Creative Design for Theatre (TPA 2000C)
Monday & Wednesday 11:00a.m - 12:40p.m
The Director's Vision
Imagine that you are the director and someone gives you a script. You begin to read the script and you can envision the words coming to life with how you want someone, something to portray the piece. You envision the clothing the actors are wearing, the lighting and what is seen, you can imagine what is sounds like and what we hear. You continue to imagine all these elements combining together and creating a great creative element of a vision. As the director, there is a passion behind the creative driving force to the MAIN IDEA(S).
As you read the script, the director's vision must keep in mind these following things: 1) What is the theme?
2) Who is the audience of this production -age group(s)? 3) How will the script translate to the stage? With just some of these things to think about, the directors overall vision must be cohesive to the whole script/piece.
The Design Team
Here are the design team members:
Sound/Audio Designer - responsible for what will be heard, be it abstract, practical, recorded, digital, what ever the script calls for and the director's vision of how the environment sounds.
Lighting Designer - responsible for the selective visible components, adding to the depth and dimension of the script and psychologically working with the directors vision to convey to the audience what is seen to fulfill the director's visual mood. The lighting designer, embraces the aspects of the functions of lighting the play and the utilizes the controllable qualities of lighting the performance to the best of their ability with a great team of board operator, and electricians. The lighting designer will reinforce the theme of the script.
Costume Designer - responsible for the clothing, down to its detail, texture, color, shape and overall piece, be it period, contemporary, gothic, roman, greek or shakespearean. The Costumer has knowledge of different time periods and period styles, they pay attention for form and fit, including color, texture, shape and the types of fabric's used.
Set/Scenic Designer- responsible for the ground plan, layout and shaping of the environment, creates the atmosphere and the main performance space. The ground plan combines, height, width, length, color, texture, surfaces all depending on what is being called for in the script to fulfill the director's vision.
Prop Designer - is responsible to create, produce, located, or build props that is necessary for a script. This time period, size, color, dimension, realism, and texture are some of the main things to think about when a prop is needed. The director can give the prop master all the dynamics of what they envision the prop looking and feeling like and how the character may use it, if so. Photos are taken and kept as to show the director and designer for approval or changes.
Projection/Image Mapping Designer - has the responsibility to create images that can be projected onto a surface, be it a wall, building, drape or scenic element. Nowadays, images can be projected onto people and other surfaces once the play, theme or event calls for such an effect. Most of the projection image mapping designers, will need to have an extensive knowledge of computers, mapping software, time coding, 3D software and IT networking training. A great example is the University of North Carolina projection onto the White House http://www.uncsa.edu/design-production/index.aspx . Or this amazing 3D projection mapping for theLumiere festival in Lyon. Made by 1024 Architecture. The video continues to play to show other image mapping. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ_5sDvAlNY 2010-2011
Color is an element of art: scenic painting.
Warm - Yellows, Oranges and Reds
Cool - Blues, Violets and Greens
Moods - anger, love, passion, happiness, joy, energy, sadness, healing, peace, calming, etc...
Homework: Create you own color wheel that represents the (triad color wheel).
FORM, SHAPE and TEXTURE - IMPLIED OR ACTUAL
FORM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DIPs3T2dQk take up space in actual or implied
TEXTURE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoOb3JSDAUo lines, cross-hatching, smudging, stippling...
Collages: Nature Collage project, The Aurora Borealis - Northern Lights
The aurora begins on the surface of the sun when solar activity ejects a cloud of gas. Scientists call this a coronal mass ejection (CME). If one of these reaches earth, taking about 2 to 3 days, it collides with the Earth’s magnetic field. Colors and patterns are from the types of ions or atoms being energized as they collide with the atmosphere and are affected by lines of magnetic force. Displays may take many forms, including rippling curtains, pulsating globs, traveling pulses, or steady glows.
Aurora Borealis Photo credit: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/03/13/article-2579940-1C3FF56700000578-76_964x578.jpg
Line and Shape
http://mskellerartroom.weebly.com/uploads/1/2/3/3/12336495/9060327_orig.jpg Kandinsky watercolor painting, geometric shapes and lines by a 2nd grader's.
More Line Artwork Examples
Pictures below credit source: http://www.widewalls.ch/line-art-famous-examples/
Gene Davis was an American painter famous for his vertical stripes of color. His work shows us that line can exist without its outline and can stand as an independent colorful surface. His lines, his surfaces, the artist implemented in a variety of artistic disciplines. From public art and the painting of a street in a downtown Washington to experiments with light and color, and print works, Davis concentrated his practice on the research in the repetitive rhythm of a particular color and how abstract geometric art can be redefined.
