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AGuide tothe Stage
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HENNINGNELMS

Dover Publications, Inc., NewYork

S 6 Functions ofDesign l. .. Painting Model Scenery . . Types of Sets DraperySets. . . Borders. . . . Originating Designs 47 6. Arena Design . Scenery and the lt . . .. Model Properties . Special 76 Techniques B. ApplyingPaint. Designing with a Model . . OtherTwoScene Construction Model Scenerv 35 Walls. Other Units. Set Design . and Wings 3. MixingPaint. l7 Scenerv. Modified Arenas Index 95 . Emphasis and Subordination. Basic Facts . . Bnlarging and Reducing 5. Arena Geography. . A Convertible Model . . Colored Light.. Svmbols 9. . .. . . . A Full-Scale Convertible Set . . ... . Touches . . . The Principles of Design Balance . 60 Unity and Variety 7. Exposition . 82 Seating Plans . . . . Design Elements.Axes 2. Matching Floor Plans .CONTENTS Before You Begin . . . The Nature of Sce 29 Flats.. ..

no part of a model set involves any real difficulty. If you add furniture and othet pRopERTrEs. You can probably learn the principles of design with less effort when you work with scenery than if you start in any other field. . They are then attached to flat sticks so that they can be shoved on to the stage. With a little ingenuity' some of them can be pivoted and mad6 to move with 6 threads or wires. You must understand these before you will be able to create a wrist watch. marionettes (Illus. however. Drawing is a great help in designing sets. these may demand more skill. 1). All designs are based on the same principles. 2). an evening gown. model scenes of the type you need are easy to make. 3). However. seasonal decorations. and the materials used are inexpensive and readily available.BEFORE YOU BEGIN Anyone interested in studying design will do well to start with stage scenery. Furthermore. shadow boxes (Illus. or PRoPs. Designing is much more fun when you know that it wili serve a rea) purpose. lllus. they take little time. Most kinds of design require an ability to draw. The same design could be used for a Christmas decoration. but it is not essential-you can make models instead. Most scenery requires very little. They can also be used as backgrounds for displays and models that range from tin soldiers to toy railroads. Other types of design call for a great deal of technical knowledge. miniature theatres (Illus. may serve for school plays. 1. Almost any set that could be built by high school students is technically simple. and are rarely turned into real objects. and rooms in dolls'houses. The characters in this model nativity scene are Gut out of stiff paper or eardboard. Scene designs. a puppet play' or a scene built for live actors. or a setting for the theatre. SET FOR MINIATURE THEATRE. The stars are scraps of aluminium foil sewed or glued to the backdrop. Student designs in other fields are often mere classroom exercises.

The Set as a Machine. directors and actors would find it a problem. There is hardly room for the actors to move. most people will admire them. One is hung ctose to the curtain. called borders. Actually. This is not true of design. Every play requires a different arrangement.4 and Illus. 5 and Illus. 3 might make a pleasant wall decoration if it were attractively Scenery for the Play It is obvious that sets like those in Illus. wise-cracking comedy and let my designer provide a lovely set in soft tones of pink and blue. The revised version in Illus.medies cease to be funny if the background is too reautiful. The balcony entrance has no top. Although a designer need not always aim at beauty as most artists do. The shadow box in Illus. -: her poor taste could not afford to be beautiful. his designs are expected to meet practical requirements that the artist rarely has to face.'e r. It is worthless if it fails to fit the stage on which it is to be used. as Illus. The other must be well behind the garden wall. 5. I and Illus.i ri The audience can see at a glance that the play will be either a love story or a fairy tale. However. painted. You can learn a great deal about scene design by making a detailed comparison of the plans in Illus. rr-ould be a very limited set for 4 demonstrates. ROMANTIC EXTERIOR FOR MARTONETTES. Although a set like the one in lllus.:gn. Think of each setting as a kind of machine devised to make the action of the play appear easy and natural. It :. Ifthey are beautiful. . 2 would be unsatisfactory for scenes laid in modern living rooms. Walls which are curved or which must bear weight spell serious trouble for the scene builder. Also. I learned this the hard way when I staged a fast. the less likely it is to work for any other play. The better it suits that play. 5 and Illus. This set would be easy to make for marionettes. But you may not realize that you cannot design a "living-room set" and expect it to suit any play which calls for a living room. 6 is much more practical. There are even times when beauty can spoil a :=. each set must be designed for a particular scene in a particular plry. The overhead foliage consists of two flat pieces of cardboard or cloth lllus. A setting must suit the play. It should create the strongest possible effect with the least effort and expense.':uld miss the whole point of the play. but a tife-sized version would be a major undertaking. it a play. An audience looking at such a scene is no more inclined to laugh than a congregation in a church would be. 7 are both interiors. 3 and Illus. Functions of Design Paintings and statues arejudged by eye. : -. 2. and almost any group they form would be both ineffective and unnatural. A scene laid in the home of a woman noted . A design for marionettes must not include any scenery that will interfere with the strings. 4 might provide an appropriate background for a certain play. but neither would fit the action of the play for which the other was designed. The plans in Illus.

The furniture is not arranged to let actors sit and talk to each other. This is a miniature set framed like a picture and used as a wall decoration. The only door is in an awkward position.sized version would make a good background for a comedy about pleasant people. and homelike. 4. The atmosphere is warm. FTOOR PIAN OF SHADOW BOX lN ILLUS. The plan shows that a stage set like this would be much too shallow. SHADOW BOX. A life. 3. 3. lllus. Anyone seated on the settle would be hidden from the audience. cheerful. A design may make an appropriato background without being practical for actors.lllus. .

A set should tell the audience about the play as soon as the curtain goes up. G.] firenlace backing lashed -+ -Jt. Gloomy or mysterious plays call for dark tones. point up. 3 is light and promises a comedy. Unfortunately. #6. Learn as much as you can about the mechanics of scene construction. If it is about real people.KEY Hinged Joint Joint . use light tones with touches of red or yellow. Illus. 6. I is religious. D' and E.center line r-$ d E doot ^y. On the other hand. When the play is cheerful. 4 could be rearranged to make it practical for a play. thick draperies. Place them. Just be sure that yours justify it. If the play is about imaginary characters. Scenery for school plays should ordinarily be inexpensive and simple if it is to be built at allanything that wastes money or effort is poor design. All the seats and a few standing positions are lettered. Illus. but short. 5. This shows how the design in lllus. Spectators see the set before they see the play. P. Ifa set announces a play about real people and the play then turns out to be a fairy tale. Thus' you might try grouping two "actors" Remember that light furniture can be moved during tho action to provide additional variety. You will often find that a slight change in a design will turn a complicated job into an easy one. Economy of Construction it would almost certainly fail. 6. The setting would make the audience expect an entirely different kind of play. or four on A' G. For example' the hutch table.3 and lllus. Even when you can afford elaborate sets. \ R --- lllus. The Nature of the Play." These can be merely scraps of wood or cardboard. or get it out of the way by pushing it under the table. make each set look like a teal place. Illus. and Illus. | .'z t0rmentor . Such differences in mood are vital. three on M. some feature which you hesitate to use because it seems difficult or costly may actually be easy-if you know how to make it. and N. and deep shadows like those in Illus. Again. 2 is romantic. There are sets where hours of hard work went into details that were covered by draperies or hidden by shadows. someone can sit on chair D to write' on F and J. If Galdilocks and the Three Bears were staged in Illus. Sometimes they repay all the trouble they take. turn it to face the settle. Test by arranging groups of model "actors. 6 is melodramatic. Learn as much as you can about the play before you start to design. the audience will be confused. on the plan and see how many ways you can find to group actors.tormentor line r-- chair. These examples do not mean that elaborate designs are wrong. make certain that each feature is worth what it costs. problems in building a model will . chair . give your scenery impossible lines or colors to warn the spectators against taking the action seriously. flat-head screws are ideal as they are easy to handle. Often fancy decorations are used where a plain wall would be better. FLOOR PLAN FOR INTERIOR SET. which now serves as a seat can be used as a table if it is moved away from the wall and has its top lowered.

but constructing a real set like this would be comparatively easy. Either a model or a set for marionettes could be made from the design in lllus. the large window. it would took much like the shadow box in lllus. the ceiling. making a detailed The working models that we are going to make as aids to design can be created quickly and easily. whotesome atmosphere. model from the designs in Illus. In fact. not tell you much about the difficulty of building a full-sized set. Then consider how you will feel if you learn later that you must do all the work yourself! t0 . constructing a full-scale version for live actors would be both laborious and costly. 6. 6 would be a major task. and the door in the side wall. However. PERSPECTIVE VtEW OF SET tN tLLUS. This sketch shows the scene painted and lit for a mystery melodrama. 3 and have the same cheery. you may already have the walls. Whenever you design a set. given lighter draperies. the platform. lf the set had been painted in pale tones. experienced stage carpenter could probably build a real set from scratch in less time than it would take him to make a detailed model for display sides an purposes. 2 without much trouble. The effect of gloom is heightened by closing the doors and drawing the curtains at the windows. Note that the side of the settle has been made narrower. Ifyour group owns a collection of stock scenery. The important thing to remember is that neither the ease nor the difficulty that you find in building a model is a real guide to the effort required to construct an actual set. of the settle would give any trouble. 5. and only the Dutch door and the curved On the other hand. There are not many special items. 5 and Illus. always try to imagine the work involved. and brightly lit.lllus. so that it has less tendency to hide the face of an actor seated behind it.

and IowNSTAGE are especially important. 3) opens onstage. UPSTAGE. No one knows how the rE'A'ssn and th. 7 is too small for the auditorium. Some tormentors are much more elaborate and contain equipment for mounting stage lights. the srcHrLrNES will reveal blind spots where large areas of the stage are invisible from some seats. When you do that. It must fit the requirements of a real stage. whereas tormentors are permanent stage equipment like the ScenerY Sightlines. When we move an object oNSTAGE. If your model represents a set 30 feet wide. 9 shows a plan of the stage. Although the floor of a stage is a bare rectangle. It would be easy to design a dress that would All be more becoming than anything women wear . not a toy. rbly nit Play eas Ihe the relation of the set to the auditorium. We also use oN srAGE (two words) and onr srAGE. A working which frames one side of the set. Orrsracn is the opposite of onstage. the director. they are parts of the set. and a FLIPPER. Here. stage right is on your left. Doors in sets normally open offstage. Sets built for professional use normally include returns. This was done because the upper part of the door makes a decorative feature when folded back. Stage Geography. Unfortunately. it has a geography of its own. The tormentors mask the sides of the stage and serve as anchors for the edges ofinterior sets. Thus. curtain. the Dutch door (which is like the one in Illus.rns. it will be useless for a play to be given on a church stage that is only 25 feet wide. which make them adaptable to stages ga tonset. ll . If they are too narrow. On the other hand. The directions srAGE RrcHT. Designers tend to think of a set from the front. These resemble tormentors without flippers and serve the same functions. to*t"*roRs got their strange names' but they are extremely important. which is a narrow piece that holds the tormentor erect and keeps people from seeing between it and the curtain. spectators can look through these openings and see parts ofthe backstage areas. A door like the one down left in lllus. no matter how ugly the fashion happens to be' When you plan model scenery' consider the needs of the BUILDTNc cREw. B. a 25-foot set would be lost on a high school stage 40 feet wide. Tormentors can rarely be moved more than a foot or two. Two other directions may also cause trouble. we place it in a position where the audience can see it better. srAGE LEFT. The teaser uasrs the rr. Illus. whereas the parts hidden from the audience are offstage areas. and the actors' Such thinking is essential in designing things that mustbe practical.1. such as miniature radios or speedboats. which you must understand thoroughly before you can think about scenery intelligently. However. Study the parts 1n Illus. But a dress that is not in fashion will not sell. SCENERY AND THE STAGE e the holee has r hide model is a tool. Each of the tormentors in lllus. 9 is said to open offstage. the part of the stage within the set is an onstage area. When a set like the one in Illus. 8 is made up of two flat pieces of scenery: the tormentor proper. Sightlines are equally important to show how wide to make the BACKINGS placed behind doors.ou today. The stage itself is merely the floor of a large room called the srecn HousE. These terms are also used to describe certain areas. windows and fireplaces. However. you may find them confusing. Equiprnent. An important consideration is the lact. returns permit larger adjustments. the set is provided with nEtunNs. hen types of design have similar practical requirements. of different widths when the play is on tour.

Sightline 7 from Seat L past Point J misses the backing at Point I. Sightlines are drawn from key seats in the auditorium and tell us what parts of the stage can be seen by spectators in these seats. Sightline 3 from Seat N strikes the backing at A and shows that the backing extends far enough in this direction. Hence. Sightline 1. 7.. The seats on the ends of the first row are especially amportant. 12 . no one in the audience can see actors or stage hands standing behind these backings.. This situation always arises when the first row of seats is much wider than the set. @t -:-\/' \I lootlights tormentor [--\ 1. Sightlines 5and 6from Seat N strike backings at Points D and E respectively. the backing must be made wider so that it will reach Point C.U lsola tolmentol f window backins window K.-& t_\ .getaway steps KEY Hinsed Joint Lashed Joint cover llat J wall +( -\t\. shovrrs that a person sitting at L will be unable to see anything which occurs in the shaded area.Fro"r"niu^r//f lllus. Therefore. Sightline 4 from Seat L misses the end of the backing at Point B. We can Gorrect both faults either by using a larger backing or by turnang the plesent backing into the positaon indicated by the dotted lines at H. PIAN OF SET WITH SlGHTtllUES.. and Sightline 8 shows that a spectator in Seat M can see between Point F of the window and Point G of the backing. back fireplace backin0 't rG A H. drawn from Seat L past the edge of the set at Point K. Thus. However. The other side of the stage behind Sightline 2 is hidden from an observer in Seat N.

r. f'. A i-:--:ple test is to ask yourself whether you can insert -----: word "the. rck- will ling oint ein tws ring Fof rect the back wall of stage house .) The set in lllus.-i:age (one word) and on stage (two words). The ornrct AXIS runs upstage-downstage parallel to the center line. 9 :-. Illus. 9)." Thus. g.3'5") upstage of the tormentor line and 9 feet 6 -::ches (9'6") stage left of the center line.ruB and -:-e cENTER r-rNn-all dimensions are measured from rem. (See Illus. 9 is arranged on a slant. 5." Pay special attention to the roRMENroR r. 9. a prop shoved closer to a completely ':.nJL -lpRoN. 7 has its back wall on the transverse axis and is said to be pr-ecBo penar.. but the :-ierence in meaning should be understood. Such sets are normally a little wider in front than they are in back.I --. The general plan is the same as that in 77." One carried :lthe set is "moved off (the) stage. A prop is :ien offstage when an actor carries it with him as he -.. I0 shows how important it is to design your sets on axes. The teaser and the tormentors form the real frame of the stage Picture.") Axes The area downstage of the curtain line is the .actor walks on stage when he enters. However. The tReNsvERsE AxIs runs across the stage parallel to the tormentor line.rr. The scene in Illus. 9.i1 is "moved offstage. pERspEcTlvE vlEw oF STAGE HOUSE FROM WINGS. A gridiron or grid is essential in order to use drops and borders. (Note that :ne symbol ' means "feet" and that " means "'inches. and the space above the-stage is called the flies' Unfortunately. we can locate the coffee table in Illus. Illus.4 is B feet 5 inches . it keeps the side walls from being strictly on the direct axis' Raked Sets. Studythis in connection plan in lllus. many school stages tack grids. All the walls are perpendicular to each other except the sHoRT wALL on stage right. Every stage has two AxEs. There is no distinction in speech between :. 6. j) tB. ilr" illus. This improves the sightlines and is never noticed by the audience. This plan results in a nerno set and creates a second pair of axes known as the snr axEs (Illus..-:s. . and Illus.'saying that the corner marked . Thus. Such scenery is said to b-e flown. The offstage areas on either side of the set are known as the wINGS./l \42 I *ifl.

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furniture near them : . this set is not really designed. This shows how lllus. but it is more convenient to use returns. Always begin by planning your sets on the stage axes. -. Thus. To achieve -. but such cases are rare. are slightly better. A MODEL STAGE HOUSE. the result may seem '. However. l: r''e obey these rules strictly. . -.. but make a teasei out of carton board and hang it from strips of wood as shown. 5 and lllus. It also provides an easy way to hang flown scenery. Join the corners by glueing 2" strips ""ttot = The floor . 5. :ookcase and the down-left sofa follow this rule. Make the walls of corrugated board of muslin used to pack large appliances. 7). However.irmal. 6. There is no point in being fancy.-d be parallel to the walls. . t:'. When a short wall : ::: the direct axis. IRREGULAR SET. No real room has walls placed at random or furniture arranged without regard to the walls. As the parts are not organized on any definite scheme. Do not attach a floor to the walls. 11. You can make tormentors for your model stage.-----es - : -.{rranging Furniture.lllus.::d on the stage axes. the set axes' or a combination of both.1 be located on the same angle as the walls.'1. No curtain is needed. You will want to fold your model when it is not in use. 5.. .. It could be used for the same play. . everything : --:pt the small stool is strictly oN AxIs. A Model Stage House You will need a model stage house for your sets (Illus. most of the furniture :-. The informal effect may not be noticeable in the plan. most of the furniture should be located on : ::aqe axes (Illus. These can be simple rectangles of the same material as vour set. and the a more casual atmosphere place one or two chairs oFF AxIs. in lllus. furniture near it is normally :. 10. but it would be a strong element in an actual set.. if the side walls ''. a raked set like Illus.' . When a set is placed : -: ' -.in'f"'" sheet of !" plywood or merely the top of an old table' over them. and to make sure that your set will fit your real stage.-rghtly. such as Chair D in the alcove of lllus. as they usually do. platforms are occasionally designed on Elaborate arrangements of steps and a curve. 5 would look if the set axes were ignored. cut from lllus.-. it is unrealistic ::rs are not built like this-and its lack of ---: rakes it a poor design. 1l) in order to show them offbetter.

ln its name. If your real pnoscBNIUM. your model on the rule are used just like the 1" scale.and quarter-inches. and you will find them handy later. This makes it easy to build models to scale. Remember that $" on the ruler equals 6" on the real stage. The l" scale shows half. This is called a one-inch scale) and you use it when you make your model measure 1" for each 1'on the real stage. proscenium should be 30" (2'6") wide.lllus. measuring is much easier 16 . L2). You will find this type of division extremely convenient. Have someone show you how to measure with it. The other scales front of the curtain. ARCHITECT'S SCALE RULE. it is not a ruler. 12. or buy a student grade rule at a store selling artist's or draftsman's supplies and ask the clerk to explain its use. the part of the stage in when you use an architect's scale rule (Illus. Use it only for measuring. is 30' wide. The most convenient scale is l":I'. drawings of sets are normally made to a $" scale. The type shown here carries ten different ybur "i lcales trom +":1' lo 3":1'. a scale rule is divided in an unusualway. However. This means that each $" on the drawing equals 1'on the stage. You can make scale measurements with an ordinary ruler. and an ordinary footrule marked in sixteenths of an inch' Scale Your stage should be a scer-B MoDEL of the actual stage in your auditorium. and f" on the ruler equals 3" on the real stage. For example. This is divided into scale feet and inches. As you can see from lllus. 12. lf you rule lines with it' "pit. pencil wi1 soon spoil the fine markings. This means that every dimension should be in proportion to the measurements of your real stage.

:r ro use the standard types at first. you may . anything less is apt to look skimpy. This makes 50 per cent fullness. TYPES OF SETS 1 . Holvever. The separate pieces of a high school cyc are usually too wide. That provides seven 12).:-::ings anywhere you want them.'our school is planning to produce a play and : -:: use a drapery CYCLORAMA. The mantelpiece is 1' deep to make room for the fireplace a realistic arrangement of furniture can turn a without providing an opening behind it.all sets can be divided into a few standard -. 9' drape is hung so that it is only 6' wide. If a cyc must be made up in wide pieces.. 14 and 15. there are . Drapery hung in folds is . rtill probably be better. You cannot stretch them flat. depending on the amount of extra cloth.". MAKESHIFT SET WITH DRAPERY WALIS. ^ he best type is made up of cloth strips 9' to 12' Most drapes have 50 per cent fullness. . Thus. As no real room has doors in the corners. luals .:--'.. it has nple. ---"-. The door frame and doors are also three-dimensional and need to be braced from the rear.cale. However.forming the walls of a set. This lets actors enter at the center of the back and at the corners but nowhere else.-:ing old ones. Anything more is usually wasted. I (page 6).-. but the result will never be as good as it would if you could handle the whole cloth to suit yourself. .-i there is no room for design. The cyc is draped :-. you will find it much -. because 3' is 50 per cent of 6'.le is 'you rule and this lllus. This is an example of how a few pieces of built scenery and drapery cyclorama into a fairly convincing interior. l: '. and the "".. 13. there should be four pieces in the back wall and three in each side. This is measured in percent:::s scales and -. Or CYC. you may want to increase the fullness to create a rich effect.2. Unfortunately.: real set. Some have only two pieces of cloth in the back wall and one piece for each side wall.--:. You may also want to hang your drapery flat to produce a night sky like that for the nativity scene in Illus. he l" ":. There is no law against inventing new types or :-. l7 . Drapery Sets 3' of material in the folds. However.. Methods of constructing windows are shown in lllus."-i to have fullness.':1r. most school cycs have their fullness sewn into them.' things you can do with a cyc to make it look . Strips like these can be hung to provide . These will depend to some extent on " --: :ract kind of cyc you have. They can also :: :ung flat or in folds. such an arrangement makes any attempt at realism almost hopeless. You can add fullness by bunching the drape. .

it will need to be fairly elaborate because it must be lit frorn behind (Illus.In " most carses. A window in a night scene can be made like a picture frame and hung from the same support as the drape (Illus. The lining should be navy blue. 16. but it is convenient to have the choice. The face should be some pale tone. flat piece of built scenery. TYPE FOR DAY SCENE. The navy lining becomes blue when well lit. 13 shows how to eke out a drape set with built pieces and props. The sky backing seen through the opening is a large. A black lining would be no better for a night sky and could never be used for a scene like the Greek tent. The mantelpiece is merely leat vrew front view ickness pieces to make walls look solid A cyclorama of fairly light material with a iining is more satisfactory than an unlined cyclorama of heavy material. The bushes are represented by another flai pier:e *itn cut-oui edge. l5). you will find that cyclorama settings are improved by adding as many details as possible. However. It has more life than light grey. TYPE FOR NIGHT SCENE openings for doors. use it for special scenes like the Greek tent in Illus. and light tan is definitely drab. t8 . Use the pale side in most cases. TENT FOR GREEK WARRIOR. '*. Windows for either day or night scenes should be covered by gauze curtains to keep the fraud from being. 15. Illus.tllus. preferably light grey-blue. Tying back the draperies at the door creates graceful curves that help the design. 16. 14). windows and fireplaces. I (page 6) is a good example. For a daytime scene. E-t L lllus. too obvious. it appears black" The night sky in the nativity scene in lllus. You will prokrably never use all of them in one set. Drape the cyc around the frame. If a window is used. The design was painted on muslin and sewn lightly to navy-blue drapes. you may omit windows and pretend that they are in the missing wall of the set. front and rear views WINDOWS AND IRAMES FOR ORAPERY SETS lllus. 14. A lined cyclorama actually gives you three choices. placed in front of the drapery. if the navy side is kept in darkness.

