Friday, 7 January 2011

Publishing the Event

As a basis of my poster I used a combination of the directors ideas, my own and the rest of my group, which we conjured up using a mind map. I also looked at posters from other shows to give me inspiration and use as a template of what should be included. I analysed many images from Google of previous “little shop of horrors“ posters and looked at the positives and negatives. Once I looked at a variety of these pieces, I incorporated what I thought went well from each to get to my own unique final product.

These posters were made in relevance to the target audience, which was family of actors, members of staff and the students that study that the school. As we were aware that much of the audience would consist of school children, I ensured the use of light vibrant colours, with intresting typography and imagery. The front needed to be large and eye catching in order for the target audience to be interested in coming to the show. The promotional side of the production is arguable the most important, as creating a production would be pointless without an audience. We also had to make sure we sold enough tickets to cover the expenses and the effort that each individual invested into making the production possible.

It was necessary to consider legal rights, as the play was not copyrighted by the school, it was already an established musical, these are the legal rights:

Book & lyrics by HOWARD ASHMAN
Based on the film by Roger Corman Screenplay by Charles Griffith
Originally produced by the WPA Theatre (Kyle Renick, Producing Director)
Originally produced at the Orpheum Theatre, New York City, by the WPA theatre David Geffen, Cameron Mackintosh and the Shubert Organisation.
(**The following acknowledgements shall appear in a separate box or area on the production staff information page of all theatre programmes**)
was originally directed by Howard Ashman : Musical staging by Edie Cowan.

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with JOSEF WEINBERGER LTD. on behalf of MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL of NEW YORK

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Jobs in a Theatre

Theatre designer - Theatre designers, also known as scenic designers, usually work directly with the

Producer - A Theatre Producer is a person who is responsible for overseeing the creation of a theatre production. The producer may be responsible for securing money for the production, either through his or her own company or by taking on investors in the production. The producer also hires the production team which include many of the jobs below at their own choice.

Director - A theatre director, also know as a stage director, is a someone in the field of theatre who oversees and organises everything in a theatre production. The director's role is to ensure that the quality of theatre production is to perfection and to lead the members of the creative team into realising their inspiration for it all. Therefore, the director merges with a team of imaginative individuals, as well as other staff, for the production.

Lighting designer - The role of a lighting designer in a theatre is to work with other members to create an overall ‘look’ of the show while keeping safety and cost in mind. Outside of the theatre the job of a
Lighting Designer can be much more diverse as they work on other things such as rock and pop tours, big celebrations and even the Olympics.

Musical director - A Music Director or Director of Music is a person who orchestrates

Stage manager - The role of this person is to organize and coordinate between various people such as the director and the backstage crew, or actors and production management. This person has overall responsibility for stage management.

Stage crew - The stage crew are people who work backstage or behind the scenes. Their duties include setting up the scenery, lights, sound, props, rigging, and special effects for a production.

Choreographer - A choreographer is a person who designs a sequence of movements, this can be used in many places and ways. People mostly use this person to ‘Choreograph’ a dance routine.

Prop master - A prop master is a person who give the construction crew an idea of what props to build. He decides whether these props are appropriate for the production.

Construction manager - A construction manager is the overall planning, co-ordination and control of a project from aimed at the client’s requirements. All this must be complete within a certain time and also a allocated budget.

Dresser - Dressers are responsible for assisting cast members with costume changes backstage, when necessary. The also have to maintain the quality of that costume for each performance completed. This may acquire them to fix, or even buy a completely new costume for the actor.
Publicists - A publicists job is to generate publicity for target audience. They usually create press conferences and deal with posters and leaflets which are handed out to the general public. This usually increases sales of the production so it becomes more renown.
director and producer, they must select the settings to visually tell the story. They have a lot of responsibility in the group as they have to have to cater to all of the directors needs. They also guides key staff in other departments such as the costume designer, the special effects director and the locations manager to show a combined visual appearance for the set. Not only does the person conduct the concert but also decides what music the orchestra will perform. The musical director is depended upon so he can make the correct atmosphere for the people.

