Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Group Notes

These are group notes from our talks about the production. We have done mind maps so it can give us more ideas and we have all had different ideas that we have written. The reason we did this is so we could look back on it if we get stuck and if we need any more ideas.

20th Century

These are mordern day images of staging today. You can see the huge difference between now and the 16th century, as we have grown by using many different things. Very famous artists like Pablo Picasso and David Hockney has changed threatre design and has made it a lot better. The big budget plays are all located at the West end now.

Early 20th Century

This is pictures of the early 20th century slowly coming up to the mordern days. In the 1920s Bertolt Brecht was a german
theatre director who believed in a very bare
stage so that the ‘truth’ of the acting was
clear and not cluttered by elaborate scenery.
This was a really big push for show as it is making it more and more mordern.

19th Century

The scenery still looked very architectural and realistic in the 19th century times. The three major scenic trends during the 19th century, especially in Europe, were:A revolt against the two dimensional world of painted canvas
   Historically accurate scenery
   The development of the realistic box set and

Early Stage Sets Of The 16th And 17th Century

Here are images of some royal families that they performed for.

The early first formal stage perfomances in the europe area were perfomed for the Kings, Queens and courtiers in the royal courts and palaces as it used to entertain them.
The best people that could set up the shows was called it as it was a great honour performing infront of the royal family. The shows were built in the palaces grounds so the royal family did not have to move to go anywhere it was all in there own house.

A Brief History Of Theatre Design

Elizabethan Theatre

This is a shakespearain theatre which was made in 1599, when first made it was a typical public theatre space of the 15th and 16th century timeline. When there was plays the audience had to stand up and watch the show.


Images Of Different Performances

This is the image of all the different type of performances I researched on, I put it all together into a moodboard so it would be easier for me to look back at it.

Performance Type

Performance is an act of staging or presenting a play or concert or any other event.


Street performance/mime
Bands/Rock/rap/pop concert
Musical theatre
Fashion show
Puppet show
TV show/quizz/chat show
Reality TV
Orchestra/classic music

Health And Safety In The Theatre

Risk/ Location:                                                    Solution:
Pre Production                                                       Pre Production

-Use of power tools                                               Wear safety clothes/goggles
-Cutting equipments                                              Use cutting Matt's and don't wave it about
-Use of paint or glue gun                                       Clean up spills
-Using the right materials                                     Making sure nothing hurts the actors
-Heavy lifting                                                         Work in groups to help
-Ensure props are safe for actors                      Check the plant see if its safe with the arms

Production                                                               Production

- Stage blackout, tripping or falling                       Make sure use torches in the dark
-Height hazards/ falling of stage                           Make it clear to the cast where to walk
-Props getting lost                                                  Make sure they are all placed in one place
-Moving scenery                                                      Everyone has there own job to do
-Crowd control                                                       Control the tickets and seats
- Fire                                                                        Tell the audience the fire exits

There are many things you need to consider when your holding a event. You need to ensure that you have all the legislation for the audience and your crew. website tells you the health and safety risk and how to solve them. 
This is a example from the website about crowd risk:
RMC's study indentified those physical features of a venue that may lead to overcrowding and possible injury. These include:
  • steep slopes
  • dead ends, locked gates
  • convergence of several routes into one
  • uneven or slippery flooring or steps
The potential for injury increases in some situations. Potential hazards requiring identification and management control include:
  • reverse or cross flows in a dense crowd
  • flows which are obstructed by queues, or gathering crowds
  • large pedestrian flows mixing with animals or traffic
  • moving attractions within a crowd
This shows the problems that may happen so you can always watch out for. Before I started the production I checked this website which told me the problems that may happen so I could aviod them in my production.

Poster Analysis

The tile is in big bold letters, but the reason for the word horror to be bigger than the rest is because we wanted to catch the audience’s eye. The writing is written in red to create a horror death theme as red goes with horror and death.

We have chosen to only have one main image. Many other posters have two or more images but we wanted the audience to focus on this main image as this is the main story of the show. The dark colour of the plant goes with the dark background and red title.

The reason why I and my group chose the colour black for the background is because it the colour black relates to death which makes it scary and it also combines with the title which is red. The reason why wanted to make the poster scary is because we wanted to promote the scary side of the play.


We have written all the information in the same colour as the title so it will also stand out. The reason for this is because this is important information for our audience as they would need to know where the event is and the timings.

