The Scene Designer is responsible for the stage set. He/She must know every detail of the set from which way a door must open onstage to the height of each tread on a flight of stairs. Designers must deal with practical as well as aesthetic considerations.
Every set has a design. A set can be anything from a bare stage with stools and orange creates, to an elaborate, large-scale production. A good scene design sets the tone and style of a production, letting the audience know where and when the action takes place and whether the play is a tragedy; a comedy' or another type of drama. Scenery harmonizes with the other elements of the production- script, acting and direction- to create a unified whole.
When creating a set one must remember there is a difference between everyday interior design and theatrical stage design. While a stage does signal an atmosphere to the viewer in the same way as a room in real life, the designer must take it a step further.
Because the theatre is not life, but it resembles life, it has the opportunity and an obligation to be more than mere reproduction.
An important part of design is symbols. A single item can suggest and entire rooms; a bookcase suggests a professor's study or a library; stained glass suspended in mid air can suggest a church.
Objectives of Scene Design:
- Creating an environment for the performers and for the performance
- Conveying the mood and style
- Helping to distinguish realistic from non-realistic theatre
- Setting the locale and period of the play
- Developing a design concept
- Where appropriate, providing a central image or metaphor
- Ensuring that the scenery is coordinated with other production elements
- Solving practical design problems