1st Edition

An Introduction to Theatre Design

ISBN 9780415547536
Published February 1, 2012 by Routledge
232 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This introduction to theatre design explains the theories, strategies, and tools of practical design work for the undergraduate student. Through its numerous illustrated case studies and analysis of key terms, students will build an understanding of the design process and be able to:

  • identify the fundamentals of theatre design and scenography
  • recognize the role of individual design areas such as scenery, costume, lighting and sound
  • develop both conceptual and analytical thinking
  • Communicate their own understanding of complex design work
  • trace the traditions of stage design, from Sebastiano Serlio to Julie Taymor.

Demonstrating the dynamics of good design through the work of influential designers, Stephen Di Benedetto also looks in depth at script analysis, stylistic considerations and the importance of collaboration to the designer’s craft.

This is an essential guide for students and teachers of theatre design. Readers will form not only a strong ability to explain and understand the process of design, but also the basic skills required to conceive and realise designs of their own.

Table of Contents

1. The Theatre Designer’s Job  2. Traditions of Stage Design  3. The Vocabulary of Visual Thinking  4. The Artistry of the Set  5. The Artistry of the Costume  6. The Artistry of Light  7. The Artistry of Sound  8. The Collaborative Process.  Glossary.  Bibliography.  Index

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Stephen Di Benedetto is an Associate Professor of Theatre History and Theory at the University of Miami, specialising in scenographic design and the senses in performance. He is author of The Provocation of the Senses in Contemporary Theatre (Routledge, 2010).


‘… this book allows an undergraduate student a clear sense of the multifaceted nature of design. It is a handbook of the basics, allowing students to see the development of design in different productions, with judicious use of photographs and some technical drawings…Through case studies, students can study images and technical drawings that bring out the importance of design as problem-solving - which seems to me to be a better way of introducing a student to understanding the design process.’ – Kathryn Leader, Australasian Drama Studies