Featured image: Gene Davis – Apricot Ripple. Image via www.francisfrost.com
The black and white paintings by the English painter Bridget Riley play with the perception of our eye and follow the tradition of the Op art period. They represent a variety of geometrical forms that produce a sensation of movement. During 1961 to 1964 the painter worked with the contrast of black and white, occasionally introducing tonal scales of gray. What her work displays for us, and the reason why we have decided to include the paintings as an example of line art may surprise some but in fact, they are important as they showcase the variety of the definition what line is. Here, the lines are produced not with the use of pen and paper, ink or a plate, but on canvas and with paint and in a variety of its thickness and color.
Featured image: Bridget Riley – Descending, detail. Image via www.pinterest.com
The world of printmaking is possibly the richest arena of some of the best examples of the traditional understanding of line art. The monochromatic aspect along with the richness of lines and surfaces, which are used to build some of the most impressive images in art history, belong to none other than to the famous Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco Goya. The above image is an example of Goya’s etching belonging to his famous series Los Caprichos. The print series, that started as an artistic experiment depict the universal follies and foolishness of the Spanish society in which Goya lived. The set of 80 prints in aquatint and etching printmaking techniques were published as an album in 1799 and today represent one of the most powerful phantasmagoric and disturbing images that comment not just upon the artist’s society but are viewed to stand as a comment on the world at large.
Featured image: Francisco Goya – Etching from the print series Los Caprichos. Image via wikiart.org
Today, the rise of the technology and the power of all the different tools an author can use to create his/ her work differs greatly from the humble beginnings of old masters. Their lines, created on pieces of paper, or on a variety of different materials, today exist as joined dots on computer screens, as marks made by a computer pen. With the help of technology, some lines are invisible to the artist himself, whose movement in space can create light lines that move around him. The precise straight line, the free-flowing curved line, the line made up of dots, drips, surfaces of color today artists can create to out stand the yellowing of old pieces of paper or canvases used in history.
Featured image: CSM Software – Digital Worm Hall. Image via csmsoftware.com
Value and Texture
Value creates lightness and darkness without using color most of the time. It can use color, it is not like color is forbidden. It is not considered positive or negative. Instead it utilize TINT how much of a white is added to the grey scale or SHADE how much black is added to the grey scale. Value does use form, shape and texture to differentiate how a space is used and give distance, form, line, and depth.
Elements of Design - Value and Texture credited to the following link:
Realizing a Typical Stage Design in the Commercial Theatre
1. The designer is contacted by a director, producer, or general manager. Contact usually comes about as a result of previous work together.
2. Then discussions with the director and producers take place. The designer reads the script, is interested and agrees to design the show.
3. Negotiates with the producer and signs a union contract.
4. Has meetings and attends them back and forth with the director. Also has meeting with the other collaborating designers, the production stage manager, and the production stage manager, and the production stage carpenter when you are the (Set Designer). Otherwise, the (Lighting Designer) will meet with the head electrician, the (Audio Designer) will meet with the head audio engineer and the (Costume Designer) meets with the head costumer and the last, is the (Prop Designer) who meets mainly with the director and the eventually the performer handling the prop too.
5. The designer re-reads the play (listens to the music and lyrics if a musical) and does research. If a designer has an assistant, the assistant may help in the research process.
6. The designer does rough sketches and rough models (drafts for front and ground plan elevations). Designer proceeds in 1/2" inch scale color model. If a bid is to win the design, the designer needs to do drawings for the drafting to get ready. A collection of fabric samples for draperies, curtains, upholstery, and other materials are chosen. This is why I suggest a COLLAGE for each script we do this semester.
7. Works with the person in charge of props, who may take photos of what has been found to show the designer and director for approval.
8. The designer and management hold a bid session with scenic studios to see which shops will build and pain the scenery for the show, do any sculpture work, or provide any special machinery. The same scenic shop may also make up the backdrops, draperies, curtains, masking, and other soft goods or upholstery.
9. When all is done, the designer may need to rework some of the design elements to bring down cost in materials and execution, as well as possibly make changes in the design to reduce the number of stage hands needed to run the show. Additional meetings with the director and the producer.
10. Designer has discussions with management to discuss monies.
11. Once the show is approve, it moves into the shop and the designer makes periodic visits to see how the building and painting - or talks to the head electrician, audio engineer, or props master to communicate what is going on.
12. Designer attends rehearsals, checks with the director and production stage manager to see if any changes are necessary.
13. The designer visits daily the shop that pertains to there area up until the show is ready for a load-in.
14. The designer goes to the theatre where the scenery is being set up and light and sound equipment are being positioned. Lights are focused and cued.
15. Attends all technical rehearsals with scenery, costumes, lights, special effects, music, and sound. Makes adjustments if necessary.
