Project:  Set Design

  1. For this project, the student must design 7 “locations” (sets or set pieces) for The Secret Garden. For his/her presentation, the student will share colored drawings of the designed set for each scene, and a to-scale model of one of the scenes, and how each fit the purposes and staging/design needs of the show.  Students are encouraged to show inspirational photos, or any other process-related elements that assisted them in their design.



In order to design a set, you must:

1.) first read (and listen to) your  entire chosen musical

2.)  Complete a scene-by-scene analysis for the set needs of the show.  (Scene-by-scene analysis handout available HERE. Print as many as needed.) 

3.)  come up with a concept for design of each scene’s set (using your “Director’s Concept”).

4.)  Sketch out each (can be rough sketches), and then draw a color rendering of the various sets you’ve designed (7 color renderings required).

5.)  If desired, create a to-scale-model of ONE of your designs.  (If designing for a proscenium stage, assume a 50’ proscenium arch.)

For your presentation to the class, be sure to have the following:

1.)  Your 7 color designs well displayed

2.)  Your director’s concept and how it influenced your design

3.)  Your designer’s notebook, your scene-by-scene analysis, and any inspirational images or pieces that directed you in your design

You can use powerpoint, videos, or any other creative ways you choose to present your designs, but whatever you do, be sure to prepare an actual PRESENTATION of your work.  (Don’t “wing” it.)


For a description of set designing click: HERE

Click here for: Responsibilities of a set designer in PRE-PRODUCTION, REHEARSAL, and POST-PRODUCTION. 

Using a Scale Ruler

For general “inspiration”, check out sample stage designs below:

Stage Designs of Richard Finkelstein

Set Designs of Ruth Neeman

Set Designs of Kim A. Tolman

You can also go to my website ( to check out my various shows and how they were designed. (Click on “Director”, then click on each individual thumbnail at the bottom of the screen to see pictures of shows I’ve directed and/or designed.)


Description/Explanation of Director’s (or Designer’s) Concept (and examples)

Developing the Concept for The Lion King (video)

Scenic Design explanation & visuals for The Lion King (video)

Developing the Concept for Beauty & the Beast  (video)

Scenic Design explanation & lighting for Beauty & the Beast (video)