Teis is a flat piece of scenery placed by itself some'. and there are no doors. 17 shows another type of cyclorama. If it is tall enough.i-^ ra1r1rr5 \ Uround row set piece)r._.--b"' r ti^. Except for the cyc and the cnouxo l-!\.":-ole back wall of the stage house. . 17 consists of a single sET pIEcE. Anyone entering or leaving would use the door instead of merely walking through an imaginary wall as the actors would in Illus.. l. linino rlnz Of . Such a :r! cycLoRAMA masks the back and wings of the . lor a . However. the chapel has no roof. it does not represent a real stable-the front is open.needed to mask its lower edge. Both the ground row at the base of the cyclorama and the set piece in the center of the stage represent rocks and bushes of types that are common in Israel. Partial Sets. It is threedimensional and far more realistic. r lioh -.sky border 7j ----i \\i i sky horder I -^-l -al '\ 'r-l I I J teaset y' ttorrrnto. However. and the characters would be 19 . 17. 17 make no serious attempts at realism. This shows a scene for a play about David and Goliath. Few stages are equipped with sky cycloramas. On the other hand. That is true even for realistic exteriors. The ther r. I (page 6) carries the set-piece idea much further. ln Set Pieces. the :r: BoRDERS shown in the drawing can be omitted. the whole :rrting in Illus. \lthough a sky cyclorama is primarily intended to ::eate the illusion of a real sky in exterior scenes.{here in the playing space. a drapery cyclorama could be substituted without much loss.u:-ole stage. dark blue drapes are almost as effective as a sky cyclorama. The chapel is quite realistic up to a certain point. as scenes like that in Illus. ioices. In night scenes like this.e like Symbolic Sets Illus. The stable in Illus. it :'r also serve as a sort of generalized backing for '::s that symbolize scenes instead of representing -:lem realistically. This is a ---rte half-cylinder of cloth hung from above. lining SCCNCS : navy n i-hrr good lllus. The adobe chapel in Illus. 18 falls about halfway between a realistic set and an arbitrary one. In that case. it will mask the .____D : tone. SKY CYCLORAMA WITH GROUND ROW AND SET PIEGE.

"r. 20 shows another type of symbolic set suitable for plays of many scenes' The main element is a PoRTAL' which is a kind of upstage proscenium. is not desirable' drapes on the sides placed parallei tothl tormentor Iine.r" as miniature stages. you should work closely with the director' Otherwise. Unit Sets.T plainly visible they cross a kind of no man's land between the wings and the actual set.rev. Even then. PARTIAL SET SHOWING SPANISH MISSION CHAPEL. the shabby hotel room in lllus' 21 and Illus. Illus. Plays with many scenes.e*i.rded that he is in a theatre by having his eye caught by a tormentor or one side of the proscenium. and a few require changes in the arrangement of the platforms' Anyone attempting to design a unit set needs a thorough knowledge of directing. you will find it a splendid research aid. or Greek armor and furniture to design sets like those in Illus' 16 through Illus. like those of Shakespeare. i lu. A skycycloramawouldimprovethis' illustration shows the . your vision has no sharp boundaries. 19. are often staged on an arrangement of platforms such as in Illus. ar. they are used for scenes with only two or three characters. 22 appears to belong in the same class as the nativity scine (Illus. 18 without doing research. When lit separately. Do not be afraid to ask librarians for assistance. The larger platforms .r . the children's department is particularly valuable. the sides of the set are masked by dark blue or black draperies or flats which obscure the actors before they enter and after they exit. the whole stage is lit and used' Some unit sets require no changes except those that can be indicated by the lighting' However. Spanish missions. or a platform where your design indicates stairs' Portal Sets.ry cycloram" cin provide an adequate background' -Tie but it is fairly common the setting is convention"t. When curtains hung immediately in Lack of the portal are closed.However'as 1g. When a number of characters are present. Few people know enough about Israel. Furthermore. he is .p. you are almost sure to have the director demand a as high platform where you have put a low one.f:!r lmPressionistic Sets At first sight. | |:$ . it arouses an entirely different response' When you look at a real room. This arrangement on high school stages. 1) and the chapel (Illus' 1B)' However.s l. The whole point of an impressionistic set is iis ml rm$ lilh 20 . many add other pieces of scenery. While a spectator watches the action. lllus. It blurs at the edges' TMPRESSIoNrsrrc scenery creates a similar effect by lighting the center of the set and letting it fade to darkness at the edges. Most of them will be only too happy to help you find what You want. the set provides a deep apron on which scenes can be played while the scenery behind the curtains is shifted. For fairy-tale plays and other fantasies. If yours has a picture collection. You can usually find what you want in the Art and Geography Departments of the public library.

As only the scenery on the inner stage is shifted. onse. rs no SION- . Scene changes are made by lighting different areas of the set. The )stage lllus. This type of setting solves most masking problems and makes it easy to provide exteriors like the one shown here. UNIT SET FOR SHAKESPEARE'S "TWELFTH NlGHT". providing a useful and inexpensive substitute for a sky cyclorama. In this instance. : are flats after is its 2l . the t the he is rving I the lllus. A portal set is ideal for Shakespearean or classic plays. A drapery cyclorama can also be made to serve as a background for a unit set. 20. the back wall of the stage house was plastered and painted a pale greyish blue. as . 19. lv in deep : the I and s the rB). PORTAL SET. the mon ora Pe of . the amount needed for each set is comparatively small.)t.

In most cases. tW:. tt no grid is availabie. 23)' Do not Wings. I eU Aoornr. lilitilr! flies with borders and wINGS confuse the wings. ground rows... This is also true of set pieces. Wings and ground rows are MASKING PIECES..21 . 22 (Illus. black flats 0rapes would be hetter' r 1 Artormentor tracks of the drapes. All of these pieces are normally 3 .kingrlA :-. and nothing should look faked. 21 .. and set pieces usually have irregular edges and are grouped together under the term curours. FLooR pLAN oF sET I N I LLUs. They can be distinguished by their positions. rvith wings.1 the whole stage. the only practical way to handle these is by using a backdrop and masking the flat' Drops and flat by gravity' Wings and ground borders are kept rows are stiffened with wooden frames so that thev can stand alone .many sets.22. Different arrangeme-nts an{ Another advantage is that the scenery can be shifGd in much less time than you would need plavs wath is an excellent lMpnEsstoNlsrtc sET sHowlNG RooM tN cHEAP HorEL. which are areas on the sides of the stage. illus. Wings are used at the sides of the stage' rlffiE ull t iIm ur*rr m . The sides of impressionistic sets must be of scenery painted black instead gridiron are ideal. such as a hospital scenes from seeming you much alike' too props for sets that occupied r. The actors behave like real people. DroPs. keep the same wa!ts and doors for every set. tormentor line I J t0rmentor masked. Borders. ii lh lr Musicals often require a number of different scenes. Thisor an apartmentwav to stagecan use the house' lf all the scenes are laid in the same building.:t- . which are pieces of scenery placed on the sides of the playing space. and Wings Most sets of this nature also need one or more ground rows to mask the unrealistic line where the drop meets the stage. you can use flat pieces hung from the r [i m il ii realism. Dark drapes running on lllus.

and set pieces in the playing i:ace. as they do on stage right. 23 . high as they are wide. Set pieces."rd. 23 were drawn in this way." or "This is a fountain in the village square.\'s are rs and ilound . However. 24 for a hint on painted perspective. orr the other --. The correct procedure is illustrated on stage left. (See lllus.) ::ound rows at the rear. 24. We can avoid that awkward effect by keeping these lines parallel to the ftoor. But.' have ier the ELODRAMA. This would place the ground lines at a series of angles instead of making them continuous.t they :5. AND WINGS. Everything above the horizon follows the normal rules' so that horizontal lines running into the stage picture slant downward to their vanishing points. you will have trouble unless you learn one simple trick. Most wings are tall and narrow. as on stage left." A set piece rarely serves any other purpose-in fact. The set shown uses two ground rows. The ordinary rules apply to the backdrop. rpied lllus. The bases of the columns in lllus. DROPS. 23. Designers would often prefer : . you will get the unsatisfactory effect shown on the stage-right wings in the sketch. 24 explains a point that anyone attempting to paint perspective on scenery must understand. The caption for Illus. This is an appropriate set for a musical or a ballet.do without them but are forced to use them because :-ere is something to hide. if you apply them to the wings. are essentially symbols. lf you understand perspective and want to use it on scenery. BORDERS.with e the rlike. Theoretically. "This is a rock. \\\\ tor \-i V \\ \\ r ing on s tead r hr N1: ^ more :re the '. The yew trees are painted on the drop. M lllus. similar lines below the horizon should slant up. PERSPECTM SET FOR OLD-FASHIONED ' their stage. you could make the trees as set pieces and put them behind the ground rows. Musicals and old-fashioned melodramas sometimes use scenery painted in perspective. if your stage has a sky-blue back wall. set pieces tend to be about :. . They provide a way of saying. Drops and borders require a grid and some sort of rigging system to raise and lower them. it may even be a nuisance because it hides actors who walk behind it. ground rows ::e broad but not high.

Although not much can be done to improve 24 . the designer must introduce borders to conceal the flies and find some way to mask the wings on both sides (Illus. Exteriors Exterior scenes laid at night can be qurte convincing. both large tree trunks. Unfortunately. However. You cannot expect a daytime exterior to be much more realistic than this. Only the part above the deepest cut serves as a mask (see dotted lines in Illus. Everything below this level merely makes a conventional gesture toward realism. The steps. 25. 25 and 27 are both less costly and easier to construct. This one was planned on a curve. and their lower edges are cut away. This simple type of border is just as convincing as the elaborate variety in Illus. they attract little or no notice. 26 and Illus. Borders in exterior scenes are usually painted to represent foliage.'*1 " lllus. The fancy part of the border must be hung low so that the upper part will mask. Professional borders are usually cut out in elabor' ate patterns and will not keep their shape unless the holes are backed with coarse net (Illus. But everything else will show up as merely paint on flat canvas. 29. Study Illus. as the "fringes" do not hang down very far. but those laid in daytime are rarely successful. 2 and Illus. 26. Unless a sky cyclorama is available. mostly because of the masking problem. The conventional borders in Illus. 28 and the vertical sightlines in Illus. that brings the bottom down far enough to catch the eyes of the audience and call attention to its lack of reality. 25). 26). EXTERIOR SET. 27). and some of the rocks are three-dimensional. Exteriors based on axes are likely to seem lormal and unrealistic.

-j _j I . This type seems crude in a sketch. c Itators ee the ie 12) 25 . . rNr ''.ot. 4.{ -. . I '. the holes and deep curves along the edge keep the !. however. 26. both rint on urve.* t ^-^ u. but it needs no netting" . . In an actual set. 2. . Make every line cut back Iike those at A and B. NETTED BORDER.. r'a11 c I rris :rn b-.aint the back of the lower edge as well as the front.27. tarts that overhang like those at G and D will curl badly.-^ -. page 7)._: .'! I I L-. the fte{s.. This will stiffen the leaves and reduce their tendency to curl. it is Vr:. Also.a eh the :.tom part of the border from serving to mask the flies. the :r:i.der must be hung so low that it becomes undesirably prominent.d for coarse netting to cover the holes destroys most of the ot'aact..{s almost the whole border provides masking.i. BORDER RECOMMENDED FOR AMATEURS.! 'fi. 4tlu L lrood reason relr.erif <7.'o__ \us.w .. :.tr":.:' \\ --\\-ooc :fe nC: -:5 -r11tr -. -1-: T.F'. lus. This gives the designer great freedom *is sketch (see lllus..ry ' 'Avoid overhangs. it may be hung at teaser height where it will attract little attention. Hence.

. lf your audiiorium h-as a balcony. (3) bringing the Jrop downstage from its present position at M to position L. Exteriors with higt platf-orms. They should be high enough to bring their tops level with the tops of the borders. Otherw:se. in the drawing it passes over the drop at Point G. The wings in the drawing 25 (Point A). .VERTICAL StcHTt-tNES FOR EXTERTORS.--lrom fast rcw {-Proscenium of the halcony arch | | supporting lines solid part of <--J 1 .-//This sPaceJ. Sightline 3 then passes jusi under the deepest low that spectators can see over them (D air-d E). lf the auditorium has a balcony. The fattcy tvp. direct righi can be k. The dotred lines above rhe deepest cut must be hung at the same height in both examptes. c dropat M4 row first wing I ground i llipper ol second . w6 must either raise the teaser-which will change Sight_ lines 2. Sight_ line 2 from a spectator in the first row (poini p) and lllus.. However. so ttrat ttre rorders witl serve their primary purpose of masking the flies.solid part of second border ' -g)--_l titstbordel-.pi. rne simple iypl i" "n t"pt hish that it is not a distracrion.. and 4-9y 1vg must keep actors from moving further upstage than Position N.ii the simpte "o border' but this is rarely possible with the fancy type because it hangs too near the actors. passing Point G must be betow the lighis behind the teaser (Point F) and also below the top oi the first border cut of this border (Point H) and must strike the second border below Point B. 3. However. discover at the firsi dress rehearsal that actors on the platforms cannot be seen by spectators seated in the balcony. the right hangs far down and calls attention to iis unreality. coM PARlsoN oF BoRDER TypEs. Sightline 4 passes beneath the deepest cut of this border (point l). work out the sightlines before designing tfte.set. their flippers are so different design-or worse still. Nothing below this line is masked. is exposed. the fl ies \ srgntlrne --sightli. I { I i i i -/. (4) adding a third border. When this is not possible. footlights wtng The lower edge of the teaser is the key (point G). a spectator in the last row must be able to look underlhe teaser (Point G) and see the face of an actor standing far upstage in Position O. Which method is best will depend-on the set and the equipment of your stage. (2) raising the drop ana maskihg iti lower edge_with a ground row./E I . Sightline 4 will rhen strike it at point J. 29. 28. We can correct this by: (1) using a higher drop. upstage (lllus.lllus. Arso. 25) create major sightliie problems in theatres with balconies. it should then strike the drop at Point K. you may have to make an eniirel! are masked by the borders.

r.rf::Ee corners that would be hidden from a few mr'::.:-.r' seat is hidden from a small part of the a*j:=nce. 3l shows the chief points to watch. 30' BOX SET. 6.i*- -"-- - : 1-_' : \J-- *-:> t -----------> illhs. .''a1's1. In spite of this. we They iighthtline oYing hish rrium gning tirely first ot be single sightline is enough to tell us whether or not a spectator in the first row can see either the lights in back of the teaser or the space downstage of the ceiling. I have used the d. h::: A director should not has an important part used for place a character there if he in a major scene. ns€d. a )r the nding e. 31. we have problems corresponding lllus.i. I have also ded chairs on either side of the television set to avoid blank spots and provide additional placei to sit.and to avoid using them for chairs and sofas. Raked sets like that in Illus. In Illus. an actor on either the window seat or the settle should sit near the edge and lean forward whenever he is speaking.= :f a few spectators. but it can be minor characters or even for major characters scenes where they are not part of the main action. to fill the blind areas with tables and book. c I f ft ll- rd row +' wider. it is difficult to r' :-j blind areas entirely.:-i.Ea room to substatute a sofa for the love seat on stage right and a bench for the hassock on stage left. --// { lpace-. But even with these. A to the ones in lllus. This is samilar to the set in lllus. it is called rre so h the )ny. 7 (page 12) but is 30'wide instead of. Furthermore. there would still be blind areas in the rl. for example. do not sacrifice desirable features for the lu. 6 have better rra:-:nes. only 25'.t'. in minor Valance: lf this is large. '.tors. When there is a balcony. VERTICAL SIGHTLINES FOR INTERIORS. Vertical sightlines rarely cause trouble with interiors unless the auditorium has a balconv. 29- 27 . the r. it adds greatly to the set. :::'. Illus..

32 A DOOR BACKING FIREPIACE BACKING CEITING f[ DOUBTE FRAME lllilu dr ilm 'nir .STAGE LEFT WAIL a' iisser-{ BAGK WALL STAGE RIGHT WALL WINDOW BACKING HALL BACKING lllus.|||iilt 28 .

T (page 12). Illus. This makes thirty-two units all told.. 35) into a BooK. they are : . or if the smallest flat is in the middie. Actually.with one for a single door. I have staged 72 full.E BARs instead of one.ny pieces called scENE uNrrs.a lh*e door. Neverthe.ng-room set in Illus. the jigger.":::cally indestructible. the2 will giue endless . 37 and Illus. Hinging Plans.. fn that case. 7 (page 12). The other two. both of which are shown here. a f ireplace.r: '. The maximum : -'ed by the fact that a fl.. The set also inctudes two door frames with doors. :. you may occasionally need two.:l plays. Study these carefully. -:. \Vhen you need a flat less than l'wide. and a cover flat to hide the exposed sides of the steps and the platform. Folding is impossible if a three-fold book has all three flats the same size. the single flat. aiso hard for inexperienced stagehands to :-::-age. A jigger is simply a strip of wood the height of the flats. 32 through 34 i--:rv the thirty-one units that make up the small *'. Arranging flats in books is an important part of the designer's work. 36)./\ i I i /( : . That calls for :. built of the right materials. the teaser will be about . Most of the plans show the locations of the hinges.board instead. Actually. One joint is hinged on the face and covered with a llruLls 32. 38). Flats \ -: I : b I 4 The basic wall unit is the rr. the second jigger must be 6" wide. 6" above the stage. each set is made up of :-:.. the teaser must be raised.::i ::r all that time.". Illus. My -. nine out of ten are routine-but the tenth can be extremely difficult.: and will soon fall to pieces.. a ceiling. However. 7 (page 12) and Ilius. Also. However. -: . With 12' flats.::=lands rarely had much experience.--'. Of course. They i:. Cover it with a 7" stripper to hide the cracks on both sides.::torium has no balcony. and fireplace backing. The up-left corner of the set in Illus. I never had a flat warp or get -: . a window flat.'. which is. Anything shorter makes j-: let look crushed down. '-:--:ugh they are only a trifle over l " thick. however. they must be arranged so that they can be folded. This leaves an unsightly crack which must be covered by narrow bands of canvas called sTRTPPERS (Illus. many with two or more scenes. 5 (page 9) shows a book of three flats. Jiggers. 32). and one forfive books.-. When a book contains more than two flats. However. THE NATURE OF SCENERY i t: /l t I I z /) I The average spectator thinks of a set as being all -:e piece.:l Books.at more than 5' 9" :::-:-ot be covered with a single piece of canvas. we can get around the difficulty by inserting a JTcGER between two of the flats (Illus. The height for a flat is 12'. if two short walls meet at a corner. use a : ::". Most walls are over 5' 9" wide. Each wall must consist of a single book. unless the flats are '. ? i 3. 30 (page 27) show where this has been managed with one 4" jigger. f -ats vary in width from 1' to 5' 9" . However. (Opposite) WALL AND CEILING UNTTS FOR SiALL SET lN ILLUS. They are made by hinging two or more flats together (Illus. is the widest flat that one stagehand can manage ::.:. If we let two books come together in a wall. a window. what we want him to : -nk.'.r '. if there is a ::-:onv. serve as backings. Taller flats require heavier *=ber and two roccr. there would be no way to hide the crack between them. are grouped into '"1ltrnm books make up the main set. Jiggers make possible walls containing five flats or even more. they can both be parts of one book. This shows the backs r rhxrteen plain flats. one flat for. 'lllnrc. that are 14'or even higher.'as ever broken. 32). in {bct. :. This is excellent when the .: . : -:rs are marvels of engineering (Illus.. a mantelpiece.isquare-and only a single piece of wood in one i. a . The problems involved may look easy when you see the solutions worked out.er (Illus. The one shorvn is 3" wide.

When a wall is too long to be easily handled as a unit. Make the risers of wallboard and fasten nosings of moulding to the edges of the threads with 8-penny finishing nails. The other is hinged on the back without a stripper. 7 (page 12). the set piece in lllus. Ll lllus. 4l). 33 is better for amateur use. 40 involves a major construction job whereas the one in Illus. il ItililIlilililllll I . 39 or even by a single board like the one shown between Flats 5 and 6. 30 Other Two-Dimensional Units 328). The A ceiling is essentially a large flat (Illus. In order to reveal the construction of these units. usually have irregular edges. the lower corners of the drop will develop unsightlv wrinkles. Latge jogs increase the amount of wall space and also make the floor plan more interesting than a simple rectangle. you can save a little trouble by nailing books together instead of lashing them. stripper.and down-stage. When a play needs only one set. A drop top should be about 2' wider than the bottom so that the sides taper. Nevertheles. Platform heights can be adjusted by substituting longer or shorter legs. rlllliilililt r A lltilllllll r'!l . 39 are joined in this way. 7 (page 12). 41. 2.rmilnilfiftfl' mrfliltntiltilm|! llflil|l|*nfi [0lril1lilIIililf''lti i .oc is a break in a wall made by a single flat like Flat 2 in Illus. Professional scene builders use a different type of platform which supports the top of the steps. PLATFORM FOR SET lN ILLUS. they can gir': the building crew a great deal ofunnecessary troubl: To the eye. 4'and Illus. However.27 and 2B). but this is desirable in scene design. Joining Books. llilt lriffiiltr' different from the one in Illus. 40 is not noticeab-'.. 25. and set piece. this will be invisible if the flat running across stage overlaps the one running up. Most of the sets in this book use at least one jog. and many of them are pierced with irregular or random holes (Illus. the one in Illus.. Jogs have several uses. 4l can be put together i-short order. A platform over 7' long need an extra set of legs in the middle. The dimensions given for the treads and risers create a steep stair. Lashing always leaves a slight crack. liHfirillrr ! lllllffi ilcrxrilf l|frm ilnilffi il(li1lll I I llltttunil. page 13). Pad top and cover it with canvas.26. lllltilililili. If they are made vertical. introducing a jog allows breaking it up into two books. Jog". If these are designed only for artistic effect without practical consideration. Flats 3 and 4 in Illus. has one BATTEN at the top and another at the bottom to keep it rigid (Illus. B. A . they are normally held together by LASHINc (Illus. Ground rows. When two books meet at a corner.. STEPS FOR SET lN ILLUS.lllus. I have drawn them from below and used a larger scale than I will did for the units in lllus. 32. 34. This requires steps which will stand alone. 33. wings. the platform shown in lllus. Cutouts. Borders are like drops except that they have no bottom batten (Illus. 39). However. Jogs also stiffen the set-long walls tend to wobble and should be braced.

