Monday, June 27, 2011


It's been a while, but here's a new excerpt from my theater set design book Alice Through the Proscenium, from the "Design Elements" chapter: 

Line – A strong horizon line, maybe, or the stripes of columns or floor.  Lines are straight or curved, vertical, horizontal, or diagonal.  Every edge of the set creates a line you need to understand.  Composition.  One thing to beware is a diagonal across the stage which pulls the audience’s eyes back to… what?  A nasty sucking void?  Or the family refrigerator-shrine?
Pattern – That black and white checkered floor, that plaid sofa.  Control it.  Strong pattern distracts.  Or becomes a joke as in The Invisible Circus, where the performer wore a tapestry coat and blended with the tapestry wall… until he moved.  Play games with pattern: establish a black and white grid like a checkered marble floor, then turn a few squares into puzzle pieces or ducks.

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