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Theatre Design & ProductionCollege-Conservatory of MusicTheatre Design & ProductionUniversity of Cincinnati

Theatre Design & Production
Ariodante (2005); Direction: Sandra Bernhard; Set Design: Paul Shortt

Ariodante (2005); Direction: Sandra Bernhard; Set Design: Paul Shortt

Stage Design, Props and Scenic Art

Stage or set design is the art, craft and practice of designing and implementing theatrical 3-D environments for drama, opera, musical theatre, dance performance, live concert events, film, video and television productions and themed events and environments. Though similar in some ways to interior or architectural design, stage design goes beyond decoration to visually and environmentally support and thematically expand a script, screenplay or scenario by facilitating human interaction and/or choreography within the context of a theatrical event.

The student of stage design should work to develop his or her artistic talent in the visual and decorative arts; exercise the imagination to create dramatic space, imagery and effects; acquire a broad-based knowledge of theatre arts and technical production; become very observant; practice drawing, painting, rendering, model-making, drafting and research; and develop a strong interest in the spoken or lyric theatre.

The study of mankind and his surroundings - past, present and future - is of ongoing importance for a familiarity of periods and styles and for a strong sense of history. The focus of theatre throughout history is the human condition, and the stage designer creates the visual 'world' - realistic, suggestive or abstract - in which to dramatize this, whether a serious play, an entertaining musical or a dramatic opera. Professional stage designers have various training backgrounds but essentially share all these characteristics.

CCM is well-prepared to train the student set designer in these requirements. Post graduation career opportunities include stage design for plays, musicals, opera, dance, video and film, exhibitions and displays, themed attractions, environments and special events.

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