Flat 2 |i €ts Flat Q in a reverse corner. 35 stait. Spectators can see through this if the flats overlap in the other direction. In this case. The heads project jl. :ably eless. trlid ! \i /e rpe ot fleYet. Hence. lllus. Flat 3 is llilrrs. A jog can be hinged to the rear of another flat. stop blocks ane needed (lnset B). This is the normal method of joining flats at lainers. r job. lt is then lashed round lash cleats and finally tied off around lash hooks nailed to Flat 4 with three 8-penny finishing nails driven at a downward angle. The )m so l..t t has been lashed to the upstage edge of Flat 2. METHODS OF JOINING FLATS AT CORNERS. because a stagehand must climb a ladder to draw the top nail. but corner irons that hold it rigidly in place are better (lnset C). lllus.39. When a narrow jog is to be lashed. lash hooks must be substituted for lash cleats. 3l . lllus. 5 (page 9) has been hinged in this way. it is a nuisance when scenes must be shifted. these are pined with hlnges. Nailing is convenient on one-set shows. Without these. 40 :tistic give uble. Strippers that are too wide will work loose. the ightly ue no rieces n are s. WHY A JIGGER MAY BE NEEDED. but the knot used is more elaborate. lllus. This does no harm. limen- 12).39. Note that in all these cases the cross-stage flat overlaps the one which runs up-and-down stage. The stage left wall of the alcove in [ilus. the crack has been covered with a 4" stripper held in place with paste and tacks. they should not cover the ends of the hinges. There is always a narrow crack where two flats ioin. so that the nails can be drawn easily. The nsh line of jl" sash cord is passed through a hole in the serrrer block and knotted (lnset A). 36. In lllus. The line can also be tied off around lash cleats IInset E). 37 shows how a narrow board called a jigger is hinged between two flats to give room so that a book like the one above can be folded. However. 38. ers of I edges 3281. shows where hinges are located. rr use. However. Flats 4 rmd 5 also make a reverse corner. er in Inset D). F{. the line would pull Ejbe corner apart instead of holding it together.. as paint will hide them. tel at .

I: Illus. the frame will not be rigid unless it is designed as a series of triangles. The NosrNc on tl-: steps in Illus. POORLY DESIGNED CUTOUT. the door. The front view The structural design of a cutout depends on three factors. 20 (page 2l) arc 32 masked by cutouts. it might break off. lillillllue (llull I ilolm lllhl rt* rll:ill . they are set pieces. and must be masked in some way. To prove this. if they stani alone. 40. Interior stairways. this can be done by nailing wallboard or carton board over the openings. The rear view shows that the design calls for a complex construction which will be hard to build. In either case. 41 . are entirely different. it can be expensive. a-: the fireplace are all decorated with moulding. nail strips of wood together to make a figure with four or five sides. so it is desirable to use as little of it as possible. Even the lightest edging material is heavier than canvas. usually have railings. 17 (page 19). Fortunately. The use of moulding can do wonde:: to enhance the appearance of an interior set. These are provided by coven FLATS as shown in lllus. the co-struction is the same. If you use a separate type of moulding for ea. but stiff material such as wallboard or carton board. The scene units used for platforms and steps are open at the sides (Illus. If this extends past the main frame more than about 6". 42 can be used for everything fr:: cornices to chair rails.differences cannot be noticed by the audience. WELL DESIGNED CUTOUT. platforms. 34 is moulding held in place n-:-l B-penny finishing nails. 328. T:: lip on the window sill is also moulding. 34). however. When there are no railings. This advantage is partly offset by the fact i:-. 33 and Illus. T':-' type in Illus. Moulding. This is the set piece used in lllus. but the rear views lllus. The exterior platforms in lllus. 13 (page 17). Then see how easily it can be twisted out of shape. heavy. The plant with broad fleshy leaves is like a cactus and grows in lsrael. This is framed simply with a maximum of canvas and minimum of lumber and construction. The irregular edge must be cut from some thin.-I purpose. srn'.. The pictu:: frame on the left is made of flat boards with a str:: of moulding around the edges. they are called cover flats.FBONT VIEW FRONT VIEW luE irlrr rnG BEAR VIEW BEAR VIEW lllus. Cover Flats. Finally. here looks almost like that in lllus. light. 40. If these are attached to th. the door frame. and expensive.

Irregular Forrns. With so many possibilities. once you have it. These can take almost any form such as doors with panels that can be knocked in so that someone outside can reach through the hole and turn the lock. /lit. 18 (page 20) have special THIcKNESS eIECES to emphasize the solidity of the walls. Thus. The I ricture a strip on the e with r each small e. and trees cannot be climbed. and g. the crack would be visible. 45). You may need to have a special cutter made. and other irregular shapes that need not bear weight are easy to make. and one wall collapsed on the villain. 42. The panels were then nailed to the braces. The designer must depend on his ingenuity. MOULDING. but they make the difference between an impressive set and a flimsy one. tree trunks. NAILING PANELS. you can use moulding lavishly at little cost. 44. and bottles that break when struck by imaginary bullets. Thickness. 6.44. 33 . for every stage purpose from picture frames to the nsing on steps. b I b rt Yiew tr views with a er and to the ' stand re con- ts. The 3 from rt that lus. mould 2" chicken wire over it and cover this with canvas (Illus. Panels are used to decorate the doors in Illus. when a unit must work it is said to be PRACTICAL. In e. 14 (page lB) with the more realistic window in Illus. onders . 13 (page 17 ). The method of making panels is shown in Illus. Scenery is more convincing when the thickness of the walls is shown. Special Effects. The doors were made like small flats with extra corner braces (see the doors in Illus. 32B). They can be used to decorate either doors or walls [ee lllus. The door and the little belfry of the mission in Illus. 43 was constructed by attaching random lengths of moulding to the boards with 4-penny finishing nails. Time and money devoted to thickness pieces are usually well spent. However.Fritfii:liur ' T I I I llhrs. Otherwise. page f 0). *.The type shown here can be used Fs! l I few lumber yards stock the type in Illus. Even platforms and steps require cover flats. Most scenery is for appearance only and is not designed to actually work-windows cannot be opened.et. I once staged a\ elaborate old-fashioned melodrama in which a night club burned down. Practical Units. the ends of the pieces were mitered so that they overlap. Simply build a light framework.42. which is fairly expensive. Even small scraps can be used if F nail them to a base made from narrow white-pine brrds. Rocks. These are rigid and easy to bild. there can be no rules. CORNIGE.lmmil'F$m{f. When this was done. the hero fell through the floor. Compare the "picture frame" window in Illus. When the edge of a wall shows. and making it look solid means extra work. Even small scraps can be used over and over again. These small units are harder to build than the walls themselves. a thickness piece is essential. However. 15. Three-Dimensional Units No scenery is really solid. the cornice in Illus.

TRUNK FOR TREE.include steps and platforms in sets whenever the nature of the scene permits it. Furthermore. If you have somewhere to store them. Learn all you can from them. lt is light enough to be shifted by a single stagehand. 33 and 34. . Theldesign things that are unnecessarily difficult or expensive to build.:. 'xt .iitl: i iillllriii":j l'ilf r{.. I could cite hundreds of examples ranging from the push buttons on spray cans to the arrangement of bookshelves in libraries. effective scenery. Almost the only weightbearing units worth considering for school plays are steps and platforms (Illus. page 30).. You may also need to vary the widths.. : {}::: i . Too many designers think only of appearances. This type is inexpensive and much easier to build than it may seem at first glance. it will help you to form the habit of thinking in practical terms.:i ir l"l i ti. . You will need this knowledge to design METHOD OF COVERING lltus. I. you must build new ones to fit each situation.: . Steps are less flexible.i1 : : [:: ii: * . and the cost-per-use becomes very small. : !. As there is no way to make steps adjustable. v . These add interest to the design of a set.. They also permit a director to provide both variety and drama by grouping his actors on different levels. Always If you do much work on a school stage. Nevertheless.ilr . You may need a set with crumpled canvas ) bundle of rags - three steps for one set and five steps for another.! Weight-Bearing Units. il.: Remember not to create designs that show no consideration for either those who will make them or those who will use them. You can almost certainly find many for yourself. Scene Construction poultry netting Although I lack space here to explain the details excellent of full-scale scene construction.I I..45. They sacrifice important practical advantages to minor artistic effects. compile a list of all the ways that the architect could have made practical improvements without either increasing the cost or harming the appearance of the auditorium' ". Platforms are easy to build. you can have a stock set which may be used for almost any p1ay.:i : . several books on the subject are available. you can often use existing steps in new scenes.

page 2B). such a model does not help *: designer. "f.. i': Ir-rr' tl . The type in *':s.-l-: ^-- er- r:: 4.. X-acto knives are good for cutting out flats. It forces you to think in terms of a. the effect is quite iferent because the walls have been redecorated a:d a new style of furniture has been introduced.t":": i. a flat 12' high and 5' 9" v':r:: rr'ill measure 12" x 51". The simplest way is to cut rectangles of the grey chipboard used for the backs of writing tablets. Students will make better :r:{ress if they use a working model. and the result will be rough. However. 47 represents the com:. that is. you will need to indicate the exact location of each opening by some method that will be clear even after the flats have been given several coats ofpaint.-rere _: '. If you are not satisfied with ln: r-ersion of a set.c. Cutting. if you are rq*e a scale of l" : l'. It is much better to learn s. because he must plan the set before :. 32.r'. 48 is satisfactory. You can cut carton board with heavy shears.rnous (Illus. . -: L1.. cutting out the openings would weaken the flat without serving any real purpose. The flats must be to scale. Lrperienced designers work out their sets with ::: aid of rough sketches.. i-:J perhaps painted. knife. Although the procedure described in Illus. As you cut out each flat. so you will not have to measure the flat each time you pick it up.:a things from the model than to have them forced rL vour attention after the real scenery is hinged.::ual construction. Mark doors and windows on the flats but do not cut them out.' L. Make one the size of each opening and glue it over the place where the opening would be if you cut it through the flat. A better procedure is to use a "v-" - t h. 46 shows the layout for a display model of --:e set in Illus. You will nick it no matter how careful you try to be. layout is much easier if you use a drawing board. you should start learning to handle them as soon as possible. Illus. 50 can be built quickly out :r carton board.more flats. Real flats with openings for doors are braced at the bottom by srr-r. If the edges of the flats are ragged or crooked. 30. Illus. Walls Layout. Do not cut along the edge of a T square. 35 . The simple type with most of the ::rails painted on the walls can be made in less :::ne than a sketch and requires no knowledge of :rrspective. if you hinge a i model flat between two 5' 9" flats. Do your work on a cutting board. can make the model. or you will scar your table. Display models are made to show people how the :e: rvill look. write its width on the back with a marking pen. a T square and a triangle. Nevertheless. As these are basic tools for advanced design. 48 through Illus. you can rearrange the parts -u. they will not hinge properly and you may have trouble making them stand erect.'"'.:Ii cannot be folded. Place the straightedge along one line of the layout and make the cut as though you were ruling a line with a pencil.:t j iu ca:: Illus. Cut each flat from carton ui.ered model in a slightly more elaborate version. This must be done accurately.Ci t. Best of all. MODEL SCENERY ^-. As you cannot fit a sill iron to a carton-board flat. ln:te the use of moulding to make wall panels and i-rc how much the use of diagonals changes the i:pearance of the set. Art stores also sell knives designed especially for making straight cuts in thin materials. the model :r:. -.sontar.:d. However. For example. such a model lets you experiment with ::": least possible effort. 49 shows these symbolic metal straightedge and a sharp openings.r--- - t"a: hinged The walls of your working model will consist of in books. However. it is hard on the shears.. matter of minutes-even if you need to cut out r ::-. A sheet of $" hardboard makes an ideal cutting board.

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Rule two parallel lines 12'apart. When you are experimenting with will often want to make "--:ir frames are larger than the openings. Use a straightedge. 48. cut so the"tubes"will run up and down. This serves both as a set of hinges and as a stripper. and mark points..47. you TEMPoRARv BooKS. The result should look like the drawing except that the widths of your flats will probably be different. The board is much stiffer along the tubes" than it is across them. This is easily done by running short strips of $" cellophane tape across the cracks between the flats to act as model hinges (Illus. the opening in the back wall measures . 50 shows the finished set. but the doorframe is 7' 2" --:h and 5'wide. Both doors and the window have thickness pieces. The ::ray are wide. i:*l' li{'i '. [s. This shows a strip of l" gummed cloth. Measure the widths of the flats along both the top.lmple. lllus. you will need to substitute the more permanent arrangement shown in Illus. LAYING OUT FTATS FOR A WORKING ODEL. !et a piece of carton board wide enough to let you make "tubes" at leasl12" long.aced cellophane tape .. This makes it look like a row :r small tubes.. However.: lrs.ri..and bottom-lines. As you want your flats ri be stiffer the long way.. For . The stairs in the hall and all the pieces of furniture have been constructed in three dimensions. In lllus. such as a yardstick for this. The solution is to paint doors and . the model doors and -rdows require a more elaborate treatment because arrangements of flats.4 Its=:I o** 11 L.high and 4' 4" wide.. Hinging. This is a more elaborate version made to advertise the play. 5t).or paper-tape run vertically along the crack. 37 . 50. When you are ready to paint your flats. : . -rdows on chipboard and stick these to the -:lenings" with double-f. the "opening" for the fireplace has -tn painted black.*. Connect the points for each flat. piece of carton board ) r-ner layer is corrugated. and as all flats are higher than ldl us. Garton board is composed of three layers. Draw a line near one edge of the board at right angles to the parallels. 52. ----rs. FINISHED DISPLAY MODEI.

you can cut 1" strips of thin cloth and glue or paste them over the cracks between your flats. and it lets you experiment as much as you like merely by shifting the flats around and making a few new ones if necessary. For model jiggers you cannot use carton board. Backings are an important part of a working model. 47. and such a narrow strip of carton board would be unmanageable. but indicate their positions by pasting on rectangles of chipboard. With a real set. but even m. 53). This version does not show the doors and windows that will be added later. and furniture have been added. That is not as big a iob as you may think. Glue these together with rubbe: is not available. WORKING MODEL BEFORE PAINTING._ :-l lllus.: I lte{u mililll lifir{ nllltlHlci ililllililll& . make your jiggers by cutting out five or six jl" 38 cement and dry them under a weight. lt can be made quickly and easily.. but -: will serve (Illus. " to bow. and too expensive. Stiffening. This is still another version of the set in lllus. When gummed tape lu: ulllr If you strips of chipboard. The walls in this model were covered with contact paper to save time. Although neither material comes in this size. If you do not have access to such a saw. A real set would use a slightly simpler design applied with a stencil. *l lllus. Jiggers. lowering the ceiling on : the wall flats helps stiffen the watrls. On a 1" scale. 30. Substitute procedures are shou: in Illus. As jiggers always cor::: in the middle of a book. Do not cut openings in the flats. Joining Books. Jiggers should be {" x }" strips of white pine or hardboard. they are never lashed .:: nailed.49. 54 and lllus. Although books of real flats ar": joined by lashing or nailing. too thick. 55. Note how much the effect is altered by changing the decoration. the window. including one for the fireplace. choose the type that must be wet to make it stick. WORKING MODEL AFTER PAINTING. but it has tvrro important virtues. the strips can easily be cut on a power saw. Make all of them. This shows the model after the doors. Self-sticking tapes are too stiff. and place them in position even though they cannot be seen from the front of the model. When flats are hinged and lashe they will normally stand upright but the walls te:. use cloth tape. a 3" jigger is only {" wide. The resul: will be less satisfactory than a wooden jigger. neither can be dor--: with carton board. 50. This is crude compared to the set in lllus.

: . For more permanent stiffening. i:::ps of white pine that measure about iu" x t" :-. If you cannot get rippings. Hence. strippers. This is similar a block of white pine behind the weak spot and attach the wall to it with a push pin. . Push pins and smatl blocks of white pine do very well' used to make joints must be kept on the back. and even if you add one. When the flats do not meet at a right angle.:ing them on the back of the flats and sticking : -. 'lber esult ut it : afe done . HINGING A JIGGER. to the block. 55.ard f " wide and glue them together with r. PERMANENT HINGE. Then press the tape side of the strip against the back of the wall (Illus. BOOKS JOINED AFTER PAINTING.They should be slightly shorter than the width ----e wall. When we assemble our books after painting them' any devices . get f. 39 lllus. As you will spend a good deal of time experimenting with various arrangements of your model flats. You will need two battens for each .r pins into them from the front. Turn the block around and press the tape against the corner made by the flats. 56). '. it will be :ht to do any good.52. One such brace is shown in Illus. However.". r:. view shows ling htly sufficient for this Purpose. . 56). 54. Real sets must be braced to keep them from shaking whenever an actor opens or closes a door. ::r{l"ening battens can be attached temporarily by : . An ordinary corner can be ioined with two strips of t" cellophane tape (A).53. tend )n to :nore lllus. Working models rarely :eilings. hinged.:rg shops call these "rippings" and throw them r . Two striPs ol cellophane taPe will be lllus.o\vn :ome dor rired. This will do whether the real flats are to be lashed. if necessary. Stick one side of the tape to the batten. you will need a quick and easy way of joining books at corners.:::. Bracing. They also serve as a jigger made from strips of chipboard. or nailed.::rg may be needed. Either method can also be employed for ground rows or set pieces. that r the theY ofa FOTDED FTATS WITH JIGGER FRONT VIEW iu re HINGES. The front view shows lllus.'= ideal sTIFFENTNG BATTENS (Illus. Make these of gummed cloth. The back temporary hinges in Place. -'. place - r--. every wall containthan one flat must be stiffened in some way.. face out.rre I oard. A reverse corner needs two jl" white-pine blocks like the one at B' Tack a strip of cellophane tape. 54. Model walls rarely need bracing. Or use double-faced cellophane tape between the wall and the block. TEMPORARY CORNER JOINTS. cut two strips of to the technique used for lashing or nailing Shown in Illus. TEMPORARY lllus. 56." double-faced cellophane tape. Wood. the blocks must be beveled.or papertape. cement.51 . :.

= o o E o i.i?11 Nl D' lllrt !iE+iii e nl:Dl u!| 913+: ! r4!l !!1r0 !|f drlr :t!! iilli!i !I*EEEE 40 ila lllrt .

if you can only get white. Support these on the top of your model stage in the same manner as the strips used to hang the teaser in Illus. or glue two regular-sized sheets :ogether along their short ends. arrange- ones shown in lllus. Light blue cardboard i. There is no way to vary the horizontal dimensions. Get heavy chipboard of the kind used to back ]" plywood writing tablets.25. you may forget that the space above the real drop must be hidden by a border. You will be able to judge the colors of your scenery better if you dye the cyclorama material to match the one on the actual stage you ivill be using. do not paint the rnodel higher than 6". Remember to allow for fullness. Keep them erect by attaching them to blocks of white pine with push pins or double-faced cellophane tape (Illus. Spring the cardboard between the rlocks. Real wings rarely need bracing. but if not. Attach theSe r-. do not paint the model drop higher than 12". Cutouts. Cut this to fit . For a drapery cyclorama. The model wing shown in Illus. use a large sheet of ihin cardboard. 57. but you can vary the heights with ease (Illus. The same thing applies to model borders. and iron it to eliminate wrinkles. Bend the whole piece in a half circle and place it behind the proscenium of the nodel stage. but neither :djustment should cause any difficulty. You may need to trim the cardboard or nove the blocks to make things fit. However. 19. and o 4l . but I can testify that they will be satisfactory in at least nineteen sets out of twenty. This means that I lllus. if a model wing has a tendency to topple over.our blocks and glue one to each block. Steps and Platforrns. as the flipper keeps the main flat erect. you can merely tack them to the strips. paint it a pale. Virtually all the steps I ever buiit had 7" risers and 10" treads. To make a sky cyclorama. You should be able to adjustthe heights ofthese. If you make them extra high. If the real one will be only 6' high. Wings. thin cotton material.20. Cut pieces to scale with pinking shears or a pinking wheel. All hung scenery should be supported in this way. However. best. type of unit that you Drops and Borders. greyish blue. If you paint the model drop too high. Wash it well to remove any fface of stiffness. and set pieces can be cut from either carton board or chipboard. if the real drop will be only 12' high. Experimenting with these in working models is much easier when they can be adjusted. place a vertical strip of white pine on each side of the proscenium. Cut blocks of t" plywood the size of Xour platforms. ll (page l5). 56). use very inexpensive. The borders must mask everything above this. The side walls of the stage might hold :t in place. ground rows.Other Units h\ p 3 = The suggestions that follow cover virtually every will ever need to build for your working models. Tack the cloth in folds on strips of wood. The height of a step is called the nrsnn and its depth is the rnBal. These can be cut from carton board and hung from strips of wood like the teaser in Illus. MODEL STEPS AND PLATFORMS. Model Cycloramas. Either method makes a zigzag edge that will not ravel. rather than hanging them from strings. 11 (page 15). and a hem is unnecessary. Each piece should be a scale version of the real cvclorama. Pile up blocks to make a platform as many steps high as to work out complex Nnents dhe & rou like. This provides an easy way of steps and platforms like lllus. add a brace like the one shown with the ground row. However. The height of a platform is measured by the number of steps that lead up to it. 56 is typical. 57).r'o strips with push pins pressed through the wall :om the front. You need not follow these dimensions.

PATTERII FOB EASY CHAIR MADE FROM PAPER. will need good visual imagina- rcqr tion to plan paper patterns like this.s fcad the r hist $ait u\x) T ort thrc tre lllus. 58. You I I 42 a a T .the t'2 E I side i rear ol back I side -\. but lt is exceltent training in a type of problem that arises frequently in the work of many professional designers.

height of a normal platform is 7" (one step), l' 2" (two steps), 1' 9" (three steps), and so on. -{s the platform itself makes the top step, stairs ieading to a platform contain one step less than rhe height of the platform. Thus, a platform 2' ll' irigh measures five steps, and the corresponding stairs contain only four steps. Tree Trunks. You could carve tree trunks from rr,ood or Styrofoam or model them in papier mflchd, or modelling clay. However, for working models, three-dimensional tree trunks are not worth even the small amount of trouble that these methods require-a trunk cut out of chipboard and held

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with a block of wood like the ground row in Illus. 56 will meet everY need.
Model ProPerties

Furniture and other properties for display models can be made by cutting and folding stiff paper (Illus. 58). Properties for working models are another matter entirely. They are tools to help you plan your set. For this purpose, anything roughly the right size and shape will do. The examples in Illus. 59 and Illus. 60 are crude, but they are also ideal. If your working models are fancier than

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exactly how it will look, crude models are as useful as fancy ones. Spend your time designing, not in adding unnecessary details to your models'

lltus. 5gA and 598 FURNTTURE FOR WORKING MODELS. The designer of a set like the Greek tent in lllus. 16 (page l8) or the Spanish mission in lllus. I 8 (page 20) would design the furniture and have it made by the prop crew' Ho*errer, such cases ale rare. For ordinary seis, you will borrow or rent the furniture. As you cannot decide in advance
43

lllus.60. SMALL PBOPS FOR WORKING MODELS. The materials and methods shown here will enable you to make almost any kind of prop that you require for a working model. Do not be finicky. lf it takes over ten minutes to make a model prop, you are wasting time.

rubber band

These examples illustrate the wide variety of materia'ls that can be used to construct working props. The only one that needs an explanation is the palm tree. A rubber band is wrapped around the dowel and moved down to Position B. Paper leaves are then arranged around the dowel with their stems downward' The band is pushed over them to Position A. Lastly, the leaves are bent down

like those shown at

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on a small prop to add a touch of color, the dab of color should be the right size and the right tone. For example, a single red rose in a vase must be indicated by a tiny spot of red for the rose and spots ofgreen for the leaves.
Enlarging and Reducing

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When you do research for scenes like those in Illus. 16 through Illus. lB, you will often find a design which is just what you want except that it
is the wrong size and must be enlarged or reduced before you can use it. The usual procedure is to trace the original on tracing paper and divide it into squares. You then draw a similar pattern of larger or smaller squares. The diagonal method shown in Illus. 6l is much more satisfactory, as the slanting lines help to fix lines when redrawing. Also, there are many other ways to use diagonals for changing proportions. For example, they allow you to make a design wider or narrower without altering its height. If you familiarize yourself with diagonals now, they will be old friends whenever you find a new application for them.