Legal Requirements
This is the legal side as we had to put this up so we don’t get into any legal trouble with copy right. We didn’t want it to be big so we put it smaller in the bottom. We did it in white so it stood out as it is written really small.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Final Evaluation

Building the set of Little Shop Of Horrors has been a enjoyable experience for me as I got to get involved in everything to do with the production, from the graphics side to making the plant and to helping out on the actual show day. I have learnt that it is little room for error when your work is being showed to a live audience as you need to ensure that everything is safe and everything is flowing perfectly on time. A live performance puts a lot of pressure on you but as you overcome everything and make sure everything is fine so then it can be a really enjoyable time. The timescales and deadlines were very important for the production as we needed the set up as soon as possible so the actors could start rehearsing. The main big plant had to be controlled by someone so we had to make sure that was ready on time for them to try out before the live show. The deadlines are important as you will have a certain day before the live show and people have paid for their tickets so you would have to make sure everything is ready for the show. I have understood a lot about the theatre industry that I didn’t know before as I thought it would be much easier setting up a production but I never realised the deadlines and pressure you are under to meet them. When your work is shown to a live audience it is amazing feeling to see that people like your work and u realise all of the hard work paid off. My main role was the graphics side making sure the posters was ready and the leaflets and also helping building the plant, I think I was really good at meeting my deadlines and with my graphics skills I helped bring a good graphics side to the set. My strengths was my designing of the plant and my poster making as I have used photo shop a lot so I was really good at making the posters fast and at a good quality. Working behind the set on the live performance opens your eyes and makes you realise the hard work that goes into making the show possible. My weakness was probably that I could have put more ideas into the plant and the set as I didn’t give many ideas I just helped to build it at that time.  Overall designing a set is amazing to do and a lot of fun it’s better to be open give all the ideas you got in your head because when you look at the production at the end it looks amazing, if I ever get a chance to help design a set i would definitely get involved and help share my ideas.       

Other Musicals

Miss Saigon Musical

                                                                     Cats Musical

                                                                    Chicago Musical

                                                     Little Shop Of Horrors Musical

I checked out other musicals so I could get information on how you would set up a musical and how they would place everything on the stage and where the actors would stage. Its great help to check on other musicals as a guide line as you know you would have to be as good as them.

Stage Directions & Terminology

Stage Blocking:
Stage blocking is a term which means movement and positioning of the actors on the stage. They would be using this term during dance practices telling the dances or actors where they should stand so they don’t go off stage or hit into each other. Assistant director or stage director will have to take notes of the movement as they would be in charged. It is important that the actors know these terms as they will be having blocking rehearsal.

A sightline is a line of sight between people watching the show and the stage or the place the stage area is. This will allow people to see the whole venue of the area as the eye height must be not be lower than 800 mm above the stage.

Stage directions:Stage directions is when the stage director will give the actors directions to take up, this helps the actors performs and helps the audience to see the whole play without missing anything which is a key part you don’t want them to miss anything.

Upstage:Upstage is when it is the furthest away from the stage so it’s back to front, which means the actors would know whether to be back at the stage or front as the actor terms are different to the normal day terms.

Downstage is when the actors need to be at the front of the stage closet to the audience they can, as from the audience it’s the other away round. The actors need to know this so they wouldn’t get confused on the stage but the stage director will help them understand.  

Stage Right & Stage Left:
From the actors point of view right is right and left is left but from the audience put of view it would be the opposite so the actor would have to be able to make sure there right is there left and there left is there right so everything is in reversed so the audience could understand it.

Peter Wexler

My professional set designer that I have done my research is Peter Wexler, who was born in 31 October, 1936 in New York. He studied painting, photography and design at the University Of Michigan’s school of Architecture and design.  Peter is married to Emmy who is an award winning costume designer. Peter Wexler works is very well known, his work has appeared in many magazines like, Opera News, Saturday Review, Theatre Crafts and Theatre Design.

Images of Peter Wexler work
Many of his models and drawings been exhibited in a one-man show at the Wright-Hepburn-Webster Gallery, New York City, in 1969. He has been involved in many productions like Cleopatra Shakespeare festival. He has been around all around the world and done productions in different countries and a lot of his productions are very big. He has done a lot of outdoor production festivals, musical ones and a lot of his been work is being held in exhibitions in New York.  Peter has received many awards over his time for best design in Los Angeles best designer play.


The Show

These are images from the night of the show, as you can see the detail in the back was really good and the plant stood out. The main set has some of the same things that I had on my model set like the box and the bin. The detail on the plant really stands out and I think the actors did a great job to make the whole play, the plant dark green colours goes well with the dark theme of the play. The plant moves about which shows it worked well and the mouth was the right measurement for it to open. The great thing is that everything is placed out nicely and is not all bunched into the corner; also the actors had enough room to move about on the set. The backgrounds bricks that we made really old fitted in perfectly with the whole theme and I think we achieved our target and created a perfect New York 1950s back streets.

