National Shakespeare Youth Festival Guidelines: Design


4. Put together a loose bound portfolio of your set drawings and costume renderings.

Costume: Create sketches of costumes and characters. Try lots of different ideas – don’t just go with your first ideas unless you think they’re perfect! Then create full-colour drawings showing your characters from the front and back.

Tip: Remember to not only think of each individual character and how to best communicate who they are, but also think of it as a whole.  Make sure each character’s design works together with your original design concept, or is someone is meant to be out of place.

Set: A Floor Plan is an overhead view as though you were looking down at the set from above.  It is a two-dimensional drawing that helps to show exactly where each set piece is located on the stage.

Tip: When placing set pieces onstage remember to think about clear and open sightlines for the audience.  We do not want to block any of the action from being seen by the audience.  Anything tall and/or wide like a wall or large tree, in most cases, would be better placed Up Stage in the back, and shorter set pieces like a chair, small table, or a rug can be further Down Stage or in front of the taller pieces.

Tip: It is also good to remember that actors are going to need to move around onstage, so it is usually best to avoid cluttering up the stage with too many set pieces and props.

We will do our drawings to scale, so it will be easier when we make maquettes or models of our set.  Models are often done in 1:25 scale, meaning 1 unit represents 25 actual units.  For our sketches, 1 inch equals 25 inches.

A Front-Perspective Drawing is the view from the audience.  It shows what the set will look like if we were standing right in front of the stage and looking at it head on.  This one will be done in full-colour.

Tip: You don’t have to be the world’s best artist to be successful in this category!

If you’re not confident with your drawing skills, keep it simple and really focus on your ideas. A good idea will always trump perfect execution. Even some of the best designers in the world are TERRIBLE drawers!

5. If you are advancing to the National Festival, remember to make your blog entries! Also make a 1:25 scale model of your set design and create your second costume drawings. You’ll also need to visit a fabric store in your neighbourhood to get some swatches. Swatches are samples of fabric you would use to create your costumes.

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