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these, you are wasting time on model-making that you should spend on designing. However, every prop, no matter how small, is an important part of the set and should be represented in some way. You can paint pictures and draperies on the walls, but every free-standing prop should be made. Furthermore, if you are counting

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:ls.61 . ENLARGING AND REDUCING. The procedure shown here works for either enlarging or reducing. lt is more satisfactory than the conventional method of ruling squares over the original and then making a similar -ch ;ir| of larger or smaller squares over which the enlarged or reduced version is drawn. With the method shown, the
&gonals help to fix lines. Also, you can add extra subdivisions in areas where there are many details.

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45

62' WALL uNlrs FoR A GONVERTIBLE sET. platforms.lp'vou i. These are front views of the units required for backings of either a real convertible set or a convertible model. eg ana rr.eep tra"r when you design your own sets. windows' steps.s" 6" joss finilj ililti ililil lllus.k_ s. and so on' The numbers on the books identify them in lllus. the walls anc such as doors. 45 . You will also need various accessories.

which is a great convenience. DESIGNING WITH A MODEL rrray seem that the more freedom a designer has. full-scale set of this type eliminates many p'oblems that trouble school drama groups.seem contradictory. it their designs will look on an actual stage. we shall discuss the real one first. Actually. I have worked out the version shown in D'us.interior scene as well as many exteriors. Therefore you will need pr. All the wall units must be built and painted at the same time. Every beginner goes through this. You . 63 shows typical examples. Needless to say.. Every book in Illus.. the design -. However.r"ar then arrange the parts in various ways until it m:ts the scene for which you need a model. Convertible sets require certain devices that would not be needed if we built a set for only one show or even if we worked with a set of stock flats that are rehinged and repainted for each production. we must repaint the whole set because it is almost impossible to match an old paint job.rout 30'. You can build a model of the convertible set in ff-. This all-at-once rule applies only to walls. Once r:e set is built and painted. but it really is not. n rr'as made to fit a 26' stage. If tfo. but 4' 4' wide and 2' 6' high. 65 and 66. 64. Full-scale -. 62 includes one flat with an opening. Doors. 64. 65 and the window in lllus. I spent ten ':rnes as long deciding what set to choose as I did '. You cannot rally start to design a set in your head until you &Ein some experience. I once designed a set in which the flats were permanently hinged and painted. the' advantages of a convertible model make it an almost indispensable tool for beginning designers.5. :e told me to sketch any kind of set. As most school stages rre rvider. :oo much freedom is a handicap. However. 62. 62 without designing anything yourself. If we add a new unit or unhinge an old one. designing and drawing the sketch. most plays can be maeed without further expense or effort-the set or r:s for a play would be available at rehearsal.rk rvith models of the real one. tften a school owns a convertible set.e: be arranged to let students see how -{ Our problem is to make a set that can be changed merely by rearranging the parts and without repainting the walls. you need some sort m urodel that you can see and handle-which means rou must make a model before you design it! This 1-ri\. Plugs. You can also make three or four plugs like that in Illus. And yet. it can even be qsrd for exercises during courses in Play Production r'rd Acting. As you must understand the construction and use of the real set before you can understand the model. the easier his work becomes. you will need to repaint the whole set in order to make the new plug match. steps. The only drawback here is that if you ever want to add another door or window.re set can be stored on the stage. Illus. A Full-Scale Gonvertible Set ryening between the tormentors usually measures r. The doubledoor in Illus.:. Even if your school lacks a convertible set. and railings are so easy to paint that you can easily redo your whole collection in a couple ofhours. Devices. When I wanted to qualify for Donald Oenslager's class in scene design. These can 47 . this provides a strong incentive for students to turn out good work. 66 have built-in plugs. The sizes of the ffats and the locations of the openings were planned n that the books could be arranged to suit almost lrrr. This is suitable for a stage where the At first.ucs like those shown in Illus. many of these must serve as plain walls.

'j a * $ . walt. and G indicate plugs used to turn books with openings into solid wa[s. we cannot make a straight wall wider than that without leaving unsightly cracks. and Jog 15. but do not paint them while they are in the flats. Even if the set included a :il a il . This shows most of the devices that you need to make a convertible set fit a variety of floor plans. However. we can do this with a convertible set as u. Flats in ordinary scenery overlap !' at the corners so that they can be lashed. This measures 11'5'. 30.. This makes the wails 11jJ. Thus. the fact that it is masked by the door in Book I may keep spectators from noticing it. This door plays no pait in the action. ]f_Vo-u run out of plugs.eL However. B. leave a strip of unpainted canvas around each opening. The solution shown uses Flat 9. In any case.. of completing the 14.x: cases. 14 and f E are lllus. after combining a jog with an ll' 5. 13. 6. They must be nailed. but one which is far better than a crack in the middle of a wall. Jog".. those in the back wall oi Illus.tl getaway KEY Hinged platlorm ----* Lashed Joint --lt Joint Nailed Joint Gorner lrons I r I H. Jogs 12. wide.'f--l -\----t/ tormentorY 3O'version of the one in Illus.'. 62.t tormentor fine u4 t.-1'.. door. too long.book and a 4. Points A. Overlaps. there are times when the only uur. To correct this. The only unit available to take the window on stage left is Book 11. 63 might be introduced as a decorative feature to enhance the importance of the middle looks of the set. 6. 63. used to make long walls out of two or three books without leaving unsightly cracks in the middleof thewall. 63 measures 14. 6. available )s too )ong. They save repainting flats if you want to add an extra unit. That mlkes a bad joint. only 9' 7" ot it is visible. As our largest books measure only 14. Such jogs rarely hurt the A jog can also be used to shorten a wall. which happens to be on the edge of an opening. which lacks 3. flat. lf this is part of the back wa. Thusthe stage-left wall in lllus. an opening in a backing can be filled by a door (Point E).qe double doors bookcase sofa table I door backing E e I I [] coffee table I J I d ir line I 'center tormentor chair I . Flats that overlap cannot be joined by lashing. In mc. Book f I must overlap the jog. Book 7 overlaps Flat 9 at Point D.blr.be used either above doors or below windows. but they make scene shifting more troublesome. paint the plugs when you paint the flats. The solution is to insert one or more 6" jogs. ARRANGING A CONVERTTBLE SET.. it could not be used without leaving an ugly crack. although Book 7 is 14. The set is a 3' 1" flal. 7 and lllus. 6. The numbers in circles refer to lllus. the lips will act like stencils and In fact. which m"asuiei 4'. If you do.

in the up-left corner of Illus. but if i scene has to be changed. jogs. Overlapping units cannot be lashed. can be added as you need them and these can be repainted quickly and easily. a double door and frame. This will not actually hide the crack if :-e develops. This does not affect a one-set show. and the nails cannot bL counted ::'rn to hold the units in close contact. :n 3'. ( I us' 64. These can be built-in like the example' or the plugs can be-separate.ck a strip of dark canvas to the stile of the crossil:{e flat. The canvas is pasted over the lips and wraps around them until it touches the frame. unir \ra1l. I rools rwall. 6n x4' 4. If the crack : --1s open and a line of light shows through it. '. but it will keep light from shining -::ough (Illus.r-n the scene shift. The overlap will not ='. 63 is an example. so they must :t nailed. you will need a blue backdrop as well. PLUG oN OO U BLE DOOR. 33..::ion has been properly rehearsed. they neeJplugs over thernto tillifre extra space. \Vhen the overlapping unit is part of a side wall. and extra doors and windows. When the plug is in place. 4. x4. past the edges. a stagehand must climb r adder to pull the top nail. note that adding double doors and windows with built-in plugs means repainting all your flats.) plugs. Other units. ee. most Thus. See page 47. 7 ::':ok llL Other Units. and a mantlepiece. it g. 6. 67). toggle-bar in the center. two large (g' 6. As double doors fii g.. This shows a plug for a7'x3'opening. *-t problem is more serious.) Platforms. lllus. but a separate plug can f lf a be used. rrell. x 4. If your stage lacks a plastered backwall that can be painted blue. A built-i" piug " b-L""venient. page 30). One for ag. llius. A real convertible set will need a 32' x 14' ceiling. a window. platforms. Be sure to paint both the sides a-1d back of the lip. you need consider only the dimensions of 49 . it does not take long if the i. e left 1'ot led e g. Lips of wallboard are gtued to the sides andiop oi th. pluc olv wlruobw. Although this will slow ::'.k the crack. it is attached to the flat by two turn buttons. fta-" anJextena opening will need 1. PLUG FOR DOOR OPENING. at least four small (7' x 3') plugs and five or six 6.65.. including steps.p below a window must be filled by a ptug unless it is masked by a sola or television set. (Again. To I u9h sures lakes in t}ic ed bV The set should also have three single doors with frames. openings.'ail of rative riddle ' after flat.. -: can overlap the side wall as much as desired.4. As the height of a platform can be adjusted merely by changing the legs (Illus.

to fit the top of a la::: opening. This can t_ filled with a carton-board plug painted to matc:_ the wall as closely as possible. but you . 15 in lllus. page 28) must come in front of an opening. except those with a special shape. 81. tack a flap of dark cloth to the edge of the back wall or the iog. rl! u tlll !il about making it match the wall. _= Make one 3' 3" x 3'to fit the top of a small openi:-: and the other 5'9" x 4. The mantel in Illus. the only mr:nq1 that matters is the size and shape of the top. The lowest opening in our convertible set is 7 high. One has five steps and one has three. x 10. An almost flat mantel (Illus. steps cannot be adjusted spite of that. page l0). When the mantel is only a shelf (Illus. fn continuous steps... 4. . The prn. page tC) orrery shallow (Illus. If you make a 4. 328 (page 2B). ff& book except the one in lllus. the top. The side walt must be joined to the back orjog by nailing (see page 49). r. When a side wall must overlap a back wail or a jog like No. will is the best type for a convertible set. If you expect to use many shallow mantels. Window Backings. window never matches the walls of a room. STRIP TO MASK BAD OVERLAp. to hang a large picture so that it covers all bu: 6" or B" of the gap above the mantel. ingenuity will often show you how to put old steps to a new use. whereas mantels are rarely over 5. Illus. 68. it presents a problem. Paint them when you paint your set get a perfect match.. As . . you can put one set of steps on the platform and create a stairway with nine in any way. forms shown here will be enough for every set rf. Mantelpiece. Anc:_. When a cover flat. In sucicases. In such cases. like that in Illus. As these are not adjustabie..r-5' 0' lllus. mere shelf (Illus.67. 6. t3 (page i7) 50 ffi .._ . Suppose you have two sets of stairs. It can be placed anywhere along a wall and does not need an opening behind it. The plug could thebe masked with a long. .nuu can v_ary the height of a platform like the one in lllus .. 4i und 47 (pages 36..c can build two of the plugs shown in Illus. DIMENSIONS OF PLATFORM TOpS. paint the canvas to match the woodwork. This avoids worrying i'. 4' wide. breast high enough to mask the opening. When you use one of these. The tops in Illus. Another plan :. Steps.t fiir them even for that. you will need a different one for each platform height and each set of steps. _still need a chimney breast when the mantel -.5'0"--. C solution is to omit windows entirely. Unfortunately. 32B). the best solution is to build a shallow chimne-. low vase filled with ivy. platform six steps high.ll Cover Flats.. The f lap acts as a backing for the crack and helps to keep it from being noticed-. any crack that develops can be seen by the audience. . 63.r cannot use your stock flats as window backings. has a railing. 6.t! merely by changing the height of the legs.r"" sonq. reasonable-the audience will assume that :i missing wall of the set contains windows. shallow mantel will give no trouble.lllus. . As the view througi. 68 were built for one play but could be adapted to almost any scene in which platforms are needed. 37) show such a chimney breas: although that set is not convertible. Arrange your lights so that they will not shine through the crack. and th:. and you car. 328.

Note that in back-wall jogs..small job. they will serve for '$ r .. .. 3un Irus' 69' MoDEL Jocs FoR BAGK WALLS.r. Glue the block to the iog.._:t ts to treat a window like those used in : .sets and cover them with black or translucent .:':r-. When you want the backing to -^": ': ::: something special-such as a brick wall . Rroviae roittris ov -aking the block as wide jog (i") plus the thickness of your carton board.and left-hand sides.: ::-:::ods given in Chapter 4 for constructing . Illus.:rough ordinary models rarely include 6. -.. page 1B)..:.:ble models.: a 6" jog is only f" wide and difficult .63 needs igs" '. doors (with frames). However. 69 and Illus.._. lf you have only three small plugs and fail to keep track of them. The drawing on the right shows the narts after thev have been joined with two strips of double-faced celtophane tipJ.r procedure is to make a special window lu ri.. . :--.'..lllrr_ _" Ltr Liliullr-.r=h pirr. the block is wider than the jog.. two features . irrd a p. you may design a set that needs four or more.. Therefore it must be stiffened with a block that runs the full height of the jog (Illus. 70 carefully. When a is used in a back both flats must sft'hand drawing is an exploded view showing ttre iog before they arewall. {flull Ntri ]D llllllllllllllllllr Mlllllflinr 1ilt1111iltN r.:licular attention. :: : window-repainting two flats is a com.. 71 shows the plugs. you will need model plugs as well as model doors and windows..lxings.*rr You do not need separate jogs for the right. 11 . :.--: cl hinging two 5' 9" flats together.iliitt-"-.r1'r. --. A right-hand jog becomes a left-hand one simply by turning it upside down. If they iiii:"' :: :_:ed a pale grey-blue.-n --(i/ chipboard stiffener upstage flat away to show the niche marked A which is the key to the assemuly. . : :. 14 and Illus. and a set like Illus. together.69). in side-wall jogs.iJ itirt"rr.. The overlap the jog. The number of such plugs in your set is important.: ::: e\. However. 15. and 5l lilIlililililll" fi*n ltlllr ' : :-. The put larts upstage flat has been as the " in -:. This means that you will need two model jogs for each one in your real convertible set.Illus. Study Illus. However.11r'I- :. As every convertible book has an opening.. A Convertible Model to handle. It is important to make the joints in the model overlap like those in the real set.ery set made with a convertibre model mmll.. This block also provides an easy means of joining thejog to the adjacent flats.rtipu".:::)ling working models apply equally well --.: -east one. Plugs. the jog is wider.

Simply cut these from chipboard.78. Attach the cloth masking strip to the block with tacks. where the jog overlaps both flats. Start with plans that you know your model car: be made to fit with only minor changes. you will have 52 Study Illus. Furthermore. and sometimes must design an entirely different set.74. in trying to duplicate the i. where we must disguise a bad overlap. Illus. left Wall with Bad Overlap windows that you will need for your convertible model. you must work from sketches instead of flc . anc 79 meet this requirement.plans. ' in Illus.. and attach them to the "openings" in the model books with double-faced cellophane tape. The jogs must be duplicates. If you begin your study of design by trying to make your working model fit printed plans. However. 73.22 (page 22). and four 6" jogs. None of them neei. If you have a real convertible set available. limit yourself to three 7' x 3' plugs. do zol use more than four jogs in any one set. The sec in Illus. but these are a small pric: to pay for the convenience and economy of . convertible set. Illus.74. you cannot hope to solve all your problems at once. Note that the plugs should exactly fit the openings. In other cases. MODEL JOGS FOR SIDE WALLS. Matching Floor Plans a clear idea of what you want to achieve.79 a:also easy.22 (page22) is a good one:: start with as it presents no special problems. more than one large plug. that is. These limitations make designing more difficult. 63 and 67.hand a Stage-left Wall Offstage View of Model Jog in Onstage View of Jog in Stage. if you design several scenes for the same show. The set in Illus. three small ones. an: three single doors. A Training Model. Thc. if you use your model only as a training tool. 70. do not use more than four jogs in all. You cannot always match your original ::-- . 63 carefully first. Most directors want their sets to match the printed versions as closely as possible. It would be better r_ avoid the door in the down-right backing and th. However. paint them. but the door frames and window frames overlap at the edges. Fortunately.78. and Illus. 7 (page li except that it is 4'wider. your model should copy it exactly. you will not be faced with problems that cannot be solved without some experience ir: directing. Also. you will need four back-wall jogs and four side-wall jogs. jog in the stage-left wall.73. you must make fairly large changes. acting editions of plays usually contain plans of the sets. two.than the jog by the thickness of the carton board. However. If you start by trying to create an original design. but they exercise your ingenuity. The left. two 9' 6" x 4' 4" plugs. A convertible model can be made to match manl printed plans almost exactly. The right-hand drawing shows a case like the one in lllus. This is an almos: perfect duplicate of the plan in Illus. The block must then be narrower drawing shows the normal case flfus. 5 (page 9).

Always make your designs suit particular scenes in specific plays. This sort of planning provides invaluable experience. 6 (page ["t. $. For example: Omit both windows. This is actually easier than designing imaginary sets. and this teaches you to be a bad designer. and the X-type panels shown in Illus. take a good deal of study. it trains you to make your designs fit specifications. you should spend most of your time designing and devote only the necessary attention to studying the play.ihirough a bookcase can be faked without an r:s. look pinched if the door measures less than 3. not a good one. it will be better to omit the one in the design unless the action of the play demands When you have mastered a convertible model well enough to match other designers' plans fairly well.-5'0n-----' k- 4' 4r >l ffr Paint them. $' l: f+- 4' 4" --N 1. Long plays. look I I contains a 9' 6" x 4' 4' opening.e an honest effort. you could solve a problem simply already familiar with a longer play. t"-_t I Dl tu I il IJ @@ tcr b l. In the beginning. 62) for the fireplace mll the alcove will be Il' 3+'wide. Originating Designs ftffi'mrm IE !i@s wmr m '6[ll @ ffic door will be moved so far stage right that it f. This can easily be done with strips of double-faced cetlophane tape. This is necessary htcause the convertible set does not include a door d this type. [-nder these circumstances. the extra l. in a real set you would use a *ock doorframe. 53 lllus. Make a special chipboard rectangle to represenr the Dutch door and its frame.ranot be opened without striking the chair at M. Also. You will not always be able to come close to the original. d uqdh d '1 m ril l- +. DooRs. Illus.mantel and chimney breast to mask this. 5 provides examples of the features vou may need to sacrifice and the additions you must add to make a convertible model fit a plan designed bv someone else. must be 6mdded by making the settle span the gap. you may be wise to nale the door open off stage. you must redesign the panels.closely. but do not give up until you have mad. the necessary adjustments are indicated in the captions. rao L. it may not fit situations in the seond or third acts. You will not become expert until you can handle long plays. and fasten them over the chipboard rectangles that represent openings in your model flats. even those that require only one set. After you have acquired some skill. Substitute a bench for the rindow seat atJ. you will be ready to attempt a design of your own. Also. Eence. When other sets in this book can be approximately duplicated with a convertible model. This has an opening only 2' 8. A one-act play is your best choice unless you are an imaginary set. 71.. lF r-ou use Book I I (Illus. g+.. E DII h h . try fitting your convertible model to the plans in printed plays. however. This rr4ns that the back "legs" of the settle must be h$r than the front ones by the height of the [hmbrm. There are several possibilities in this case. . If you design by omitting the feature that creates the problem. Design dn*Ilorr. if you design your set to suit the action in the first act. Furthermore.n. AND wlluDows. As the stock Llnq:brm is only l0' long. Omit the beam over the alcove. uide. MODEL PLUGS. Gut these from chipboard.

10 (page 15). and ALcovE (Illus. 76). l0 (page l5) form a crude semicircle. 72. The elevator will require specially built slidihg doors' 54 lllu! lii $n rm 16 ! . Almost every interior you ever design will fit one or another of these fundamental floor plans. When you try to match this with the convertible model. When it rakes. Normally. This arrangemen: is unrealistic. Thus. 75). Every raked set has one shor: wall. 5.Adding an alcove to what is basically a iogged set alsr makes the room seem targer. Many variations of these basic patterns are possible-a set can be parallel or raked. Variations.PIAIN JOG ALCOVE lllus. Corners. but any angle between these limits can be used. it should be placed on the direc: axis as it is in Illus. the alcove in Illus. lrilh By 0tr 1rni. but it is certainlythe most practical lva-. Any design that fails to fit is apt to degenerate into a formless set like the one in lllus. it can slant either right or left. Basic Shapes. lopping off one corner of the set may help (Illus. This is made to look like a huge room br extending it off stage in the up-right and down-left corners. Irregular sets like that in lllus. 74). there are two reasons why you m:decide to place the short wall on the set axis (Illu. 73 helps to suggest that the set represents a huge room which extends off stage on both sides. 5 (page 9). BASIC SHAPES FOR SETS. SET TO SHOW A ROOM TI{AT lS LARGER THAN THE STAGE. This can also be done when you have nothing to put in the corner and want to avoid empty space. However. When you are not confined to stock flats. d|f $::i--" '"d However. page 9). 72). An alcove can be added to what is essentially a jogged set (Illus. 73. The reverse jog lets the set run off stage -left without introducing unsolvabft sightline problems.! 0il1 Cornbinations. to keep most of the set on axis and still avoid ba: sightlines on the short side. JoG. use a plain wall instead of the stage-righ: alcove and move the clerk's desk further onstage. are experienced. If the stage is shallow. 73) or a second alcove to a set that already has one (Illus. curved corners are not recommended unless your building carpenters The Short l{all. Having all the walls at right angles emphasizr' lllus. you may occasionally want to round off one or more corners (Illus. This makes the plan more complex and provides more room in a set that would otherwise be overcrowded. Rakes of less than 10 degrees or more than 25 degrees rarely look well. All well-designed sets take one of three basic shapes: eLAIN.

you can duplicate this with your convertible set without repainting any stock units. Often. -. It also provides room for nme bulky piece of furniture that must be present hrt which you would like to put where it will not tzke up valuable playing space. Your convertible model can match this neatly if you substitute your single window for the double one. I was able to get I qr a stage only 13' 6" from the tormentor line to the H. that means building special units for the rail. or even sitting on it. One or two curved corners. However.:r|]r i:"* l'dil t:. hs. lf you omit the curved corners.74. wall of the stage house. i:::n :=. Furthermore. all of them can see that it is a desk. PLAN FOR A SHIP'S SMOKING ROOM. I worked for five years -r a stage where those extra inches made all the ffference between a fine set and an impossible one. DINING ROOM SCENE FOR SHALLOW STAGE.flrl SX!|t <-r-f. a flat laid on its side for a rail. and a life pleserver make this obviously a scene on shipboard. the set will be 14' 6" deep. arGhway without doors ) n -) . and cutting off the corner will not save any space.*d iln trth. both reasons rpply to the same scene. The short wall in Illus. However. L lacr wall of stage house . A square corner would huc made this set 1' 4" deeper. ti:e realism of the scene. and portholes. a couple of portholes. doorway. k lopping off one corner of this set. an actor sitting at the desk. Note that although more than half of the secretary's desk will be hidden from some spectators. _+ nbv also 'able 'ight lllus. Do not try it with your model unless you need a shipboard scene for an 55 . 76 The slanting wall also gave me room to put two chairs where actors can sit without masking each other.:r is a good example. 75. will be in plain view of everyone. flats on side to make ship's rail bench ]llF> t_ r^ tahle \chairs Y actual play.