More Research

I went to research on how I would make the plant, the small hand one to start with and the big human one for the end of the show, as there are different stages of the plant. I also went to see other posters that were made for other professional show for Little Shop Of Horrors, as it was a good guide line for me as I could see what the main things I should add. The hand plant is made out of a sponge as he has drawn the outline on the sponge and then cut it out so I could paint it. I have kept the tools in the picture so you could see how we made it; we had to make sure that it could fit into some ones hand so they can move it. The normal small plant one was easy to make as I put it into a pot and added the sponge one in. We painted it green and a bit of red on it for the blood, the big one was hard to make as it had to be human size. After we got the measurements it wasn’t too hard to make as we just needed to get rubber pipes and stick them together for the big mouth, after that we had to paint it the right colours for the production and then add the leafs on it. The research helped us to build the plants as no one was sure where to start and what materials we should use to create it. Also watching the actual show production it helped us understand what we should put into the plant as we understood the whole story and what happened which helped us paint and create the whole set and plant.    

Model Set

 The images I used to create the model set, I had to cut out templates.

These are model sets me and my partner made for the production design. The reason why I have created this is so I could see what the set would look like on the main stage and where I can place objects on the stage. I created it 3D so I could see where the room is on the stage. I used the backgrounds of these images to create the set, I used brick walls and the checker to create an old stage feel as it goes in with the 1950s New York style. I stuck the images on cardboard paper and some images I had to be a bit of painting and create a bin and a box. If you see the production you can see the images from my model set on the actual school play set. The little model set really helped me picture the set so I knew what would go where and I knew what objects I had to create.   

Helping Out At The Production

Monday 8t March 2010:

On the first night of the production I went to help set up the production and help backstage. I had to make sure that everything was set up the stage was all ready all the objects on the stage was placed where they are supposed to be. I had to help set up the chairs for the audience members and make sure every seat had a booklet that we made for them to read during the play. When the audience members started to come in I went behind stage to make sure that actors are all ready and helped them put on their clothes, and make sure that the person who was going to be in the plant was all ready. When the show started I helped to clear the stage when the lights went down and I helped doing the curtains. Working backstage I really didn’t get to see much of the play but I had a big role of helping everyone to make sure the play was running smoothly. The actors looked perfect how they was dressed and really matched the theme of the production. After the play was over I heard loud clapping from the audience members which showed they enjoyed it, after the audience members where all gone I helped clear up and make sure everything would be set for tomorrows show. I think the first night was really good as I could see the audience enjoyed it I just wanted to see how the next night will be now.  

Tuesday 9th March 2010:

Tuesday was the last night of the show and all the tickets were sold out, I wanted to work at the front door so I could take the tickets in so when everyone is inside I could come and watch the show. I had to make sure that everyone that came in had a ticket and I had to ensure no one from different schools tried to come in. there was a lot of people coming to watch the show so I was excited myself to finally see the production that we made. After everyone was in I sat at the back to watch the production, I really thought we did a good job with the back ground set as it had really good detail. The actors was amazing and the play went along smoothly, when I was watching the show I could tell the audience really enjoyed the show and I asked a few people what did they think about the background set they go it was amazing as you got the perfect backstreets for old school New York for the play. I was really happy people enjoyed my work and it feels good that you helped made that production with the excellent detail. The biggest hit was the plant and how it moved the audience really loved it and the detail that was put in. Overall I think both nights was a big hit and I would definitely get involved in another production and help out.

Designing The Plant

We had to place someone on the table to check the size of the plant so we could fit someone into the plant to control it, so Khurum offered for us to draw around him. We had to take measurements and draw around him, to make sure there was enough room and it was going to be safe in the plant. We had to draw around Khurum in positions, like sitting up and laying down to make sure that our measurements were right when we were building the plant. We had to make sure that Khurum was stayed as still as he could when we was taking the measurements. After taking the measurements we started to draw the bases of the plant, so we had to draw the leafs and the whole plant face so it could fit around the measurements. It was important to make sure that every measurement was right as someone would be in the plant controlling it so we had to give them enough room to move about but still make it look real. After sorting out the measurements it was started to get easier as we had a bases and we knew what we had to work around and how much space we had.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Designing The Set

Here are images of me and my class mates working on the set of little shop of horrors, we worked as a team and made sure everything was perfect. This helped our graphics skills but as I am really good as graphics and I am taking it as A level, so I helped out people who was not to good at it. As we had the measurements for the plant now we could get started on painting the leafs and getting the back of the stage all drawn and painted. We had to mix up different shades of green for the leafs as we wanted a darkish old green which gives it the old look which we was going for, as we done our research to help us. We used bendy wiring to make the leaf shapes then we put paper mache on it to make it hard so we had to let them dry before we started painting them. We painted a lot of leafs but we had to place the leafs on the plant in a good way so it wouldn’t look like a mess. When we was doing the bricks for the back ground we had we make sure we didn’t leave massive gaps in between so we had to measure the space we left, also we had to mix a lot of colours of brown to get the right old type brown which will go well in backstreets of New York. We done a lot of research on the set of other productions for Little Shop Of Horrors so we knew what kind of style we had to do and how other productions painted the plant we wanted to get it right so it would look real.