Audience Research

I had many question to as our director as we needed to find out who our target audience is. These questions where asked fluently by the group so each and every person agreed upon what the audience is. We had all participated and had our say within the choices we had made, all our decisions were unanimous. We also had set a budget at this point alongside how many seats had to be placed over our acquired location. I also made an audience survey, I asked around 10 people the following the questions:

  • Did you find the show entertaining?
  • Did the props work well throughout the show?
  • If there was something you could improve what will it be?
  • Was the plant scary (please remember this is a children’s play)?
  • Did your seating area have a good sightline?
Once both days of the show had been complete, we took in the feedback and read through it thoroughly. Most of our feedback was positive but we did have some negatives. A majority of the audience pointed out how ‘stunning’ the plant (Audrey II) was built, this showed we had great prop building skills and boosted many of my groups confidence. As this was a success, next time I partake in a similar task, I will use the skills I have learnt to improve any unnecessary fault that may have occurred this time.

Evaluation of the Unit

I have learnt much from participating in this task, it is extremely difficult to construct a specific set and cater to ones needs so concisely. The department asked for specific props, in specific styles fit for a 1950’s New York, which is very much different to a 21st century one. The idea of my work being on show to the public is different to what I am used to, my work is usually very privatised only shared between me and close friends. However due to extensive audience, I worked even harder to produce something that is eye catching and draws the audiences’ attention in.
Whilst I found that there were some difficulties with deadlines; we were able to gather all the materials needed and complete the set on time to the best of our ability. Deadlines are vitally important as props need to be completed within a time scale to ensure that the program and the rehearsals ran smoothly. Without key deadlines there may have been a chance that we were unable to finish the set, by issuing them ourselves we ensured everything was done on time.

I believe that I have gained a small insight on how professionals work in the theatre industry, I now know a lot more about theatre production than I did from when I started the unit. However their set is on a much larger scale than our own, so I do not believe that I fully comprehend the time and effort that it takes for professional live performance although I am under the impression that the process would be similar to the one that we went through.

I believe I contributed immensely to my group; I led the construction and the design of the three plants which I was very proud of. I used my IT skills and made posters to advertise and promote the set, this I deem to be of great importance as these posters had to be appealing to draw in the paying viewer. In addition to contructing the plant which was the main prop of the play, I helped to build many other props for example chairs, tables and flowers.

Overall the department that we were constructing for were extremely pleased with our final set design. I found this to be a very worth while task, as it reinforced my team working skills, my ability to take and lead a group and also work independently on a given task.

Client Meeting

After a long discussion with the head of the drama department Mrs Jones, we were informed that one of our Units was to produce a production by the name of “ little shop of horrors.”
In our first meeting we presented her with a rough outline of different props that could be used, and how they can be customised specifically for the play for example; the plant which was a focal point of the production, had to open and close from the mouth. We also presented ideas for advertisement and posters, to draw in the audience, in addition to that we also created a miniature version of the set at the scale of 1:25. Our first meeting went exceedingly well.

She gave a lot of feedback with positives and negatives, which were both taken into consideration, she wanted to know the weight of the plant as this may have been an issue of concern. She also wanted to know how quickly the props and set could be created as she wished to start rehearsals with props as soon as possible. This had considerable affect on our design work as we had a deadline to work to, which was set up in our first meeting. This meant that we needed to work quickly and efficiently making good use of our time, this also meant that there was a necessity to split tasks between the group and each group member to take the initiative.

She also gave us an indication of how she wanted the layout of the posters and the colour scheme of it, as there was certain colours which would characterise the production, which is an idea that I incorporated in the creation of the posters.

It was hugely beneficial to discuss progress with Mrs Jones as she gave an outside opinion on our set construction, we did find ourselves changing some aspects of our design under instruction, however this only made the design better as opposed to worse. We would also be able to know how much space we would be working with, where our props can be positioned and be able to design them according to the space allocated.

1950's New York Moodboard Evaluation

A moodboard is a collage of images, text and samples of objects, this is usually chosen by the moodboard creator. Designers tend to use mood boards to explore designs they visually wish to produce whilst trying to communicate to his fellow designers through it. Moodboards can also set a imaginary setting for a storyline. In greater terms, they serve well but serve as a visual tool to quickly inform others of what you desire. Creating mood boards in a digital form may be easier and quicker, but physical objects often have tendency to over-power digital moodboards on people because of the more complete palette of physical sensations mood boards usually offer.I used many search engines to search for the picture I needed for my moodboard. I first researched 1950’s New York so I get a rough outline of what that era looked like. Most picture were black and white but there were a few of which I found to be in colour, these are the ones I explored more. I also has to search 1950’s florists as the main set would be built upon this foundation. The search I used were:
Eventually, I had created a moodboard on a A3 piece of paper off a collage of many edited picture. This helps me visualize what the theme would be exactly like. Furthermore,,, to name a few. Choosing images that I wished to search were longer and harder than I thought as most of the picture are incorrect and do not relate to what I am researching.I resized the images and then laid them out deciding on how I will place them over the A3 page.