PLAN TO SHOW OPPORTUNITIES FOR VARIETY. This adds realism. If you do this with a normal alcove set or one where the jog is placed in the usual way. and why no action takes place in that corner. My plan requires no less than five overlaps. This plan has no special virtues. 78-81 cerl entirely alter the appearance of a setting even when th basic plan remains the same. Note how much stairs add to the sets in which they are usc. it will be virtually impossible to keep spectators on the far side from seeing into the wings. However. I give it merely :. spectators may wonder subconsciously why this wall is left bare. the sets in lllus. A version made with convertible model must be content with a single window. 78-81 have nothing in common. 73). OFFICE SET. they all fit the plan shown here exactly. lt also provides room for the secretary's desk without taking up valuable playing space. Most stage sets are much larger than the rooms they represent. demonstrate that changes like those in lllus. Without this. 76. 56 . Although the furniture and decorations have some effect. 77. it is still a good idea to fill the blind corner with some bulky prop such as a cupboard or a filing cabinet. This can be done by omitting the short wall and makine the set extend into the wings (Illus. The short wall has been placed on the set axis. Can you find a way to use less ? When your only reason for putting the short wall on the set axis is a need for realism. locations. Nevertheless. the real differences are in the sizes. you must occasionallv show a room which is larger than the stage. At first sight. The solution is tc lllus.door backing scrap basket dictating machine secretary's desk scrap basket lllus. and treatments of the openings.

Your convertible model will match this almost exactly. ROOM lN EXCLUSIVE CLUB. 78. and the dark tones of the portraits all work together to tell the audience that members of this club are wealthy. You will need to substitute a different window and a different mantelpiece when you try to match this with your convertible model. the heavy. yto can I the 57 . leather-covered furniture. Most sets leave the downstage center area bare. The ponderous mantelpiece. rseo. lllus.r# for be lllus. By grouping two doors behind this. stodgy. The stairs not only add an interesting level but also let us put an opening behind the love seat. we avoid masking either one and still have room at the sides for furniture. You must also use two 6" jogs and change the proportions of the walls slightly. WAYS TO WORK lN MORE OPENINGS. and ultraconservative. 79.

and entirely different set. Although the stonework is the most obvious difference between this and the sets in 78 and 79. 58 .lllus. This is another. sizes. 81. even the comptex staarway would not require building many special units. 68 (page 50) are also available. CASTLE INTERIOR.77 exactly. a group with a fair-sized stock of separate flats that can walls by adding the two arches. the locations. This set makes a good exercise for the advanced be rehinged and repainted for each show could make the student. lf the platforms in lllus. A convertible set vrrould not be much use here. ORIENTAI STREET SCENE. However. that fits the plan in lllus. The winding stairs create both an impression of height and an air of Oriental mystery. lllus.80. lllus. and treatments of the openings atso play important roles. Note that I have managed to get seven openings into this setting.

An entire flight of stairs changes the -*hole effect. Dressing. The flower introduces a touch of color and also tells the audience that at least one character in the play has some feeling for beauty. you :an make some alterations by switching doors and however. for example. -. and the small props such as books. Usually. 77. you should paint your model to match your school's set. Openings. 78 and -anange 1. 79 both fit the plan in Illus. This is so important a job that set dressers for films often receive screen credit. including the furniture. but every one should be included. and shapes of ::ors. \Vhen you work with a convertible model. that a scene must represent a shack in which everything. construct a set where the ceiling was supported -. Sloping ceilings over alcoves completely ::ange the appearance of a set. Even a one-step platform ie that in Illus. although Illus. Obviously. The choice and arrangement of i=r'ture makes an enotmous difference in the wav a set looks. the way the walls of a set are painted has a profound effect on its appearance. U dE ifl Ceilings. huge stone arches. One red flower in a tin cup will change the whole stage picture.rge extent. when designing a scene for a school play. Ecd 59 . there are so many other things to consider that a desire for variety is rarely a major factor. these differences are due to changes in ::e openings. and fireplaces have a profound :fect on the appearance of the scene. To a . The result repaid the effort. Painting. is made of rough. Nevertheless. Although the i:ur sets on pages 57 and 58 look entirely different. there are so many other -asons for adding steps and platforms that you will :r'obably never include them merely for the sake of -. However. Furniture. The locations. unpainted planks grey with age.asking the wings creates no real problem. In all other cases.us. Most items of set dressing can be painted on the walls of a working model.ey all fit the basic floor plan in Illus. Hence. Here again.-se a reverse jog like the one in lllus. Thus. 5 (page 9) can alter the appearance :l a scene. you must '*t-ndows for plugs. Take advantage of this by repainting your model each time you design a fresh setting. the books. A single small prop can be as significant as all the rest of the set put together. you have a free choice ofcolors and patterns. Suppose. Few schools will want to repaint a set for every show. 73. moving the :oenings will force you to put every book in a *ferent position. lcr its. Steps and Platforrns. and flowers that go to complete the stage picture. windows. vases.. We onEss a setwhenwe selectdraperies. 77.ariety.Erctators pay much attention to anything above ::e heads of the actors. however. sizes. The locations of furniture are so closely connected with the locations of openings that you can rarely alter one without altering the other. pictures. This ::ings the back wall so close to the tormentor that . as few . Props placed on tables or in the middle of the stage are more troublesome. Ceiling beams are =rely worth the trouble of building them. I once helped j.

Everyone who works in the theatre mus: constantly remind himself that the audience i. alwa2s right. the chair counterbalances it because that sofa the is of the seesaw and the cha-ir is o.lllus' 82' THE SEESAWPRINcIPLE. The picture itself may be beautiful. nor is one that violates a principle necessarily bad. 6. like a play. Balance Many people are irritated by pictures that unpleasant. on the short arm Instead. judgment of weight in a design r-. but unless you satisfy most of them. Experience has taught them that pleasing designs tend to have certain qualities in common. you can still be annoyed by a picture that does not BALANCB within the frame. lmagine the shaded sofa and chair on a seesaw is pivoted at the center of the stage' Although the sofa is much heavier. Furthermore. but the set may be badly out o: balance unless the designer is careful to avoid it. the results are unlikely to be satisfactory. These are not laws-a design is not good because it follows all the principles. Nevertheless. the total effect will be On the other hand. A stagc set is always level. there are certain principles to guide the designer. Everything in a scene appears to have a kind c: weight. This weight is more apparent than real. Note also. accept it as solid stone. -\ stage rock may be largely chicken wire and canvas. are not hung straight.. We all make mistakes. that what .. not counts is actual weight.. but it seems heavy to the spectators because the. we can rarely balance atems by pairs in this way.n the long arm.. THE PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN Artists have been creatirrg designs for thousands of years. A design. A designer who relies entirely on his own judgment often makes mistakes that he could have 60 frame is level. Your taste may be better than that of any individual spectator.visual weight. and that designs which lack these qualities are usually unsatisfactory. avoided. we must make everything on one side batance eveiything on the other.. but if the frame is crooked. which does no: please the audience is a dead loss. You must remember you are not making the design to please yourself but to please your audience. As a result. the design will fail. . even when the If you try to create a design with no guide except your own taste. there is no doubt whatever that an understanding of the principles will increase your chances of creating successful designs.

Design Elements We can think of a set as being made up of walls. For example. anything dark seems heavier than if it were pale or :t it were brightly lit. Emphasis is much less important in scene design. seem too vivid under stage lights-they distract attention and appear to be artificial. 82). reasons Emphasis and Subordination Interest also increases an object's "weight. \lthough few sets show perfect symmetry. Lines. Normally. we must emphasize one feature. set should balance when there are no actors -:tsent. The designer should furnish such reasons by putting a chair. Fortunately. If the new one is slightly larger :: darker. An2 set that competes with the actors for attention is bad. An object may affect us as being "hea\. This can raise major problems. Stability. At such times." for the characters in the play to move to these corners. . and the items on one side =ach side -alance those on the other. but I did hide some of the lines with chicken-wire rocks and camouflaged the rest with paint. or as a pattern of abstract design elements. doors. cases ":ie Illus. it would cease to be :-.. 30 (page 27). Subtle adjustments can be made by substituting one :icture for another. symmetry is not needed for balance. in both downstage corners whenever he possibly can. for example. avoid strong emphasis on any one point and distribute what emphasis there is over several different items. but if you put cream-colored slip covers on the furniture stage right and used Cark materials for the sofa and draperies stage left. for example. aALANoE like a seesaw. looking at it.. or HTDDEN. :he left side would seem much "heavier.rks . 25 (page 24) are straight lines. and deliberately suppress the rest. Occasionally. The lines in a set may be actual lines painted on the scenery (note the repeated diagonals 61 . Sets sometimes present the curious :iect of being about to float away. way to . But if :---e set itself is lopsided. Thus. This tends to :::ome stronger when you add actors and may : serious when more than five or six characters are = :::sent. the director will have to ::et it all through the scene. but the director.'mmetrical. When a set balances. is a mirror image of the opposite side. try to have a door near the corner. This is rarely justified. In Illus. the central door and the two groups of furniture are all equally prominent. If there is no room for a seat.*-:se concern : In most types of design. the centers ':e clearly defined.. and dullest. In fact. an item is significant only while the actors are speaking of it. or a chair and a small desk. which prevents them from looking like a natural bank of earth.not strictly logical. it does so at the expense of the actors. Usually.:i in Illus.l'hat is known as occuLT. Real roses.y" even when we know it is light. l{lvever. give a little stress to a few others.'hich it is hung. Estimating the "weight" of an item is not difficult that seems "heavy" to you will also -anything to your audience. Symmetry is impossible with a raked set. Ifit attracts interest at other times. furniture. If the ." A :icture weighing only a few ounces can add greatly :r the "weight" of a wall. a set may have some feature of such importance that the designer is tempted to stress it. or touching it. it will add a little weight to the side on ". you want to concentrate interest on the actors and keep it off the scenery. The edges of the platforms in Illus. the actors focus enough attention on the object. For these reasons. the set in lllus.:hieve balance is to make a set symmetrical. On the other hand. The director must stabilize his stage picture by :-acing actors in one or both downstage corners. A director can usually find some reason for placing a character near the door. The easiest. A light object near the side . As the presence ofactors changes the stage -\ :::ture. I could not avoid this entirely.:em "heavy" The Seesaw. 23 (page 23) and 30 (page 27) arc com::on. he cannot do this without providing . 30 were on a slant. it is often necessary to subordinate some item which might otherwise be too conspicuous. Then. We almost never show an important object throughout a whole scene. and so on. a npetent director can balance the actors.: :he set seems to be on the end of the seesaw ::d will balance a heavy object near the center i-1us. This can be corrected by spattering them lightly with dark paint. we can often :alance a set by adding a picture on the "light" side. 30 page 27) is in balance. ''". problems of balance are introduced. It would also cease to balance unless : number of adjustments were made. The basic plans are symmetrical.

18 (page 20). B0 is actually horizontal or vertical. 80. All the shapes in a group harmonize while the groups contrast sharply with each other. but Illus. or diagonal. Usually. # fl fii.--'Tffi U &# n lllus. Most amateur sets are too low to permit much vertical stress. and Bl give some 62 idea of what is possible. 2. the long flight itself strikes a diagonal note. The lines you choose make a great deal of difference in the appearance of the stage picture. they are the outlines of objects. . Curved lines permit infinite variations. vertical. 83. Those in Illus. These were traced from my sketch in lllus. Every raked set introduces diagonal lines. Although every line of the steps in Illus. Straight lines can be horizontal.23. SHAPES. This is so strong that it easily balances the great archway in spite of the fact that the stairs are painted to match the walls. however. Although every shape is different. 30 (page 27) are strongly horizontal. in Illus. Lines can be straight or curved. 18. 25. Compare those in Illus. 47 on page 37). 78. as does a stairway. 25 (page 24).. they form two obvious groups. and Bl.

Illus.-ors. This type of decoiation was popular a hundred ye-i . Th cr n merely to be fancy and have no relation to the structure of the doorsand furnitr. .tr. Nevertheless. 30 with that in Illus.i:i :li:i:i: lllus. In Illus. Shapes are not confined to actual objects.h: curves harmonize with each other. 83 were traced from the adobe chapel in Illus. in Illus. you should shess them n.lines help a design. 84.i:: Ert. naking them contrasl with their backgrounds. 23 the deep curves all resemble each . This is harmonious. rsrecially when they are parallel. Volume is important in painting and sculpture but plays little part in scene design except in cases where we are able to create a convincing illusion of depth. In Illus. having an actor close the doors. While these lines harmonize. they do not outline harmonious shapes. A director could achieve the same effect :'. the draperies. lB (page 20). Shapes.:nicals contrast with horizontals.:ther. as :nrd curves of the drapery contrast with the sky in fiil---. the -agonals in the latter give it a very different iunosphere. The shapes harmonious. Illusions of mass are easier to achieve.. Lines can harmonize and contrast as well as r.r:ened to a point where their horizontal effect goes L-]ost unnoticed. fito. The fact that spectators are rarely aware of shapes makes them an extremely subtle device for harmonizing the parts of a design. it were not for the hard. 30. most of the shapes that they outline do not. they are light enough to be handled by a girl. 30 (page 27). 47 (page 37). On the other hand. where both the lines and the shapes are a series of srrepns.. for example. and the balusters all have approximately the same shape. 50 (page 38) is as insistently horizontal as that :m. The two main tree trunks in lllus. 18 (page 20).:.uue and ntass. f3 .go. -"lhen in Illus. {t. the trees suggest Gothic arches because the empty spaces draw the eye more than the trees themselves. the lines are m. 25 (page 24). -{though the two designs are basically alike. Thus. mass i : r. One way to unify a design is to repeat the same shape in different sizes and positions. In Illus. you become conscious of its vor. If you think of an object as being solid. wn. but it would be tiresome Volurne and Mass. This is then inverted and used for the trees and the dancer's skirt. compare -. Ifyou were to photograph a set and cut out the print along its main outlines. 5 page 2a). They may be the spaces between objects. At the same time. you would have f Try to make most lines in a set harmonize first . MEANINGLESS CURVES. From the standpoint of abstract design. 23. Also.:e set in Illus.. and diagonals :rntrast with both.nd then introduce a few contrasts to avoid mono:ony. Compare this with Illus.irdinate them by auoiding contrasts. 84. Straight lines harmonize with each other. straight lines at the top and bottom of the balustrade. Lines are closely related to shapes. The furniture in il. 25 look ponderous.rre. every possible line has a graceful curve. the urns.. i t* h -h-. but harmony of line and harmony of shape are not the same thing. when the demands u realism force you to introduce undesirable lines. ud you will see that the design becomes more :armonious. Cover the stairway in Illus. Actually.iaj:: . 23 (page 23) and the lines of the trees in Illus. Gompare tCrc ys*r i d f.

.1 _ _1 -l.J.J .lI9lL9-* ' : | I : I | | :"""'" al r | : : | | L.I .T..-r -o'ili !rvenetianr i --l-t -f I | I l--i''''i t r r .:l#:H to" order scene paints' -i.* '.YETLOW .* t..-.:i:..-i T il a--T-i i | -r I I | L _j_ _l_ _ I _ I _ -| utt'alna'in'. uiir I t9.I .i.lll lE[:r'i 'ilili llli. 85.:H:T#.-i - Fult ChromaJ -T Thit'l I i i I J- I i ..tlli*fi.T.|-Wli. l--J-f..fl.-r. coLoR *"==a:::t"tt are represented as positions around the wheet.u".lili'.Ti'--l ".l--. 'r' i" i..'.i'.l lllus. The black dots indicate the hues and chromas of the pigments I prefer for scene painting."'l I rlg9t t I I L--l---r-.i .-j I r$slii : I ! | i ! I llltlrltl L--l---1-.iN[! I q! -niin'1 Datk.-L .. This one omits hues bur tocates vahr i vertically and represents chromas by their distance frr conveniently show all three quatities of a tone on .| ..-+ - .-r-.'. chroma is shown by the distanee from the hub.vALuEANDcHRoMAcHARr.wecanrrc ! I .-l.". I Full Ghroma Whiting :-l--T--l--T-l .9.. all shades of grey are in the center while the most vivid colors lie at the extreme rim.{- --r-HisTl t'nn'l I r | +- It i l- Lrgnrl --J sam€ i | I I r--l--l.'.I 'm .tillifi i + - '.'fl1"" ltheneutral(grey)lineinthemiddle. Thus.-L er'*l U DroP Black .l.-L .--I .' l--l--lT L--::!"'.-t .Theword"medigr' * in the names of pigments is used merely to distingrrc tr chart.-l...-+ + -J.l--T--i-ll.s6.'1'..J .

Anyone seriously interested in choosing and mixing tones can find many helpful suggestions in books. black.. props. are yellow at f.:er circle in Illus. for example. yellower. and to improve your taste.'ellow. you will get brown ! The Tone Solid. hues and chromas. but it will be worth every minute you spend on it. . Suppose the walls ofyour set are blue of "medium" value and at "high light" with only enough chroma to distinguish it from grey).' tone by how far it is from neutral grey. Tone. greyer. rull chroma. merge However. . you will be able to handle it much more easily and successfully if you understand . This is worth knowing when you mix paint-if you try to mix a dark vivid orange. It will not enable you to master tones overnight. red is most vivid at "high dark. Illus.:s are related-in fact. Give serious thought to each example. or give it a little more chroma. chroma and "light" in value.: full chroma. green. Merely coloring simple designs is good practice in handling a brush and learning how paint works on paper. 65 . When we reduce the chroma of red.:. especially if the lighting equipment of your stage is less than ideal. Chrorna. 85). the . sets which look harsh and crude under work lights suddenly become beautiful when the stage lights are turned on. and the various shades of grey. Although each one . Hun refers to distinctions like those between green.nd black.. such as --. like The whole stage is normally lit in the same tone by colored lights. you should not count on this. This mixes with every tone in the scenery.If you feel that the contrast is too great. and costumes. Even if you are blessed with a natural eye for color. However. blue-violet.uld be included. or even hundreds. Tones that are close together on either the color wheel or the value chart tend to harmonize. it turns pink. Do not put one aside until you have done your best to determine which elements are good. Chroma explains the difference between red and -restnut. 89." If we rry to make it paler. the browns and tans are rerely low chromas of hues between red-orange and '. experience is the best teacher. Every colored :one also has a value. If you prefer greater contrast. and red . Values are not restricted to greys.: iey to understanding tones. When you can visualize the roNe sorm BB and locate need.:lt and to use color schemes will depend largely ' .orv-green. as in most other fields. which is both less efficient and less effective. His procedure is explained in Illus. or INTENSITY' . A hue can reach full chroma only at one particular value. considered. Tone l{arrnonies and Contrasts. in Illus. . you will be able to think in terms of tones. normally only six hues ". We measure the cnnolrA. All '. 85 represents the various hues . you must color dozens. 85 through Illus. but these are rarely used on ::enefy. Learning to Use Tones. -. 87 shows the value at rvhich each hue can reach full chroma. f chroma. chroma. including orange.even values between white and black (Illus' 86). Without this. Day-glow colors would --: outside our circle. and how the color scheme could be bettered.-: (Illus. which are bad. Learning to think in terms of the tone solid may take work. BB)..'es represent full chroma.. However. you could reverse these procedures. Ordinarily. intermediate hues. red at f.-. Like magic. to enlarge your knowledge of color harmonies and contrasts. red at f -:-ioma. The brightest ordinary paints and -'.-orv familiar you are with the diagram and your . you could make the blue slightly lighter. The term roNE covers all colors and also . it becomes maroon.:-. The late Felix Mahony devised a method of gaining experience with a minimum of trouble. we may have grey. five levels of chroma are ---rugh. Thus. of designs before you become expert' but the result will be well worth the effort. crt Hue. and violet. it is enough to recognize -rto one another. any tone at the correct point in the solid. Thus. . :r. grey.-rortant because it controls the balance in the :: picture. If we darken red. Or you could make the cream a trifle darker. Actually. Most bananas. all tones can be arranged r ' three-dimensional diagram known as the roNn . and blue (Illus. and so on. Those fat apatt contrast with each other.be more accurate. This is the difference between white. bringing them nearer together on the color wheel and automatically increasing the over-all harmony. Use this exercise to increase your ability to think in tones. vALUES. Many people think of brown as a ):parate hue. For example. red at $ chroma. Your ability to mix :-. you must handle tones by intuition. This makes it comparatively easy to provide as much harmony or contrast as you it. blue-green. The trim is pale cream (orange tne orr Isr m Value. This diagram is .=:ds into those next to it. we :et chestnut. or greener.--.--:tV to apply it in Practice.

T I f 7l -l -: -. The charts in lllus. and no more than tvno hues reach full chroma at the same value. A tone can reach full chroma at only one value.T JtI I f TT I + -1 I I -{ lllus. This is hard to visualize cross-sections.l 1 -1 . Each chart makes because its shape is both unfamiliar and unsymmetrical.T I I -+ I .j rr-i r I I t-r r LI r-L Il- TI I l. 85 is a top view.rf i-t-f l- I TI' I iI fl a t. The charts in lllus. 87.I I I J I I l lllus.I rF LL I I I I i* T- { l- -l I I I l I I T . *: hi * -: Jt 56 ri llltr :n tn . No pigment or mixture of pigments will create a vivid dark yellow or a brilliant pale violet. jI I FJ -l rT rtT t-tt T r I T- f-lT -r -r -I T I I I -'1 -L I TTT-I Fr +[* T .tt * d T|l h two spokes.88 as a hollow cylinder with the charts arranged around the whiteblack axis like the spokes of a wheel. The shaded area in each of these charts represents the tones that can be obtained with two hues that lie on opposite sides of the color wheel. Try to visualize lllus. Mixing a pair of perfectly pure complementary colors would produce neutral grey. 88.1 I 'l I J |.-T I I -t -l -l TJ iI t.J rrjr |-lt-L I -f -1 i 1 I . 85 and 87 are actually different views of the samethree-dimensional diagram known as the tone solid. Tones outside the shaded areas do not exist. Such hues are said to be complementary. lllus. 87 are vertical Ef . THE TONE SOLID. VALUES AT FULL CHROMA.

