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Setting the Stage

Kim Shepherd ’12, Sandra Goldmark, and Diane Levy CC ’12

A student’s storyboard details multiple scenes and set changes for a play.

Initial research includes photos of various interiors and potential looks for the characters.

Amy Larrowe ’12 talks about her set model, the final project for each class member.

Elizabeth Myers ’12 checking her set model

Three short plays will be performed for the Thesis Festival in March 2010. This model, by Skylar Cozen ’11, is for Shaw’s The Inca of Perusalem

Cozen brings up a digitized storyboard on her laptop.

In the foreground, class members Erin Kennedy ’10, Shepherd, and Levy critique a model.
 

Designing scenery is more than decorating and propping a stage, and in Sandra Goldmark’s introduction to scenic design course, the first step is to understand the play or story. Goldmark, assistant professor of professional practice (design) in the theatre department, says that before any design concepts take root, her students need to plumb the work for the key ideas, emotions, or the mood the author wants to convey. These elements need to be the basis for any interior or exterior locations, propping, and colors, among other aspects of a production. Once a point of view is established, the design process begins as class members translate and frame ideas for the scenes. For students who love the theatre, but may not be inclined or have the ability to perform, set design offers the opportunity to become part of the creative theatrical experience. See Goldmark’s sets for the Boys in the Band revival at alumna.barnard.edu/magazine.