This course is an introduction to the principles and practice of theatrical scenic design. The vocabulary of visual imagery is woven into a history of theater, décor, and architecture and is developed through the practice of graphic communication—the disciplines of drawing, painting and model-building necessary for the expression of visual ideas in architecture, set, and lighting design. We explore how theatrical texts communicate in three-dimensional spaces and designs that respond to the author, director, and musical form (musical theater and opera). Students are expected to complete a series of scenic designs in models and two-dimensional presentations. Exercises integrate the principles of composition, value, color pattern, geometric form, and rhythm in the creation of three-dimensional shapes within a theatrical space—as in the sequence of acts or scenes in a drama. We deal in depth with the discipline of design skills, drafting and presentation craft as well as the reality of shop fabrication and load-in at the studio or theater. Although this is not a course in art direction for film and /or television, we discuss the differences in design for theater, film, and television.
Arts Workshops (ARTS-UG)