Ghoose one as a base and paint the shaded area with this. in a third orange. Then try a series in which your base tone is combined with each of the seven values of one hue. Paint the unshaded area in one copy yellow. Trace one of these designs on tracing which are ugly. Decide which ones are good and bright blue? Add a fourth tone on the areas separated by the dotted lines. Examine your results. Start with only two tones. Try another series that contrasts the base tone with the four chromas DESIGN lN TONE. You must train yourself to think in terms of tone combinations.f. Lay your tracing on this and make a copy Dy re-tracing your design. in another yellow-orange. What effects does this have? Merely coloring designs will not teach you much. THE MAHONY SYSTEM FOR STUDYING paper. Place artist's carbon paper over cheap watercolor paper. but consider it in the result. Do not worry about realism in selecting tones. Learn the effect of each one and what changes would make it more harmonious or more striking. Work systematically. Prepare many such copies of the same design and paint each one with a different color scheme.f uNell lrr D|l ill|t lilal cft h6ig r'?t hft lllus. Do vivid tones go best in large areas or in small ones? ls it better to use bright red on the whole lion or restrict it to his claws and his tongue? Will your opinion be the same if the tone is of another hue when all four have the same value. ls a green tree on a blue background more attractive than a dark red tree on a yellow background? Will your answer be the same if the tree is pale pink? Try three tones on the areas outlined by the solid lines. and so on. 89.ii. 67 .

Illus. and the urns white. But think twice. Again. Sharp contrasts and vivid tones are often excellent in costumes. Nevertheless. Make the vines and flowers as dull as possible without letting them seem either dead or dusty. they are unified because they repeat the same shape. for example. If an inexperienced designer created the set in Illus. before you use them in scene designs. but rnany sets need more unity. By working with the Mahony System. you have an excellent chance of attaining sufficient skill to put you at the professional level. With the exception of some draped sets like Illus. Look for elements that can be harmonized. they are varied by widely different sizes and positions. and much more realistic. you can find out whether or not you have enough serious interest in color to achieve real success. the vines bright green. It can be harmonized by confining the hues within a narrow angle of the color circle and giving most of the tones only f chroma. 23. 2 (page 7). chromas. They are important. In Illus. introduce unity with shapes and masses as in Illus. If you discover that the exercises become more and more fascinating as you proceed. and the flowers scarlet. make it more pleasing. he would probably make the stones grey. few scenes suffer from a lack ofvariety. the mortar white. it will probably be wiser to consider some field of design where color is not a major factor. Bl). 68 . as or 30 designs in Unity and Variety art theory usually mention uxrrv and vARIEry as basic principles. the drapes are dark red. and you can color 20 less time than it would take you to paint a model. Too little variety makes a design dull. The mortar should be almost the same tone as the stone so that it is barely visible. although most of the elements in the set have this shape. On the other hand. The solution does not consist in finding some middle ground where unity and variety balance but in adding as much of both qualities as you can. 23 (page 23). 16 (page lB). 6 (page 10) shows a total range of values from the black of the window to the brilliance of the flames. If the values and hues must contrast. Books on and you need practical examples of how to combine unity and variety in the same design.Studying color by the Mahony System may seem like a slow process. When the nature of the scene requires sharp contrasts in line and shape. the yew trees dark green. or even three times. Another method of increasing unity is to paint one scene element with hues taken from another. whereas too little unity makes one BUSY or meaningless. if the work bores you. The result would seem painfully artificial. Although they sometimes conflict. This treatment would soften the whole effect. You will learn as much from each exercise you would from one model. but it is much quicker than trying to master tone design by painting models or sketches. many cases occur where you can increase one without decreasing the other. and values as far as possible (Illus. limit the range of hues. It would be much better to work green and red tones into the masonry and show part of the wall overgrown with moss.

When you select your paints. Mixing equal parts of chrome yellow medium and permanent red will make an orange that is just below "low light" in value. your model will create a false impression: Scene paints of these colors are so costly that few amateur groups would want to squander more than a pound or two of them for any one scene. Using a dirty brush will soon turn vour jars of paint to mud. If you need a brick red and do not have any. You can get almost the same tone at a fraction of the cost with Venetian red. Use white paper as a pallette. Acrylics are sold in tubes and must be diluted with water before you mix them. The tin pans made for baking muffi. it is easier and cheaper to mix bright red and brown than to go out and buy a tube ofdull red. Another important difference is that scene paint is much darker when wet than when dry. The following list may be helpful. Learn to think in terms of scene-painter's pigments. 85 and Illus.. However. 86 are the keys to mixing paint. if you mix equal parts of chrome yellow medium and permanent red. What do we do if we want our orange to be "light" in value? Using more chrome yellow medium 69 . reddish brown (Burnt umber) Bright red (Permanent red) Dull brick red (Venetian red) Deep biue (Ultramarine) Bright green (Chrome green medium) Black (Drop black) Mixing Paint The color wheel and value chart in Illus. if you become careless. If you use liberal amounts of emerald green and magenta when designing scenery for a school play. For example.ns are ideal as they provide from six to twelve compartments in which you can prepare as many different tones. Nevertheless. you will be able to predict the result of any mixture with surprising accuracy. White (Whiting) Buttercup yellow (Chrome yellow medium) Mustard yellow (French yellow ochre) Rich. any mixture of those pigments will lie somewhere along that line. but they are shinier and so seem brighter when wet. If you draw a straight line between two pigments on the color wheel. you will get orange at a little less than $ chroma. you can mix permanent red and burnt umber to paint a brick wall. That has the effect of making them look slightly greyer after they dry. Dip paint out of the jar with a clean brush and rvash the brush thoroughly before dipping it into another color. cost concerns the scene painter much more than it does the model-maker. The pigments in acrylics and show-card colors are not the same as those used for scene paints.. This does not work perfectly because no pigment is pure. you will spoil only the mixture and not the whole tube. You can draw similar lines on the value chart. dark. so must be mixed in pans. !-l ::i. Show-card colors come in jars. Acrylics and show-card colors do not change in this way. As your set may need ten or more pounds of paint. Also. requires so little paint that convenience is more important than cost. on the other hand. A model.e:. l--r. with a little practice.-:-i I. the difference is worth considering. 85 and Illus.LJ . 86. Models should be painted either with show-card or some brand of acrylic paints. when working with real scenery. try to match those shown on the color wheel as closely as you can. The instructions which follow refer to the scenecolors painter's pigments shown in Illus. lis i:r= t . You must still wash your brush each time you use a different color. Thus. PAINTING MODEL SCENERY E::L: 1'J. 7. Squeeze a little of each color on to the paper and transfer what you need to the mixing pan with a brush. Both types are opaque and will hide the brown surface of the carton board.eS a:i le :.

not true orange.. You can avoid this effect to some extent by a process known to scene painters as SeATTER. This works on the same principle as the colored illustrations in magazines. and each bottle must be washed carefully whenever you use it for a different tone. Hence. this does not work.r"::ese to appty spatter $ chroma circle just on the yellow side of true green. Atomizers made by Grumbacher are available at many att stores. For models." but the effect will be much more brilliant than if we mixed the pigments in a pail and simply brushed them on the set. most scenes range between neutral grey and $ chroma. you will need to buy a special pigment such as malachite grem. black should darken it. and white will not create an orange of maximum chroma at "light. start with the chrome green medium and add burnt umber a little at a time until you get a tone near the desired chroma." adding enough whiting to make it "light" will decrease the chroma to f.. There is no way to darken a tone without making it duller. you may be able to darken it still further by spattering it lightu with black. Black. 90). Now. The burnt umber will also lower the value of the chrome green medium. red would yield yellow-orange. on the other hand. playgoers view them from so far away that the individual spots of paint are invisible and blend into a uniform tone. Within this range. Olive green is a slightly yellow green at something less than I chroma. lit with colored lighr The color is produced by shining white lights frorc 70 . This is not recommended. red. That is a little on the blue side of true green. the only solution is orange and then lighten this with whiting. This will probably be too green. Golored Light A Most sets are. The chart shows that burnt umber has most of these qualities. spray paint from a FrxATrF AToMTZER instead of spattering it (Illus. but in some cases it may be your only resort. e0. and just above "medium" in value. need for olive green at "low dark" brings up another problem. If whiting raises a tone in value. Even that would be well below "light. when a tone is already as dark as you can get it by other means. let us suppose that you want to paint something a dark olive green with the pigments shown in Illus. The results are the same except that the dots are much smaller. you should never mix black with colored pigmenn. turns almost every mixture into a greyish mud." The answer is to mix yellow and red to get lower the chroma." The nearest pigment is chrome green medium.and less permanent. so give it a yellowish cast by adding a touch of yellow ochre. but we rarely have need for them. greyer and darker. A line between it and chrome green medium will cross the Therefore. Whiting decreases the chroma but has no effect on the hue. Although my productions have used over two hundred sets. If the orange is $ chroma at "low light. less than five of them called for special paint. Brightly colored sets take attention from the actors. or should be. The tones are applied in small dots. However. The result will have more life if you apply spatter coats of the raw pigments instead of mixing them first and then brushing them on. Unfortunately. our stock pigments will usually suffice. However. An atomizer sprays paint from a small bottle. Unfortunately. When you want a more vivid orange than you can get by spattering. We want to make it yellower. 85 and 86 (page 64). every additional pigment tends to lllus. The first step is to locate the desired tone on the charts. to buy a more brilliant orange pigment such as golden ochre or milori 2ellow medium. Hence. We need this at "dark. "lt :l. I have mentioned special pigments in order to cover the whole subject of color mixing. Each tone requires a separate bottle. AroMrzER.green. If you want a rich dark. Successive spatters of yellow. a trifle over I chroma.

You can make any correction by applying a light spatter coat of the proper tone. i-i. on the other hand. Each spatter coat covers only from one-third to one-halfofthe surface. and allow it to dry before judging the effect. the result will be hideous. This is brushed on like so much whitewash. Blues. the more apt unwelcome tricks. Yellow light makes red paint look somewhat orange. Fortunately. Base Coat. As all three coats are close to the tone of yellow ochre. Texture. and you can sometimes get unpleasant surprises. 11 (page l5). such results are only approximate.electric bulbs through screens known as cor. Both carton board and chipboard warp if painted rvith a brush. The second spatter coat might be yellow ochre given more chroma by adding chrome yellow medium. the term "medium" does not mean "halfway between light and dark" or "halfway between red and yellow. as far as possible. there is a theoretical difference between paint and light that no one seems to understand. with the special techniques used by scene painters. leave it open in front. the base coat might be burnt umber with enough whiting to make the mixture "high dark. or more green. have a curious tendency to bring out any red in a pigment. start with a base coat of yellow ochre slightly darkened and reddened with burnt umber. In this case. Correcting Coats. For example. If the three tones are fairly far apart. If you want a strong effect of texture. This is messy unless you have a IAINT HooD. This is partly due to the fact that the dyes used in these mediums are extremely impure. This will not only famiUarize you with the methods used on a fullscale set but will let you experiment with the actual tones that will be used when the real set is painted. As the combination of these two coats will be too dark and too low in chroma. it is to play In any event. so that the coat or coats below it can be seen between the dots of paint. The second spatter coat rarely creates exactly the desired result.47 (page 37) are painted like ordinary water-color or tempera pictures. If the set is still too dull. Apply the spatter coats with your atomizer. add more. A model with plain walls needs a base coat and two spatter coats. and value chart. but you can try them under different mediums. go over it with a bright yellow correcting coat. You can avoid this by first painting them on the back with plain water and then immediatel2 brushing your base coat on to the face. If the set looks dingy. Applying Paint Display models of the type in Illus. However. Keep this quite thin. and even dark browns may suddenly turn blood red. a working model should be colored. If you place your model flats in the hood before you spray them. It should look like the model stage in Illus. and minor defects in the scenery. Yellow ochre meets these specifications. To some extent. Experienceci painters rarely need more 7l . In most cases. The combination is much more alive than a flat coat would be. the result will appear smooth." The first spatter coat could be yellow ochre with enough green to counteract the red of the burnt umber.oR \rEDruMS. the effects of colored light can be learned only by experience. but if you merely put on a flat coat of yellow ochre. our second spatter coat should be chrome yellow medium and white. Pale pink lights and pinkish ambers behave about the way the color wheel would lead us to expect. When tones of the base coat and the two spatter coats are close together on the color wheel tive. These are really color filters which strain out all unwanted hues. Instead. Scene painting normally begins by covering the entire surface with a eesn coer. Hold various mediums in front of the lamp and observe what happens to the tones of your model. The idea is to cover the wall with three different tones which will blend at a distance to create the desired tone. you can make the set darker or lighter. However. and cover the top. You cannot light your models like real sets. and blue light gives it a violet cast. more yellow. Get any lamp with a shade that confines the light to one direction. You can make one from a large carton. Unfortunately. suppose you want a smooth yellow wall at $ chroma and "low light" in value. they also make scenery much more attrac- Spatter Coats. strippers. the wall will look almost smooth. In the same way. Our first spatter coat might be yellow ochre with a little whiting and a touch of chrome green medium. On the other hand. Place your model in a dark room and throw light on it from vour lamp." Ihink of it simply as the name that stage electricians use for their color filters. the wall will seem to have rrxtunn. the color wheel will help us to predict what effect a colored light will have on our paint. the hood will catch nearly all the stray paint. The stronger the color. this is not serious. It also camouflages hinges. Makeup often becomes garish under any blue light.

For a yellow set. The cut stencil is then tacked to a frame and held flat against the wall." Use the "dark" tone for the base coat and apply the others with a fine sponge. ft can also be used to soften the texture when the sponged surface seems too rough. In such cases. This is a simplified version of the pattern shown in lllus. u^ \ 6 q\Zp . The texture created by spattering with widely spaced tones is soft and indefinite./ n. down. It should normally be so thick at the top of the set that none of the earlier coats show through. However.. If you mix too many colors of paint in a pan.he tt Pr P'al chrf . get a cheap. you must use something finer. Theoretically. wring it nearly dry and roll it across your flats. This is quicker and goes on more evenly. STENCIL. Dip the rag in paint. In any case. lB should be painted in this way. the shadow should be either the base tone at "dark" or "low dark. For a convertible set.-.. sponge. This is similar to sponging. Different sponges create different textures. Even so. Sponging and scumbling techniques are eas\. However. such as gauze bandage. and one "high light. *' varnish brush. However. the shadow should begin to thin out almost immediately and should fade to nothing at 3. merely make smears on a model. squeeze it almost dry and pat the paint on the walls. Drag the very tips of the bristles over your flats in short. the result will be mudthis never happens with spatter coats. lllu CG gra and nea t. If the result is not completely satisfactory. The result is nc: ideal.Yi. Textures that imitate rough plaster can be created by spoNcrNc." one "light. The dragging procedures that make real scenery look like trowelled plaster. One should be "dark. Paint is then sprayed through it w:th an atomizer. If the set is painted for only one play. Pat your sponge or rag on a paper towel until it is nearly dry before applying it to the set. E0 (page 3g). acrylics are much better than show-card colors.-L/\I/Y'I. 91. Sponging. it can be corrected by going over the shadow with a thin spatter of whatever tone seems required. for your models. Dip the sponge in paint. Dip it in paint and rub it on a pape: towel until it is almost dry.. L\_7j I fA-CZ. When you paint over a show-card color.lUv. try using a pale tone for the base coat and sponging a darker one over it. overlapping sweeps.( %\\nVqtZN . with real sets. Shadow Coat. only the patting and rolling techniques work really well. all the shadow should fade out at the same level.'. I have not had much luck with them on models built to a scale less than l":l'. For very pale sets. This concentrates attention on the actors. Scumbling. If the final tone needs correction. The chapel in Illus. For this effect.ntJ 2t-rt'. Mix three tones of approximately the same hue. lt is cut from special stencil paper sold by art stores. Shadow is applied by spattering. This does not happen with acrylics if the first coat is thoroughly dry. bring the shadow down at the corners as I have done in my sketches. Special Techniques --t \tt 'ffixM {\ \zt ( . an equal mixture of burnt umber and ultramarine can be used to shadow almost any set.a )Pt \r I5J \tr lllus. Real scener\. there is no limit to the number you can use. you can use spatter.. is usually scumbled with burlap. Do this on the base coat.\ \ )." or a dark value of the tone on the opposite side of the color wheel. however. but it does suggest the technique that th: scene painter should use.. or rag. so that it blends imperceptively with the tone of the main set. It is done with a rag. Unfortunately. endless.t -{ \lnrtlnu }r. Then spatter over it unt:the "trowelling" barely shows. The possibilities are 72 with them. it may be wise to leave a little of the undercoats visible. It also disguises the fact that a l2'-high set is much taller than a real room. No set looks well unless it is heavily shadowed at the top. and you can have a lot of fun experimenting Most of these require working over a base coat with a brush..than one correcting coat. you may pick up some of the undercoat. this would mean either dark brown or dark violet at * or * chroma. Finally.

These should be slightly paler tha4 the rest of the wood. The audience should be aware that the pattern exists but should not pay show cracks. Rule in the mortar lines. Apply a flat base coat of the desired color.. Studv real stone. Use the varnish brush recommended for "trowelling. rvhich is the effect you want. G RAI NI NG. half your audience will not even rcalize that they are supposed to represent brick. paint the wall the color of your bricks (Illus. Rule a fine shadow line under and on one side of each brick. Dip your brush in paint. For a more elaborate pattern try covering your model with self-adhesive clastic sheets. 95). 93). You can also stencil a pattern on the model. -\pply a base coat. \Voodwork painted white must be grained in pale blue or violet. I used this for Illus. Wood grain is imitated with nearly dry. add two spatter coats. This kills the chalky look that flat white paint would create. and spray cn the paint. Spatter the whole lightly with shadow paint. They are painted on flat pieces of chipboard and shadowed to indicate thickness. varnish brush. The spray coat should be about as strong as the base coat that shows through it. However. Scenery intended to represent rough boards must vertical mortar lines that run the whole height of the wall. the secret lies in getting the mortar lines in the right places and avoiding the faults shown in Illus. Painting Brick. 37) are easy to handle. 92. but yours can train you for the day when you get a chance to paint a real set.Wallpaper. it makes the woodwork seem much more realistic. 50 (page 3B). one lighter than the base tone and one darker. Masonry takes more time to paint than a plain wall. Such tricks are apt to be unconvincing when the masonry is merely paint on canvas. a cheap t-inch. Apply a base coat the desired tone of the wood. Mixotwo graining tones. When you want to paint convincing stone or brick. For smooth brickwork.or brick-work of the type you want and follow the same pattern in your model. Masonry. when it is properly done. Woodworh. When rhe stencilling is complete. wipe it lllus. if you paint yellow brick walls with long. and some stone buildings are covered with a thin facing that exposes tall narrow stones at the corners (Illus. 92.r 73 -- . The crack itself should be dark brown. However. The door and frame shown are the type used for working models like lllus. some modern masonry has undue attention to it. lay the stencil in each place ir'here you want your pattern to appear. {il . Even so. No model can be that realistic. In fact. You will also need to paint a line on each side of it. 46 and 47 (pages 36. A :eal set built from this model would need a greatly simplified design applied with a stencil (Illus. and apply the grain with the tips of the bristles. Graining should normally be so faint that it is almost invisible from a few feet away. These will soften the design until it is barely visible. 50 (page 38). even spectators in the front row cannot tell the results from real masonry. Then grain the wood as shown in Illus. 93. Simple patterns with straight lines nd small spots like those in Illus. vertical joints. 9I)." Study the graining in real wood and try to reproduce the pattern.

STONEWORK 74 .93. ROUGH BRTCK lllus. mortar lines lllus. 95. 94.r I l I I bare canvas brick color mortar lines This line fails Paint each brick with two strokes. wrong correct Stone is too thin. shading Brick is the lllus. SMOOTH BRTCK All mortar lines must continue around corners.

. Thickness pieces are essential. Cover the whole area with acrylic paint of a neutral tone . 2 (page 7) cannot be painted convincingly. You may also want to paint in a few cracks. I made the mortar slightly darker and bluer than the bricks. The great secret of scene painting is to go ahead and do it. However. Foliage. 75 . Mix burnt umber with ultramarine and draw a shadow line below each stone and on one side. You will never paint anything if you are afraid to try. Either find artificial vines or omit them. Do not try to represent any particular type of tree. To correct this. 2 (page 7) use grey at "light" with a little blue added. 95. shadow each one' Finish with a light spray of shadow tone." and f chroma and green at "mediutrn" and f chroma. The result will look like the mottled coat in Illus. spray a thin coat of the shadow paint over the whole wall to create a rough texture.When you want rough brick. The results were far from masterpieces. Paint rough ovals by blending several shades of green in the same way you blended the stonework. Over and over again. You will be amazed to see how much the result resembles real stone. But if you do try. At one time or another. 27). 26 (page 25) is an example. Mix three batches of paint nearly the tone you want the stone to be. The shadow tone was grey-blue about one shade darker than the mortar. Make some darker than the blended areas and others lighter. and paint in the mortar lines with this.wet. How well it looks will depend on how you arrange the blended patches and the clusters of leaves within them. they will not look like real trees (Illus. This procedure works even with bricks that are supposed to be painted white. This requires a brush with its point cut off square. 25 through lllus. The best plan is to make them as unobtrusive as possible. Painting Stone. The remaining tip should be a trifle broader than half the scale height of a brick. I have painted a velvet drapery. Finally. 93-9b. but you can notch the back edges of your thickness pieces. but they satisfied my audience. artificial vines will be much fuller and will seem more real if you first paint vines on the set and then arrange artificial ones over those you have painted. and the result was completely satisfactory. Vines like those in IIIus. If your set is on a scale of l" :l'. (Opposite) lllus. we nail square strips at ihe corners and notch these at the mortal Iines. Draw the stones lightly with an indetibte pencil. These show methods of representing masonry with full-scale scenery. paint the whole rvall the tone of the mortar (Illus. Each leaf should be painted with one stroke of a blunt brush. and a pile of straw-with no previous experience whatever. I have needed to paint something I never tried before and for which I had no model. plain thickness pieces have siraight edges that do not resemble masonry. This will make them almost square. even when you are sure you will fail. Illus. For the walls in Illus. so that you can see your design even after you have applied several coats. I once painted a whole exterior set in that way. Have the leaves overhang the blended areas to give them rough outlines. a winter landscape. red at "low light. 94). Then paint individual leaves in batches. Add a little whiting and a touch of green to the light grey. This will later bleed through the paint. Paint these on the model in patches with a brush and blend them into one another while they are still. You cannot use strips with a model. the' tip of the brush should be $" across. However. No matter how well you paint foliage borders. Paint each brick separately with two strokes of your brush. you will be surprised at how often you succeed. After painting all the bricks.

