The definitive guide to designing for theatre – by an award-winning designer with over 160 productions to his name. With a Foreword by Alison Chitty.
A theatre designer needs to be able to draw on a wide spectrum of skills, work collaboratively with all the different members of the production team, and deliver designs that work in the testing conditions of performance.
This book guides you through everything you need in order to become – and ultimately to succeed as – a theatre designer, including:
- The various aspects of design – set and props, costume, masks, make-up
- The applications of design – opera, dance, site-specific, lighting, video and more
- The skills you require, and the training available
- The journey of a design from page to stage, from your first reading of the script, through research, first sketches, storyboards, technical and costume drawings, and on to the model
- The people you will collaborate with – directors, producers, actors, writers and more – and how to work effectively with each of them
Finally, there are sections on landing your first production and furthering your career. Also included is a production timeline to guide you through the mechanics of contracts, copyright, costings, and what you need to have ready at each stage of the process. It is illustrated throughout with designs, by the author and other leading designers.
Written by an experienced practitioner and teacher, this book will be an essential guide for any aspiring or emerging theatre designer, as well as anyone seeking a greater understanding of how designers work.
'A comprehensive introduction and guide to the world of the professional theatre designer, a key book for anyone contemplating entering the profession' Alison Chitty, from her Foreword
Michael Pavelka shares his tips on becoming a theatre designer - read his article in The Guardian here >>
'a thorough overview of the theatre designer's role within the mechanics of production balanced with a real-world view of what the job actually entails... invaluable for an emerging designer... Pavelka makes excellent use of images and diagrams throughout the book... one of the most accurate and clearest step by step guides to the industry I have encountered... an exciting contribution to the field'
'Masterful… crammed full of practical advice and tips… [this] book has excited me all over again about the act of putting a play together'
'a very thorough guide... This book offers practical advice for today'
'a welcome addition to the bookshelves... I really like the practical information about what has to be ready at each stage of the theatre creation process and the illustrations that include Pavelka's own and other people's designs. There's plenty here, both for someone who's just starting to think about design as a career and to help people already on the ladder to further their careers'
'comprehensive… a detailed and well-written book that fully explores the profession'
Michael Pavelka has created designs for productions at the National Theatre, RSC, Old Vic, Barbican, in the West End and abroad. He is a founder member of Propeller Theatre, and Course Director of the MA in Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Arts.