Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Some playwrights make it hard to design much of a set.

Either they set their story in yet another default living room - which can be designed well, of course it can - but seriously?  How many good, different, nuanced present-day living rooms does any designer have in them?

Or the playwright picks somewhere so impossibly big, grandiose, or detailed that few performance spaces or budgets can handle it well.  Or too many scene changes ditto.

Or they pick somewhere... visually boring.  Recently it was a soccer field.  Flat.  Green.  Grass.  (Grass if the budget allows anyway.)

Reason for this mini-rant?  A reviewer objected to my giant leaves/clouds as too fanciful for a soccer field.  Because there are (and this is very true) no trees on soccer fields.  Of course the playwright actually describes a soccer field with autumn leaves...


Playwrights.  Please consider setting your stories in locations with both some fresh visual potential and some possibility of a reasonable budget.  Personally, I think these might be interesting settings and some have been used a few times:

A garage, either residential or a repair shop; a retail store (that doesn't need too much stock displayed); a basement rec. room, possibly taken over by the computer game obsessed teen; a tool shed and garden; a fishing cabin; inside a camper; a circus tent or sideshow; inside a warehouse, the kind with tall racks and rolling ladders and dollies; inside a huge storm drain, a la Ninja Turtles' hideout; a computer room with banks of CPUs and lift-up floor and ceiling panels; a steam room; a ship's engine room; a teachers' lounge; a Las Vegas bar; the crawl space under an old house and the kitchen above; maybe an attic room and on top of the roof outside the window; an artist's studio; a space ship; a dorm room; a nursing home bed-sitting room; the bottom of a tenement light-well and/or its communal laundry room...

Public domain image of computer room from

Don't one or two of these locations just cry out for a story to go with them?

Earlier posts on the slandered leaves HERE.

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