: lllus. has been trying for months to have our beloved Queen Isabella fit out a fleet for him. 73 might .. is obviously a lobby or something of the sort. Modern authors rarely indulge in open exposition. but pocket. the spectators that they are in a railroad station.' f frave-es-tailishedhotel this a hotel *:igl. 13 (page 17) can tell at a glance that the scene is laid in the living room of a wealthy home.' In times past. That Genoese adventurer. Thus. He should do alt he can t. an audience seeing the 75 intern station. The sketch in Illus.nt a frosp-itaf. the spectators are pre_ with an unknown world. a nurse. A mail rack behind the desk would hetp ro i"ii. set in Illus. Here. Conveying information in this way is an importan. but it Ue t- C f r :: :i : 8..: :4 . 73 (page 54) is less informative. let alone enjoy. however. or an it could represent a hotel. The basic set in tllus. 96 shows how to make the plan in Illus.: . As the characters in the play are already familiar with the facts. He is in an exceilLnt position to give it. EXPOSTTTON : j :: When the curtain rises. For example. you should not depend on him. playwrights were often that obvious. A beli_ hop shows that the room is in a hotel. USTNG TOUCHES TO LOCATE A SGENE.: part of the designer's job.p"til patm. Christo_ pher Columbus. 73 represent a hotel lobby. this is the court of Spain in the year 1492. a hospital. but they need all the help they can get from the designer. Illus.ail*ayrtaiioi. or a station. left represent an elevator. and a redcap teils It Similarly. as a marblebv: (1) Sgdilt. Try to think of ways to make the same basic set let the audience know that it is a hospital. a lobby. 2 (page 7) represents a castle and Illus. (3) lniroaicing-signs thar point to spec-al rooms. These needed explanations sented are called ExposrrroN. the play. Although the costume designer can do part of your work for you.l-'toret.. (2) providing dado. the costume designer can help. "As you know.96. or a railwav in a white coat with a stethoscope in his will indicate a hospital. This last could appear in a hosnit_al but js unlikely in a . and they must be told many things before they can understand. they cannot mention them without sounding unnatural. (4) miking ttre-Jo"ors on stage y9-yld-be largely hidden Uy the alcove anJ woutA difficult to buitd. or a railway stition. lB (page 20) a Spanish mission" The set in Illus.pr"". because he can convey information both subtly and instantly. it would be absurd to start a play by having one character announce to another. Exposition presents difficult problems."i.

This is never true when an idea is repeated in different ways. The disarranged chairs can be seen more clearly in the floor plan (Illus. There is also a photograph of a woman. opening scene. "October has been a tough ronth. It is a Friday afternoon in mid-October. Study each one and try to make up your mind what the owners are like. Ask yourself every question you can about the place and the people. and it is hard to believe that he would rake two such remarks in the first minute or two after the curtain opens. confirming the fact that the firm is small and not prcsperous. No one but the playwright can tell the whole story. and forget it before it becomes important. -\mes is badly overworked. Scene designs.47 (page 37). Any item that might reasonably be Dresent in real life will be accepted by the audience. and he can refer to one whenever he feels the need. a much stronger impression is conveyed through several mediums than by words alone. Their positions are evidence of a recent meeting. presumably his wife. or he may ignore a point because he does not realize that it will be important later. Each Devices for conveying information are called roucuEs. but the set can often go much further. The stage I l l directions usually list the more important items. The furniture is shabby and old-fashioned. He may miss a line-especially in an Place. simple or pretentious? Although the sets in Illus. Basic Facts Place and time are the designer's chief responsibilities and also his greatest opportunities. gay or gl. Would you expect them to be sophisticated or stodgy. whether it is a town house.oints in his lines? Should the designer repeat the .i l tell the audience as much as possible. suppose you read a play and discover that the first scene is laid in the office of a man named Ames. Be as specific as possible. "Yes!" -\ spectator may want a fact before the lines can :rovide it. but the more the rest of us reinforce his words. the better the production will be. the better. 30 (page 27). and the more you can add. a farm. 97 proves that the design can convey all of it except the nature of the meeting. in plain sight. What if the playwright explains some of these :.ame information? The answer is a decided. A touch can re too obvious. 50 (page 3B). 76. what part of the country. 77 . Touches are inherently more subtle than spoken '". the touches of the :alendar and the chart convey both facts and do it :r a completely plausible way. a kitchen. This is a comparatively small firm. A full-scale set rvould reveal several points not mentioned in the caption. The problem is to find enough questions. It is not enough for a set to indicate a Iiving room. well kept or shabby? What kind of people own it? What sort are we likely to meet there? Are they rich or poor. they suit different types of plays and represent homes belonging to different types of people. Touches spectator can observe the various touches in any order he chooses. Ames' desk holds three telephones-an indication that he is busy. However. light. the more you will be able to make your own sets convey information about the play and the characters. page 56). When a playwright makes the same point twice. A designer's For example. that is. Is it new or old. touches enrich a play. or a hunting lodge. or an office-often you can tell the audience where it is: what country. costume designs. the answers are obvious. The only bit of exposition that the set does not handle is the fact rhat it was a sales meeting.'ords.." However. educated or ignorant.oomy. they would have been placed in neat rows. when it seems forced and unnatural." or. and 84 (page 63) all have the same floor plan. I always try to direct a play so that a totally deaf person could follow the action. and there has just been a meeting at which he has tried to get more action out of his sales force. Otherwise. an apartment. How much of this could you tell the audience with your set if there is no one on stage when the scene opens? Illus. In most cases. Generally speaking. The people present night have been directors of the company or department heads. "Friday has certainly been nv unlucky day. and sound should work towards the same end. Ames might say. Sales Manager for the Britt Manu- touch generally remains facturing Corporation. playgoers who caught it the first time are bored by the repetition. The more practice you have in interpreting the sets of other designers. stiff or friendly? Do the same thing with all the other sets in this book. Business has been poor. he is unlikely to make either :ratement. Also. I like my actors to use inflections that would reveal their moods to a foreigner who speaks no Bnglish.

Doors and other openings through which actors enter and exit. and ifyou can convey this information by your design. it may seem difficult to decide just how definite you should be. the season may be-or the time of month. When you need to be more specifi. Flowers can indicate the season (jonquils for spring. To be more precise would weaken the play. However. Costumes do more to specify a period than scenery does. Similar problems arise in modern plays. Stairs can raise the level of an opening. furniture may be moved downstage of a door that is not used while the furniture is in place. Illus. page 37). you should avoid any attempt to bring it to the attention ofyour audience. 78 and should. a Sunday paper. when a fact about the setting or the characters will not make the action clearer. However." Even if you could find a way to show that the scene is located at 3207 Hudson Street in New Haven. day of the week. On the other hand. 6 (pagel0). Lighting can show day or night. However. Alabama. If you need more than three doors.c. This will not do in the theatre.oor should lead to a specific place. The main set has only two doors. As the areas downstage of this door must be kept clear of furniture anyway. Finding room for one or two doors in a set is usually easy. for example. An audience should be able to identify the period as soon as the curtain rises. Even when the year is not important. and the action is not connected with any specific historical event. Thus. permitting you to put furniture in front of it (Illus. scattered about a living room tells the audience that the time is late Sunday morning. but a third door often causes difficulty. try to be as detailed and definite as you can. but that covers the whole period ftom 1275 to 1600. Its top could be lowered and chairs set around it in preparation for a meal. the answers you may find should sometimes be deliberately indefinite. it may be better to keep the date indefinite. The stairs serve the bedrooms: If the center doorway were a broad arch. wall space is at a premium. scenery for a play laid during Openings.s universal quality. are important sources of information. chrysanthemums for fall). the difficulty becomes serious. Washington's victory. On the other hand. You would even be wrong to indicate whether the scene is laid in Connecticut. but this does not relieve the scene designer of his responsibility for fixing the date when he can. A character coming along the hall from stage left arrives from outside. your audien ce may think it is typical of that section and does not represent Americaqs in general. Actually. This plan also shows a door in a jog-this occupies a minimum of the floor space that could be used for other purposes. and it is almost always a mistake to put any furniture downstage of a door in the back wall. The hutch table in Illus. The more general it seems. you should nlt use it. Furniture cannot be in front of a door. You need to suggest that the action might occur in anlt American home. use a clock. the one in the back wall leads to three different places. the American Revolution should fix the date as A playgoer familiar with the history of the war may be interested in whether the action begins in 1776 or in 1780. For instance. try to find a more subtle touch if you can. try to indicate a date in the 1930's. The costumes must contbrm to the same general period. it is easy-if a piece of information will help the spectators understand the play. If the plot deals with the Great Depression. such as Caesar's assassination or the American Civil War.When you ask yourself questions. Thus. Tirne. However. each d. Illus. The action indicates Renaissance Italy. Romeo and Juliet is a universal love story. This raises problems. you should certainly do so. The whole meaning of a scene may depend on whether a character comes from the library or the kitchen. fn most sets. Sometimes even a day or two may make a difference. The hall to stage right leads to the dining room and kitchen. the better. could be moved away from the wall. 7 (page 12) shows one solution. Writers of historical novels often fill several pages before telling their readers whether the action takes place in 1580 or 1850. 97 uses a calendar to indicate both the time of the month and the day of the week. you can locate a door beside it without complicating your . but the scene designer can. 79. which is fine if no one enters or exits through the Dutch door during the time that the table is in this position. or hour of the day. many plays deal with "an average American family. If a play is laid before 1900. cbmplete with colored comics. or Oregon. be less specific. you could introduce another entrance by putting a door in the backing and adding a second backing behind it. Characters in a Revolutionary play act in one way before the battle of Trenton and in an entirely different way after accurately as possible. At first. If you place the scene in a specific section of the country. Whenever possible.

he found himself more and more hemmed in by conventions and responsibilities.'. The calendar fixes the date as a Friday in October. ::i entrances Bl (page 58) shows no less than ! The whole design had to be '. The line on the chart shows that sales have slumped. it tells the audience . If his secretary has a rose in . a character decided to live a completely free life. 57. it gives a clue to the sort of : ::-ion she is. and that he is Sales Manager..-em.. he realized that he had almost no freedom at all. 6 (page10)..--.:lass on her desk. and the clock gives the hour as 4:05' This must be in afternoon because it is daylight outside' The company must be small and poor. This does much more than tell the audience that it represents an office. One by one these were shut. DESIGNING TO CONVEY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. However.'eral stickers on it. Note that this requires swinging the door onstage instead of offstage as shown in the plan (lllus. or Ames would not need to share his office with his secretary and a conference table. The door indicates that the rooh is occupied by a man named Ames. - a hotel bedroom can provide character . We can also add touches to convey . where no one would care to stay unless he .:ches. Illus. -'rged to make these seven openings possible' Characters. While a man may have . 76. 97 keeps a large : . : bottle that appears on a set leaves no doubt at all. In the end.. but everyone subconsciously felt that the leading character's freedom was being progressively cut off. The characters in a melodrama are often menaced by some unknown terror. If they believe that the menace is already inside the house.. every time she glances towards it she announces that she is thinking of her lover.. 2l (page 22) shows a room in a cheap Even iei. . The designer symbolized this by putting as many doors and windows in the set as he could..lre of his wife on his desk. For instance. it usually pays it would be hard for an actress to let the audience know that she is thinking about her sweetheart in the navy' But if the set contains a model of his ship. When you can s2mboli? an idea.:e hard up. A somewhat similar device can become a symbol for the set in Illus.-':s. Symbols can be effective even when they are extremely subtle.-:'mation about the people who inhabit a place. if the menace is expected to come from outside. It was not apparent from the beginning that the doors and windows were used as symbols. .'ould be in real life. Illus. The disarranged chairs announce that there has recently been a meeting of some sort. 79 . In one play. Touches in a play are more significant than they '. An almost ::rpty whisky bottle standing beside a water glass -r the table would add still more information. However. Symbols ro do so. as the action progressed. The last. page 56). and most prominent. the door should be left open just enough to fllus. the door in the back wall should be closed to shut the characters in with the terror. and the audience knows that --:e occupant has travelled a good deal. if the Sales Manager in Illus.'hisky in his hotel room without being a drunkard.::ething about him. The lettering on the window gives the name of the firm. Introduce a battered suitcase with . door was closed with a bang just after the climax of the play.

The set must always harmonize with the play. Dark and greyed tones do well for tragedy and serious drama. Again. or a jagged shape may indicate or pain. Although interest adds mass when we are dealing with balance. It would be almost impossible to play a tragedy on a brightly lit stage. where the fussiness of the vines is needed to keep the scene from being dominated by the strong sweeps of the harshness Modern artists often use abstract or distorted forms as symbols. Lines. Thev can be effectively . Thus. The adobe chapel in Illus. and creates a religious atmosphere for the play. 30 (page27). it is hard to introduce conficting diagonals unless you have room for 80 Most lines in a set are the outlines of real objects. 25 (page 24) may give some idea of the effect that verticals can produce. The design elements described in Chapter 5 act as subconscious symbols. Attempts to do this sort of thing in the theatre have usually failed. Amateur stages are rarely high enough to permit tall verticals. note how the winding stair in Illus. Bl (page 58) creates an effect ofheight. The directions of the lines are extremely important. however. they should be used for costumes and small props rather than for the r. Tones. The effect of greater mass can sometimes be achieved by using broader thickness pieces to suggest thicker walls. Those of the walls curve gently. they suggest violent disputes or even actual combats. fussy curves are usually undesirable unless they are so broken that the eye is not tempted to follow them. Small. irregular curves that just miss being straight suggest serenity. Hence.show the darkness outside. Steps and platforms also add weight. When horizontals dominate.. will then act as a two flights of stairs-one slanting to the right and one to the left. but most comedies can use all the light you can give them. lB. However. This is one reason why it often pays to rake a set. it symbolizes perfectly the sharp contrast between the physical hardships that the missionaries endure and the spiritual peace that they enjoy." The strength of the light has even more effect than the value of the paint.valls of a set. not heavier. 84 (page 63) replaces most of the straight lines with gentle curves. When used correctly. watchfulness. 47. while those of the pews are harsh and angular. Ilius. This is the case in Illus. Carelessly introducing the wrong symbols weakens the mood and may even destroy it. like those in Illus. Everyone feels that tragedies and melodramas are "heavy" and that farces are . especially those with handrails. the more massive it seems. bur Illus.light. Also. in Illus.. but occasions arise when they can be highly effective (Illus. Thus. Sets for comedies are normally painted in tones above "low light. Unfortunately. Shapes. the effect is calm and restrained. Smooth. Dominant verticals suggest aspiration and lofty ideals. Abstract Design Elernents. Keep your symbols realistic. page 37). When diagonals conflict strongly. 23 (page 23) imply richness and iuxury. Illus. such as doors and sofas. page 20). Introducing diagonals makes the set gayer and more dynamic (Illus. Although this is strictly realistic. hard lines emphasize the horizontal and create a static effect. Masses. Deep curves. a set for a tragedy should seem more massive than one for a farce. 50 (page 38) softens the lines by making the furniture blend with the walls. The simpler a set is. The designer can control these by choosing objects with the sort of outlines he needs. Usually. a painted eye may suggest walls.. Colors above "medium" in value and strong in chroma suggest gaiety and are therefore suitable to comedies. Illus. Adding pictures or small props will make it seem lighter. do not get the idea that you can make a talky play more interesting by placing the set at an angle. the straight. Stairs. Diagonals are dynamic. They imply action. Audiences tend to find abstract forms funny and joke about them. they strengthen the emotional impact of the play. you musr depend on the fact that darkness suggests mass. lB (page 20) shows two sets of contrasting lines. These have as much effect on the atmosphere of a play as they do on the balance of a stage picture. 25 would seem much lighter if the whole set were on the same level. also introduce diagonals and give actors more opportunities to move along diagonal lines. 25 form shapes like Gothic arches suggests that the forest is a natural cathedral. this is not true from the standpoint of symbolism. Comedy melodramas should be lit dimly because they are based on the contrast between the eerie atmosphere and the absurd situations. 2." Those for tragedies rarely rise above "high dark. Anyone who understands the symbol will appreciate it. However. This symbol of the menace itself. Abstract shapes rarely have much importance in scene design. Straight lines are direct and definite. the fact that the trees in lllus.

blood. Those on the right seem cool and also L:. Nevertheless. the '. The w . flowers. youth. page 64) . Although we had a free choice. upholstery. Red suggests fire. e-< :4: j : l l 8l . I have used red sets and yellow sets successfully but neither hue gave a warm effect. and danger. such as '. These facts are important. These can be added by props. When you want to :reate an atmosphere of warmth.t :fi -L :' :ed sets were either dramatic or theatical. you are not apt to go far wrong.. For several years. and cos:rmes. or books. Other plays would have permitted a wider range of choice. Nevertheless. and both were equally effective. and ghosts. all of us used dull blue-green except one girl-and she used blue-grey.d for walls and large pieces of furniture. Tones .pear to recede.. but the idea of warm . I have produced the same play once with a brown set and once with a blue set. If you do. I feel certain that scenery painted in warm or bright tones would have ruined that play. it!. Red and green together conjure up Christmas.-ases. friendly play should :e painted in warm colors.-d cool tones can be misleading. jealousy. the play had a strong and obvious mood. The result was usually a iingy brown. Hues symbolize different things rrhen used in different ways.'ellow ones seemed frivolous. we were told to sketch a set using only one hue and make it darker or lighter to bring out the details.. safety.-. Small. you should always ask yourself what tone or tones will best fit the scene for which your set is intended. some tones seem particularly suited to certain plays. or -. Conventional color symbols are not much use to scene designers.the left of the color wheel (Illus.r-arm tones in the draperies. Others are flatly inappropriate. candles. When I studied design. I believed that a set for a warm. bright patches of red.'ellow help.:rm warm. In this case. orange. Green stands for springtime. you will do better :o paint your walls soft greens or blues and then add . 85.

and horseshoe shapes. and As an arena has neither up. The total area must be at least 25' x30'. A number of groups own permanent arena theatres. many arena designers are content to place clumps of furniture in any convenient areas. Most of these have fixed banks of seats. but nothing is gained by straining the spectators' powers of imagination. Raising the seats provides excellent sightlines and makes it possible to include as many rows as the size of the auditorium will permit. These difficulties can be overcome by building portable platforms on which the seats are arranged in tiers. ARENA DESIGN Any large. when a permanent auditorium has a gridiron. Wall Lines. A few are large enough to hold seven or eight As arena stages have no walls. Although audiences have demonstrated an incredible capacity to overlook completely unrealistic conventions in . oval 87 to view the action in such an arrangement as something that might take place in real life. However. They then expect the audience ltl Thus. or even a tennis court. flat area. we must use a different scheme for providing directions. hundred spectators. With makeshift seating. the clock system shown in Illus.nor down-stage and no right or left. actors find it easy to learn because the clock principle is used by aviators-and war films have made it familiar to everyone. There is even less excuse for asking an audience to mentally reconstruct the set and visualize an impossible furniture plan as one that might exist in an actual room. Set Design I tl some have elaborate gridirons and lighting equipment. 102). Also. the corner aisles in Illus. 101 show possible plans when the playing space is rectangular. Also. Each of these is desirable for some scenes and a nuisance for others. The arena designer must make furniture and other props serve all the functions that the proscenium designer provides with scenery. no normal room has doors in the corners (Illus. Permanent arenas have been built in round. the designer can place the aisles to suit his sets. such as a gymnasium. they are made more difficult. Advocates of arena staging claim that the impact of a production is increased by the fact that playgoers are forced to exercise their imaginations. but there is no other essential requirement. This may be true. l0l work well for exteriors and for most plays by Shakespeare. The seats may be merely chairs placed on the level of the stage. 101 is convenient and accurate.9. they are normally restricted to low platforms. a ballroom. The only limitation is that he cannot move the aisles when he designs two or more sets for the same play. Although there is no universal agreement on the best method. 98 through lllus. If these are fixed. the designer is severely hampered. Entrances and exits must be made by the aisles. Illus. Actually. Seating Plans Although a permanent seating arrangement has important advantages. This permits only two rows and limits the audience to about a hundred people. Nevertheless. However. it also has one serious drawback. they make realistic interiors impossible. can be turned into a stage for arena production by arranging one or two rows of seats around a playing space. plays can often be produced without any scenery. The number of aisles varies from three to six. The fact that scenery is unnecessary rrray seem to eliminate the designer's problems or at least simplify them. symbolic forms can be hung from it. Arena Geography the view from the second row is far from ideal. When scene units are used.

they also control the design of the set.. Lt[j' D@ @ 98 o-@ #ffi c W @E W ffim ffiffi aisle 6mffi WW aisle lllus.. lllus.@tffi t-'r ffiffi €ffiil ffiffi 6ffi offi ffiffij#ffi @@@@B'@ a' 83 . As the locations of the aisles control 0.. 99 fl l. ffiffi ffit ffit ffiffi ffiffi EH HI ffiffi ffiffi aisle ffiffi ffit ftffi ffiffi ffiffi ffiffi ffiffi aisle 100 ffi H Fl [-----{ Hffi @e.n sPace I @ aisle affi I tlffi Hffi L----.. SEATING PLANS. il ffi i lllus.""{q@twmw|FurEqtry @a@ HH aisle HRryryuffi HH i 'ffi I i the positions of the entrances.ffi i i $:::'16 HHl @..

r i I . ARENA G EOG RAPHY. col lllus.. o.r% isi llr (pa I llr.*] a-./. She then moves 5 o'clock and turns 2 o'clock to face the man at 4 o'clock.( --4 --. ! tj lr r >t... 101 .rtl t.l-r: o'crockl | i 1 "tt* I t' ( r/i \ E Y . I J i J >f . She will move 1 o'clock to a position that is 6 o'clock from the table.-i . --rJ o'clock t 1 I | i \'. the diagrarn shows a girl at 7 o'clock. a . \ ." +: a F-. L-.[.')'-^'-.' v----t i ...rr2orr I I ''1t.:'. nll* \I 112 .'. t) . Directions are designated like the hours on a clock. Let one end of the stage arbitrarily represent 12 o'clock and number the other directions and areas accordingly.l | -[. \\ ./ -^. '. \ o'clock \ i 1 'r'.9. 6 .o I \ .."1o"r /i I t / \...' t o'.w. 01 T l'. Thus. Each performer and each large prop has a separate clock.|rn\..\""'{.-'..\j*\.' 6 o'clock I I --L-----I-. center.-.i --\!7.-.crock t. : -t-rrni.'i | \ -_'(il'_. w .lo* T fu t-l /:.1 t/ i o.1 i --i .':.