16. Attends dress rehearsals with all the visual elements in place, plus actors, singers, dancers and musicians.
17. The show is then ready for open. Paints for touch ups are given to the run crew and extra materials are in place for anything that needs to be replaced during the run for the show.
Credit to the source: Designing and Drawing for the Theatre by Lynn Pecktal
Photo: New York State Theatre, Lincoln Center, by David H. Koch
Designing for the different type of stages!
> Figure the masking for a production (masking are curtains that are used - black in color most of the time, to hide certain parts of the stage and frame the stage) The master ground plan of the house and the set design will have the masking in place, the drafts will have a front perspective, side and above so that you can view the masking, plus... Masking when figuring it out will usually be horizontal and vertical at the same time.
Basic ways of Dealing with Masking -
1. Mask for the first row.
2. Mask for the three or fourth row.
3. Or no masking requirements, means seeing the open back wall, exposed stage lights, offstage scenery, hanging pipes and cables.
Most producers and directors will accept, third and fourth row masking. It is up to the producer, director and set designer on the masking for the theatre-production. This figuring out of masking should be done in the early stages of the designing process so that the lighting, director, and set designer knows what is revealed and not.
> The CENTER LINE is necessary to know the lengths of pipes above the stage for hanging scenery, drapery, lights and cables. It is mainly important for planning ahead of time for the design so that you the designer knows what distance you are working with and what you have to cover on the stage. If you the designer is working on a stage where things are going to be flying in or out, there needs to be a clearance space in front and back of all units around it on any production and the scenery that moves during the show needs more space for safety.
Creatively Designing for Theatre: Starting at the basics, lets explore!
Scene design is created by a scenic/set designer, this is some who reads the play and then meets with their director. For it is the main vision of the director does the scenic designer create and formulates the overall designs towards. The details such as texture, dimensions, depth, mainly goes to both the director and scenic designer, it is a collaborative effort. As blocking on a stage play is up to the director as it drives the focus of the plays mood, theme, qualities, intention to cause and effect on the audience.
Having a " V I S I O N " of your director to work with as you read the play you first digest what is happening within the play and its characters and the characters within the scenes. After you have meet with your director and he or she tells you their vision (goals, direction, focus, emphasizing, and such), you pay close attention to their wants, needs and ideas and build your own into them to create and develop it wholesomely.
For Your Information : Vocabulary/Lingo, its important to know -
Abstract - little or no attempt in which an object or form is represented realistically.
Asymmetry - a balance of parts on opposites sides of a perceived mid-point giving objects an equal balance in weight, height and in some cases both.
Background - the part of the picture plane that seems to be the farthest away from the viewer.
Balance - the perspective in which all things are in equilibrium including symmetry, asymmetry and radial.
Focal point - an element is emphasized in order to receive the most dominance in the art form.
Line Quality - the unique quality of a line as it changes character it becomes lighter, darker, curvy, direction, and or width.
Linear Perspective: a graphed system used by artist to create an illusion of depth and to give volume of an object on a flat surface.
Pattern: a predictable combination in repetition.
Scale: relative size or proportion used to determined measurements or dimensions within a design.
Stage Directions: the stage is divided up into sections, down stage is closest to the audience, center stage is as you move back from the audience and upstage is the farthest away from the audience. Plus the actual left and right of the stage is that of the person who stands facing the audience. Stage directions stands true at all times even if you are standing in the audience watching the stage, it never changes perspective.
Texture: the surface quality of a material.
Three Dimensional (3D): having a length, width, and height giving the object form, depth, character and full illusion of an element or object.
Two Dimensional (2D): having a length and width, creating a flat object, no designed to give depth or a full illusion.
Vanishing Point: in perspective drawing where receding lines seem to converge.
Exploring Concepts : Creative Juices Flowing -
Think back to when you were a child and your imagination and creativity where not yet hindered by the daily stresses and responsibilities of the real world. It is to that extreme, that some of us begin to processing designing for the stage. The theatrical stage is even so more complex as you actually have to set a scene, follow a time period if given, a set of directions and visual concepts from your director, followed by more direction from your director. The key aspect is to find the whole production project a joy, because without it, you are definitely in the wrong field of entertainment. Yes, taking your time to reconnect with your creative child like senses and putting it in conjunction with your growth and worldly experience, begin to think of exploring concepts.
Concepts are things which the mind conceives from an understanding, notion, collective data, thoughts. Most of those things will begin from only your experiences, imagination, reasoning and most off all how you are able to communicate those concepts and ideas on to paper with a pen (a CAD drafting program for the advance designer). It is in this space does the designer them self begin to see the project gather some form. It is from this first set of form do the designer even know if their on the right track or heading in the wrong direction. Some times they are oblivious and that is where the director will be able to step in and give yes, no's and oh my God what where you thinking, overall guidance. Every designer should always stay open to what I call "constructive criticism" it is here that you receive what you need to build, grow, succeed, and develop the thick skin you need for this competitive field.
