.

Theatrical scenery

Theatrical scenery is that which is used as a setting for a theatrical production. Scenery may be just about anything, from a single chair to an elaborately re-created street, no matter how large or how small, whether the item was custom-made or is the genuine item, appropriated for theatrical use.

Tony Award for Best Scenic Design

This is a list of winners and nominations for the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design for outstanding set design of a play or musical. The award was first presented in 1947. In 1960, 1961, and since 2005, the category was divided into Scenic Design in a Play and Scenic Design in a Musical with each genre receiving its own award.

Tony Award for Best Scenic Design in a Musical

Tony Award for Best Scenic Design in a Musical is an award for outstanding set design of a musical. The award was first presented in 1960 after the category of Best Scenic Design was divided into Scenic Design in a Play and Scenic Design in a Musical with each genre receiving its own award.

Tony Award for Best Scenic Design in a Play

Tony Award for Best Scenic Design in a Play is an award for outstanding set design of a play. The award was first presented in 1960 after the category of Best Scenic Design was divided into Scenic Design in a Play and Scenic Design in a Musical with each genre receiving its own award.

Yale School of Drama

The Yale School of Drama (also known as YSD) is a graduate professional school of Yale University located in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1924 as the Department of Drama in the School of Fine Arts, the school provides training in every discipline of the theatre: acting, design (set design, costume design, lighting design, projection design, and sound design), directing, dramaturgy and dramatic criticism, playwriting, stage management, technical design and production, and theatre management.

The school operates in partnership with the Yale Repertory Theatre, also located in New Haven.

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