The Layout Of The Stage

This is the layout of the stage that I have drawn, the reason why I have drew this is so I knew where to places everything on the stage. It’s like a guide line for me when I was building everything. When designing a set you must know how much room you have on the stage and you have to have the right measurements, which the layout I have drawn it helps me to see where I have more room. When making a little model of the production I can use this layout to see whether the audience can see all of the set because I what the audience to get the whole feel of the set. We need to also make sure that there is room left to the actors to move about on, so when places my set on the stage I need to make sure that it is not all tight in one corner and with this layout it can help me sort all my problems out.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Different Jobs In The Theatre

Theatre Director
A theatre director is a practitioner in the theatre field that oversees and orchestrates the mounting of a theatre production. They make sure everything is running fine they would have to make sure the budget is looked after as they would have big responsibilities. The director’s function is to ensure the quality and completeness of theatre production and to lead the members of the creative team into realizing their artistic vision of it.
A producer is someone that is responsible for overseeing and virtually mounting a production together. They would have been the person who found the script and got the whole ball rolling for the play, as the producer would be the person who finds the director. For example a theatrical producer would be responsible for mounting a theatre production together.


A designer is a person that designs things. A designer could be someone that creates things such as games, graphics, buildings, objects, laws etc. they would control the set and make a verision that the director and producer wanted, they would make sure everything is perfect as the often would have a MFA degrees in theatre arts.
Lighting Designer
The role of a lighting designer or known as a LD is to work with the director, set designer and costume designer to create an overall lighting set for the appropriate scenes and text in the show. They would have to make sure that the lighting goes with the play they would also have to see where the actors are standing and put light on them so the audience can see them, as lighting is a big part of the theatre.

Musical Director

A music director is someone who directs the music. This means that they could be the leader of a orchestra or even deciding what music will go into a film or a show. They would make sure the music goes with the theme at the time and make sure everyone is working together on the music side.
Stage Manager
A stage manager is someone that organizes and coordinates a theatre production as there are overall reasonability is to make sure everything on the stage is running smoothly. This means that before a show they make sure that the sets are all full prepared and all props are ready to be taken onto stage without them no one on the stage will know what is going on.

Stage Crew
The stage crew is a group people that help the stage manager with his work with preparing the stage with him and taking his orders that he tells them to do.
The choreographer is the person who would sort out and come up with a dance and would tell the actors where to dance as at some places the audience may not be able to see the dancers so they would have to make sure people can see them on the stage.

Prop Master

The prop master is the person in charge of the prop and he would make sure what props to buy for the set and he would be looking after the cost of the items.
Construction Manager
The construction management is the person who designs the whole construction like if they would have to build things for the set like a stairs they would design it and would have to make sure they meet deadlines and they are ready.
Dresser/Wardrobe Assistant
The role of a dresser is to make sure that the actors have clothes to wear which will fit the theme of the play like if it was a old play they would have to get them older clothes and also they would make sure they have makeup and hair all done.
The job of a publicist is to advertise the production make sure people come to the play, sort out how much they would be selling tickets for and they would design leaflets and posters so people would know about the play.

Mood Board Evaluation

The reason why I created a mood board for my 1950s New York and scary plant images because it helps me with my visual images so I could use images from the mood board for my final idea, it’s like a little brain storm of images. It also helps me with design inspiration so I would have good ideas for other work. When I was searching for my theme scary plants and building images I used Google images and I went on advance options and made sure I got a certain size image and made sure they was clear so I wouldn’t waste time on images I don’t need so its straight to the point. When I was searching for my images I made sure I was clear with want I wanted. My mood board really helped me with my design of the set as I kept looking back at my mood board for ideas so it really helped me I also used images from my mood board for my other work like the posters. I didn’t get random images and placed them down on the paper I got certain colours like for the plant mood board I got a lot of green images and placed them next to each other as it goes in with the plant mood. With the New York mood board I used dull black and white colours as it creates the old street mood and over lapped some of the images as the main big ones stand out. I had to make sure I got the right images for my mood board and I to edit them so they stuck down on my page. I think mood board is the best thing to do before you start a project like this because it really does help you open your eyes as you may forget some really good ideas but looking back on the mood board it would make u remember.