In order for you to begin to explore concepts as a scene designer you must first do the following:
1) READ THE PLAY - knowing your script is vital to designing the scenes and understanding how to make the directors vision come together and be successful and creative. This time reading the script should be the fun and exciting part.
2) BREAK DOWN THE SCRIPT - a script analysis is the best way to break down a script, it helps anyone, especially the design team to understand the play more in depth and thoroughly. Embrace the script, love the script, if you read it good once through, that may work for you or not.
3) MEET with your DIRECTOR - getting, being, or striving to get on the same page with your director is critical as your job and design career is on the line. Remember it is the DIRECTORS VISION you are creating FIRST, then your interpretation of it portrayed and that is up to you!
4) DO EXTENSIVE RESEARCH - breaking down your scenes, gathering proper data such as correct photos of the era, stage dimensions, background/historical events and facts for supporting ideas, and having those things inspire, color and texture etc, get samples and collect in a portfolio to show your director and other design team members.
5) RE-VISIT the SCRIPT - if you need to comprehend or dig deeper for scene, re-read that section or the entire script again. I have notice you are able to comprehend something once you read it through again, slowly and most attentively.
6) INDEPTH RESEARCH - you can never do enough research, if your production is very expressive, elaborate, creative, out of the box or even simple. The more research you get, it can even make the simplest design so effective and awe-inspiring that your set supports the characters and it all blends in, you are successful.
BIGGER IS NOT BETTER! Just a side note: now let's take some time to explore these scenes.
SCENE I: A couple is strolling down a park around 7:00 pm, the pavement is dark and shiny as the rain just stopped and the antique looking street lights cast a beautiful glow on both the couple and the pavement. The grass is green, the park has others strolling and it is popular at night. There is small lake ducks paddling and you can hear nature sounds all around.
Color and texture:
Online text source linked to below:
Learning to See Creatively
by Bryan F. Peterson has some great photos that I have notice can assist a person is becoming more aware. This book is for a photographer, but as a stage designer or a developing designer of any sort, opening one's conscious mind in many ways is beneficial. It definitely can not harm someone to become more aware of your environment.
Here are some things to help you understand how to create CHARACTER to your Set Design or Costume.
COLOR: a visual attribute of things, effects and intensity of hues and saturations, additive or subtractive from the appearance. It creates, depth, contrast and even gives warm to cool gradient of tones within the hues and saturated colors.
TEXTURE: feel of a surface (depends on the type of surface desired), fabric or the quality to what it may feel or look like of something. The texture is viewed as a characteristic of its (object) appearance or the physical composition/visual appearance.
DIMENSION: length, width and height of the form or shape, which is required to understand the proportion or magnitude/structure or size.
FORM: Outlined shaped, visual appearance to compose or represent by the structure's characteristic or shaping.
SCALE: a reference point of origin where the measurement of an object begins. It is incorported to support the dimension and form of the object(s). It can create depth or bring and object towards the foreground versus background.
*Questions for photos A-E viewed in class:
1) What is the dominant color in the photo?
2) What are the secondary colors?
3) What draws the eye in the photo for you?
4) What is the mood(s)?
5) Do you notice any textures, if so state them?
6) Look at the layout anything special about the scale of the photo, is anything emphasized?
(Photo above of the sunset credited to: http://travelblog.viator.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/st-lucia-champagne-sunset-cruise.jpg )
Click on download file below to receive the document. Let me know if you have any problems as I can print you a hard copy in class. However, you should not problem to print this document out, in order to do your assignments.
Drafting for the Theatre or Stage: Using Symbols
The importance of symbols is the importance of communicating clearly. The communication must happen clearly and precisely between yourself and your crew of other designers, directors and the crew that will implement your design piece by piece. Therefore, symbols for drafting are use, as symbols do represent a particular item, its size, or its properties (characteristics). We will begin with some basic principles of scenery design symbols to help you further understand the importance of using symbols correctly and effectively.
Here I found a helpful resource site online: http://problem-solver.net/Stagecraft/nov8.php this site explains some of the basic's.
This is a textbook that has helpful information which is available via the web for reading and or purchase.
Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism
Credit to Erwin Panofsky, Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism for this information: Late Gothic art created variety and therefore resulting in "visual sphere", and what Erwin Panofsky credits to the "most characteristic expression of the subjectivism is the emergence of a perspective interpretation of space which, originating with Giotto and Duccio, began to be accepted everywhere from 1330-40." Perceptive vanishing point can be defined only as "the projection of the point in which parallels intersect."