I'\ . Unless this is done. That makes it difficult for the director to plan his movemen\and groupings.. the effect is unrealistic. G ttl nranterv I . 30 (page 271 made to fit the seating plan in lllus. wood basket t-c\J nCDfAAl-o TTY firescreena. actors will have no excuse to approach the empty wall or corner. 107 do this. Even a3' 6" bar is undesirable eyes are about { + I I I D scrap basketfi L-J uesr. no bulky prop can safely be higher than 3' 6". Even if this does not relieve the audience from the need to perform mental gym:astics. 101. such as candles or pens in a desk set. We can even build a summerhouse by making a lattice of thin strips. and such items as screens and chiffoniers are out of the question. ENTRANCES AT CORN ERS. Try to locate at least one important piece of rurniture against each wall and one in or near each corner. For this reason. give no trouble. her 3' 9" above the floor. v\ | n L__l a-TV bench "l ilrl f'l tl I I I I [-l +ll D lllus. As that places the doors in the corners. When a short lvoman is seated. 102 through Illus. thin props. Tall. 1 02. it is certainly the designer's i:rty to restrict these to an absolute minimum. I advocate starting a design by drawing imaginary wall lines and then arranging -urniture to match. it lets the director and actors think in terms ef plausible actions in a believable room.:rena productions. A set becomes easier to visualize when the wall 'nes are stressed by placing furniture along them. \/ v s k 85 . \ Sightlines. -\11the sets in Illus. chairs with high backs are useless. However.. If the first row of seats is on the stage level. This I I I is an arena version of the set in lllus.

The actor will be able :: _ (t symbolize how his character feels at each moment ': When the seats are arranged in tiers. 98 controlled this version of the set in lllus. lB (page 20) is a prop r:-_ . Compare this with the situation on a proscenium stage where stairs are highly desirable. This permii. Axis of Movernent. 72 (page 54). props 4' 6" may be used. h bookcase I I I I I . seating plan table t4 __ will rl-__l have _J the I because some spectators action over it. In many of them. The altar in Illus. the height of 86 moving towards one door or the other. These may be used as part of the set when the action demands them. Romeo and the first row can be added to 3' 6". and the resul: fixes the sightlines. desk a7) tc\J | I V. Nevertheless. Many plays revolve aroun* two opposing forces that can be symbolized 'r doors or props.I I I I [. abor. I I c s U Juliet is unthinkable without a balcony. Arsenic and Old Lace needs a long stairway. -_l E. and chairs with hisibacks. pianos are required by the action.'' I I il-l U_J I I credenza f tl tl tr tl o I L-]J . to watch Unfortunately. The in lllus. ^-. -i-l-l | {u T--l I--/ I A'r'. a play may deal with son-r=one who must decide between facing danger _: hardship for some important cause or retiring : comfortable obscurity. Thus. lt is weak because the four doors left little scope tor a more satisfactorr arrangement. One door can lead to acr-_: and the other to safety. if the first row is l. they introduce a completely unrealistic convention which should be avoided if possible.t the stage floor.'lI | . some plays cannot be staged without one or two high props or scene units. ENTRANCES GENTERED. the use of bars. In cases of this sort. sideboards. 103. T {).r\r'i-ri L__\ t\\ dropleal lllus. Thus. the only solution is to place such awkward features in one or two aisles.

Many directors like to establish an axis of movement whenever the play permits.h Ld i\e- lr io magazine tablel ln LO )\- 1t 87 . andirons J-l w'll l_l trs lllus. In such cases. If a character is torn between a desire to serve God and a longing for rvorldly pleasures. 102 through Illus. l) I I Llt )r F in lllus. The parallel set shown is an arena version of the club room in lllus. on the other hand. 104) or at opposite ends (Illus. the symbols must not be close together. I04 all fall short here. For most plays. this could be symbolized by the actor's movements between the altar and the door. the designer should place the key doors or props at opposite corners (Illus. 30. The plan . Such symbols establish an AxIs oF MovEMENr. In Illus. In a proscenium set. Variety. 103) of the set. Illus. Illus. An actor moving from one door to the other would have to follow an irregular curve. Arena designs are a different matter. I02 and Illus. They then plan the whole action around this. He should also try to provide a clear path for the axis of movement. 78 (page 57). lts chief fault is that it does not permit raked sets. However. 105.could also be used in this way. symmetrical curve. 99 makes design fairly easy. the wall treatments are so different that a group could use two of these l I rnr*rprprr rack J a\ VI T m tc\l I I le is is I }! t *ood hasket le It. DOORS NEAR ENDS. ln. 104. this is better than a straight axis as it leads to more graceful movements. but their exact locations are rarely crucial. the axis of movement is a smooth. 47.50 and 84 all have the same floor plan. Proscenium designers have no difficulty providing variety. This would obscure the axis to a point where it would make little or no impression on the audience.

I lt I b sewing I asket v \ d d tl n c I 1 I W 88 . weights.Arena living rooms. lt tends to create interesting furniture arrangements.fi I ltvl --- I v_v | I o ffi s_7i \ \ \ \ table coflee table 1 *ll| LJ tr[_]tr'. 102 through Illus. Also. Try to choose furniture of different styles. \ I I I L I tt ! . sets season. but I suspect that few playgoers would be in the same season without having the duplica. The unsymmetrical seating plan in lllus. 100 has definite advantages.aware of the differences between them. 78 and 84 would be obviously different even if they were used lllus. 13 (page 17).but I have added twodoorsto create an axis of movement. The set shown here was based on that in lllus. 105. If you design three or more living-room sets for the same tion noticed by the audience. DOORS OFF CENTER. W ffi r o' t lh. all have a strong family resemblance. 105 as much as possible. the sofas in Illus. on the other hand. 50. I have tried to vary the plans in Illus. and colors. Thus. it offers chances to provide a strong diagonal axis of movement and hence has somewhat the effect of a raked set. variety becomes a major consideration.

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lltus. 106. RAKED SET. This is another version of the ctub room set in I llus. 78 (page 57) and 1 04. Note that changing the angle of the set involved a drastic rearrangement of the furniture. A raked set takes up more than its parallel counterpart even though the actual playing space is

cramped. With a large auditorium, however, the seating plan for a raked set provides more chairs in each row. Not€ that the arena for a raked set must be more nearly square than those in lllus.98 through lllus. 105.

smaller. This creates problems when the auditorium is

in arena sets with the same floor plan. Slipcovers are valuable here. Use plain material for one set, small patterns for the next, and bold prints for the third. Nevertheless, you cannot afford to sacrifice appropriateness for variety. If you need dark, plain upholstery in your first set and your second must represent a club room like that in Illus. 78, you cannot introduce gay, pink and yellow slipcovers merely to be different. Raked Sets. Designers who arrange furniture in random groups have no use for raked sets. However,

anyone who has learned the value of axes will find that raking an arena set has important advantages when the nature of the play permits. Illus. 106 shou.s a raked version of the set in Illus. 104. We cannor say that it is better without knowing the pla,v for which it was designed. However, it is certainly more

interesting and dynamic. It would also provide the director with a wider variety of expressive movements and groupings. Furthermore, a raked set permits the use of jogs and alcoves (Illus. l0). This helps the designer to
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lllus. 107. ALCOVE SET. An arrangement like this creates an interestingftoor plan and also makes a set seem less formal. This one is an arena version of the set in lltus. 5 (page 9) and lllus. 6 (page 10). lt could also be worked with the seating ptan in lllus.98, but not with those in lllus. 99 or 101.

90

achieve both variety and interest. Theoretically, jogs and alcoves can be used when the set is placed parallel, but this seldom works well in practice. As Illus. 106 and Illus. 107 show, a raked set calls

for an arena that is more nearly square than

one

where the set is placed parallel. Also, either the set must be smaller or the arena must be larger. When these conditions are undesirable or impossible, we can get a raked effect by placing the entrances (and the aisles) offcenter (Illus. 105). However, this works

room sets gives me more trouble than anything else in arena design. Chairs, sofas, and tables are apt to look misplaced unless they are arranged in groups. The list of items that can be introduced or left out at will is extremely small. In fact, I havdused up my entire list on the sets in Tllus. 102 throush Illus. 107.
Modified Arenas

only when the furniture is arranged to permit an axis of movement that follows either a straight line or a smooth curve. Moving the end doors off center in lllus. i03 would not help because the axis is blocked by the furniture in the middle. Adapting Proscenium Plans. The plans in printed plays show proscenium sets. Adapting these to a convertible proscenium set may present
problems, but major alterations are rarely necessary. Even when they are, we can usually follow the printed design to some extent. Printed plans are much less helpful to the arena
designer. Drastic changes are almost always required. Indeed, if the captions of Illus. 102 through Illus. 106 did not identify the originals from which they were

Doors do wonders to make entrances and exits dramatic. Playwrights know this and often write scenes that depend on it. Stairs are also of great value in arranging interesting and significant
movements and groupings. Arena sets have no doors.

When stairs are available, they are in the aisles. This reduces them to a clumsy convention which may occasionally be required but which has no dramatic value. These considerations have led many groups to adopt modified arenas, such as those in Illus. 108 through Illus. 110. If we deepen the apron of a proscenium stage, it becomes a FoRESTAGn. A plan of this type is well suited to the production of classic plays such as those of Shakespeare and the Greek playwrights.
When the main stage is shallower and the forestage

taken, you might not be able to tell which is which. One reason for making changes is the fact that, even with makeshift seating, the designer cannot

is narrower, the result is called a THRUST srAGE (Illus. t0B). It leaves room for doors and may
permit stairs when the main stage is deep enough. Unfortunately, it raises serious directorial problemsespecially when the forestage is deep and narrow. Thus, if character at B is afraid of one standing at A, the one at B would have to approach his enemy in order to exit. This is unnatural at best and can create an unwanted laugh if B tries to make it plausibte by moving sidewise around A. Illus. 109 places the audience on two sides and devotes the other two to scenery. Architects who like to appear advanced sometimes prefer this plan. As I have never worked on such a stage, I am not really qualified to comment. Nevertheless, it appears to combine the disadvantages of proscenium and arena stages without the virtues of either one. A corner stage might be set up in a gymnasium or armory and would serve well for a dramatic pageant. But I cannot see that a permanenL theatre of this type has any merit.

control the exact length of his walls. Thus, in Illus. 103, I would have preferred to put the end table beside the sofa at I o'clock instead of beside the chair at 2 o'clock, but the wall space did not
permit this. The set in Illus. 106 is an even clearer example. This is a raked version of lllus. 104, but the arrangement had to be entirely different because the walls are shorter. Also, I lacked room for a sofa at 5 o'clock and was forced to substitute a love seat. Designs for proscenium interiors are usually controlled by the fact that wall space is limited. It must be used efficiently if each door and piece of furniture is to be worked in without interfering with sightlines. The arena designer faces the opposite condition. After he has located all the furniture in the printed plan, he usually discovers that one long wall is left bare. Finding appropriate props to fill gaps in living-

9l

Such a plan can ilso cause endless trouble for directors and actors.@' I lllus.I I I I A I I Gnf I I I I . THRUST STAGE. Thus. 92 . tf the stage is a mere shelf like this one. 108. and the forestage is deep and narrow there is no room for furniture. the movement shown would probably seem awkwaid unless the actor at A moves stage right. tn many situations. it would be hard to find an excuse for such an action.

such actions are technically bad. 109. It seats fewer people than either a pure arena stage or a thrust stage. Note also that the convertible platforms in lllus. In most cases. This plan almost forces actors to turn their backs to the audience when they either exit or mount the platforms.The double-ended arrangement in Illus. 68 (page 50) do not work wetl on a corner stage. theatre built on this plan. but I have found it highly satisfactory in a makeshift auditorium. it permits the use of a little scenery and lets the designer use doors and stairs. I know of no permanent I i\ it I Y \r \/ lllus. 93 . 110 is much more practical. CORNER STAGE. On the other hand.

110. 94 . Although this plan seriously limits the size of the audience. SCENERY AT ENDS.t \ t \ \ \ t t ) \ \ I \ \ I I I I A door is under this platform. Compare it with the arena version of the same set in lllus. 103. $l lllus. directors and actors will find it highly practical.

44 modelling clay. 33 jiggers.). 43 model bench. set fot. 41 emphasis and subordination. l7 (def. model. 15 (del. in sets. 88 masonry. I I (def.). 6l (def. T6 (def.86.44 model properties.9l (def. 12 hinges. lB nosing.91 double-ended stage. 4l hidden balanee.26' 30' 40 ground rows. 18 lines. 41 full-scale convertible set. 54 axis of rnooement. l7 (def.) drops. set for. S0 (def. 13. 37 melodrama. 7 maslcing. model.) makeshift set. 48 corner joints. 17 (def.). 17. ll (def. hidden. Felix.32 (def. model. 64.27 r 29 6l 61 (def. 63.7. 12. 28.30 (def. 33 doors. 22 gromd rous. 3l joining model books.). 44 model chair. 39 hinging plans. 4l model model model model model model model cycloramas. principles of.). 44 model wings. 11 expositinn. 23. netted. fown scenery. 35. 29. 70 color mediums.) architect's scale rule. 55 comer stage. 43 17 ground rows. 54 basic tools.) drapery sets. 23 Tl (def.27 bracing. 50 :ttouts.29 (def.).13.).24. I l. temporary. painting. 32 door panels. 13 (def. 4l model sky cyclorama. 4l box sets.28. 7l color wheel.) balconies base coat. 85. 59 (def.48 joints.) axes.) 13-15 (def.25. 6. 50 overlaps in flats. 60. 70 Iighting effects. corner. 90 jogs.go. 56 3l paint. 94 dounstage.48 border for amateurs. 35. display models.diron. 31 lashing. 46. 64.. 20 lined cycloramas. 22. 32. 59. 40 netted borders. 40. 15 night scene. 17 (def.60 (def.24. 51.75 footlights. 59 furniture arranging. 25. 36. 28. 78 cutting board.) chroma chart.) hingedjoints. 32.22.64.29 (defi). 58. 13. masking. 61-63.clorama. 84 atomizetr T0 alcoae sets. 41 desk set.). applying. 54 lashedjoints. model.) onstage. 4l impressionistic sets.65 (def. 50 maski. ll (def. 29 (def. 26. 93.9 moulding. 40.37. balance. 61 originating designs. 17 mantelpieces. 38 lamp. 20 (def. 9 convertible models. 35. set for. 44-45 desigru. l1 (def. 44 model candle. 38 joints.) chair pattern. 9 model bed. B0 acrylic paints. 24. 50 balance.) ceilings. 30. 4l c:. 48 lash lines. 49.). 47 4l furniture.). 24.r.) on axis.). 32 cutouts. 29. 9 irregular set. in (def.27 interior set. 24. 37 chroma. BB backings. 64 furniture. 29 hue. settings for.r-glorv colors. 33 conecting coats. 79 chicken wire. 90 apron. 60 designs. 91.23 nailing. l6 arena design. 39 hinges. 4l floor plans. 7 18 :eien joining books.).). 33 corner irons. 28. 4445 entrances in arenas. 67 (def . 48. 53 overlap. originating.) of axis. 59 equipment. 25 border. 37 door frames. 15 (def.. 35 . 57.24.35 dressing a srt. 31 jiggers. 12 lash hooks.40 hinging a jigger.lS (def. 28. 47 corner brace. 65 &r' scene. 25 borders. 20 :-. 1 1 (def.4T (def. oecult. 6l enlarging and reducing. 33 chipboard. 30.25 intefiors.40 fies.65 (def. 93 cornices.). model.35. II (def. 12 forestage. 35.65 Mahon2 sjtstem. 40 bricks. 52 irregular-shaped scenery. 6 model scenery.33.73. T3 (def. designing with a model.) fixatif atomizer. model. 74 buildingueu. balance. 5l convertible sets.23.43 ceiling units.32. 35. 6l (def. ll (def. 50 marionettes. 43 model bust. 39 lash cleats. 29. 13 (def. 12. functions ol elements. 42. l8 canvasr 32 carton board. 43 models. 36 light. ll (def.). 33 occult balance. l9 (def.28.26 drops. 69 adapting proscenium plans.). 35 miniature theatre. 23. la (def. 47 design. model.43 model potted paIm.). 22 intensit1t. 29. 28.35 drawing board.) direct axis. 22 (def.) of stage. 17. 3l layout. 29 center line. 41 model sofa.43 model stagehouse.22. 36. 28.42. windows for.35 musical. 14 (def.) grid. 42 character touches. permanent. 53 deaices. 86 (def.). 26 borders. 26. 41 jiggers. scene. 17.82. 54. 15 2 graining. 26 fireplaces. 43 model cutouts. 17 .) foliage.13. 14 (def.) fullruss. 7l :occr fats.24 (def. 39.) openings.56. 22. 4l modified arenas. B0 Mahony.) on stage. 7 .). :a. model. 3L. 44 model typewriter. B. enlarging and reducing.) bushes. 48.) jog sets.trama. 82 arena geography. 50 n. 37 (def. 27 books. 66 classical plays.) model steps and platforms. ll (def.) basic shapes. temporary.) gri. 32 (def. 26. 23 metal straightedge. 36.54 (def. 35 model set pieces.26 fipper. 38 jogs. 4l model telephone. 9l mood.) ballet.) theatres. colored light.) ofstage. 32.24.87. 13.).ng pieces. 39 comers. windows for. 22.:!. 80 blind areas. 39 constfuction. 9 exteriors. 14 (def. 9l 54 (def. B model actors.INDEX abstract design elements. 13. 44 drops and borders. 7l 95 .). 78. 66 hung scenery. 32. 46. 61 chicken wire frame. 70 flats. 4I hinging. furniture.22 (def.). 73.74 mass. colored. 38. Sl.).65 (def. 15.

I I (def.).ef. 23 paint hood. 82.!cs:13. 38 painting model scenery.).97. 50 platflorms. model. 29. i2 sightlines. 69 stonework. 35 stage geogruphlt. 4l sets. 14 (def. 34. 6l set a.13. I (def. 64 vertical sightlines for exieriors.29. 33. ll. 33 sponging. lS. B shadow coat. 54 thrust stage. model.) rocks. 49 show-card colors. -oaei. 32. showing. 29 temporarlt books.) platforn safs. wall lines in arenas. 32 tahed sets.) treads. 4g triangle.20 (def. 4l wire framework. 73 walls. 82 wall panels.) tent set.42 perspective. 19 (def.).62.13. vertical. 28. 7l special effects. 12.29 (def. 19 (def. 30.93. model. 54.). 72 platforms. 25.).60. 75 visual weight. 53 portal sets.). 27 sill irorc.). 72.an of.). small model. 43 props. +t small model props. ll tows.). Iong.) tone contrasts. 4l place. 44 proscenh. 17 walls.).h1kesg9a1g1 plays. 4l stffining.) woodwork. lI (def. 55 torncntors. 40.. 3l stippers. 15 stage left. 33 pinking shears. 19 returns.) oalue. 47 weight-bearing units.76.70 (def.). 6l sightlines.ef. 46.). pl.) properties. 71 painting a set. types of. 24 ll rippings.23.49 painting foliage. 60 two-dimensional scene units. 30 walls.\ stiles. 44 spatter. 44-45 (def.34. 26 vertical sightlines for interiors.) stability of ses. 56 set desrgn tbr arenas. model. 48. 13 (def.) spatter coats.' 14. 41. 13 (def. 16 scale tnodcl.). 14 (def.) properties. 14 (def. 59. 30.painted perspective. 63 (def. 30. 13.22 (def. 26 llugs. 74. settings for. B0 solid. 48.77 (d.).89 realistic sets. 14 (def. 26. 79 scenery. 34 window backings. 27. 14 walls. 65 tone harmonies. 28. g5 sightlines. reducing designs. drapery. model. L3. 82 papier michC.).46. 19 (def. 40. ll.74r75 paint. artificial.72 shapes. 46. 33 wallpaper. 63 4 railings.gr (cutouts).).65 (def. painted. 51.). model.\ trees.) sk2 Eclorama.77 (def. 29_33 unit sets. 16 (def. 37 (def.). 28 stencils. 14 (def.) value and chroma chart. 53 uings. 26 zo?. 14 stagehouse. 54 wall units.35 T square. 43 parallel placement. 43 3l 6l subordination and emphasis. 59 painting brick. I (def. 26.). 54. 33 (def.) gl wallboard. 2l lractical uni*. 39 (def. g3 principle. 54.4l (def. 19 (def. paper. model. imitation. 73 lieus. 36. lB texture. 37. 68 stagehouse. 6l teasers. T2 (def.94. 32. 7. I4 (def. 97. 27 vines. B0 short uall.24. 3b seesaw thickness. 33 paper pattems.). slmbolic sets.35 (def. lg (def. Styrofoam. 60. model. mixing. 33 (def . 66 tormentor liru.) I I upstage.65 (d.) symmetrical sets. 65 shadow box. 42 set pieces.4l (d.) ll.ef. 16 (def. l4 (def.) sightlines in arenas. stage right. 92 set pieces. lB. 29 (def. 29 seumbling.65 (def. 14 (def.) plaster.) plain sek.) ' sky backing. 33 wood wings. short.6 (def.6 (d.).).) scene construction. 75 stop blocls. 40 stifming battens.61 scale. 7 s three-drmensional units. 20 (def. 17. 73 painting flats. 78 toggle bars. 69 painting stone.20 (def. 20 patterns. 30 wings.).nn.).). 32.) props. T2 (def. 73 X-acto knives. 34 scene painter's pigments.) symbols.47 (def. 92 time.) training model.5a (def. lB sky bordus. 23 picture frames. 39 risers. 50 windows. 75 seating plans in arenas. 49 windows. 7 scene shifting. 40 steps. 20 sky cyclorama. 52 tone transt)erse axis. 24. 62.47. 38-39 (def.46. 56 S. 73 steps.21 unity and variety.9l (def.32 volume and mass. 69 panels. 69 (def. 54 partial sets. 35 96 . 40 touclus. 33 t(ickws1. 28. 41 pinking wheel. painting models. 59 plugs.2I.ef.7L (def. 22 scene units.

and similar material. cyclorama.SCENE DESIGN AGUIDE TOTHE STAGE WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY HENNING NELMS Anyone working on scene design for the first time will find this book indispensable-amateur and semi-professional groups. choosing among different kinds of sets. reverse viervs. Paperbound. constructing a convertible set.A. models. even puppeteers who will find the advice on model building invaluable for their own sets. flats. SBN. high school students and their teachers. Unabridged republication of the original (1970) edition. Index.15 USA PRINTED IN THE U. set axes. masking pieces. llililillllllilL|llruilil fl tltfi ilfi t . It contains an excellent discussion of scenery. making a truly realistic model. the author gives many tips that will save you much wasted materials and hours of work: working out sightlines before you design the set.doverpublications. the principles of design. designing the set will be no problem when you have this book to guide you. spatter painting. ll0 illustrations.com . constructing flats.1 3: 978-0-486 -231 53-2 ISBN-1 O:0-486-231 53-4 I +14. 7 a See every Dover book in print at www. 96pp. When technical terms are used. sets. audience views. working with a color chart and tone solid.d. Throughout this discussion. The author's I10 drawings and diagrams are especially helpful floor plans of sets. flippers. all are defined with extreme clarity: raked set. Therre is also a complete index. whatever play you are putting on. adding touches. etc. 816 x 11. painting scenery.S. different scene designs on the same basic set. and much more. and arena design.

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