John Nappier

John Napier was a Scottish mathematician, physicist, astronomer & astrologer. He was the son of Sir Archibald Napier. John Napier is most renowned as the discoverer of the logarithm. Napier is the inventor of the so-called "Napier's bones". Napier also made common the use of the decimal point in arithmetic and mathematics. Napier's birthplace, the Merchiston Tower in Edinburgh, Scotland, is now part of the facilities of Edinburgh Napier University. After his death from the effects of gout, Napier's remains were buried in St Cuthbert's Church, Edinburgh.

Stage directions, terminology and definitions

Stage blocking - Stage blocking is a term which refers to the precise movement and positioning of

Sightlines - A sightline is the line of sight between the stage and the audience. A good sightline will allow the viewer to see the whole stage clearly while hearing everything clearly as well. Usually the spectator's eye height should not be lower than 800 mm from the stage.

Stage direction -The stage itself has been given named areas to make blocking easier for the actors.

Upstage - This is the rear of the stage
Down stage - This is the front of the stage
Stage left and right - Stage Left and right refer to the actor's left and right facing the audience.
These terms are given so it does not confuse the actor when they are acting or rehearsing,
the director usually tells the actors where to perform during rehearsals.

In the round stage

In the round stage is any theatre space in which the audience surrounds the stage area. This type of stage is usually circular, triangular or a diamond where actors come from around the audience or even beneath the stage. This stage does not require any stage curtains. However, there are flaws in the design as actors may struggle as they will be facing some of the audience at all times.

Thrust stage

Thrust stage is the one that extends into the audience on three sides and is connected to the backstage area by its rear. A thrust has the benefit of greater A thrust has the benefit of greater intimacy between performers and the audience between performers and the audience. This may boost confidence for the performers. Entrances onto a thrust are most readily made from backstage, although some theatres provide for performers to enter through the audience.

Proscenium Arch stage

A large traditional arched staging which is located at the front of the stage is called a Proscenium stage. The audience is directly faces the stage, which is typically raised several feet above front row audience level. In Latin, the stage name is known as “in front of the scenery." The stage is used mainly for drama, plays, musicals, concerts etc. The main stage is the space behind the proscenium arch, often marked by a curtain which can be lowered or drawn closed.

The Role of a Production Designer

We interviewed a professional production designer who had been working in theatre, film and television since 1990.

What attracted you in to production design?

She fell in love with the theatre as a child when she saw her first pantomime. When I realized I had a natural ability for art, it made sense to become a theatre designer.

What sort of problems did you encounter?

It is a highly competitive industry, you have to be really ambitious and really good skills to succeed, also, you work on a self-employed free lance basis which means you have to find your own work. You have to be disciplined with cash flow.

What qualifications did you take?

You have to have aptitude for art and design; it helps to be interested in history. The other qualifications are 3D design; this is the subject you have to be strongest in. She did a bachelors degree in theatre design, a master

How much did you get paid?

The pay is very good in film and television, especially in commercial work. In commercial work, you can get over £600 a day. Because this is a free lance job, you have to balance periods of unemployment.

How do you deal with finding work?

You have to get yourself a agent to find you work who take a percentage of your pay as a fee. You should also network with the people in the industry.

The pros and cons of being a designer?

The good things are that it is extremely varied, you are always doing something different, it is also extremely creative. You also get paid well when you are the head of the department. You also get to travel a lot.
The challenging part of being a designer is very high responsibility and stress; you also have to manage tight budgets and deadlines. The job is very insecure as you may not be employed for a long time. This is a very demanding job it may take over family life.

Have you ever had a bad review?

Once, it was a technical issue about sight lines. You have to make sure the entire audience can see the stage.
Whats it like showing your work to an audience?It is very exciting, especially in some nights, when you sit amongst the audience and they have a positive reaction. You realize that you have a significant impact in how much the audience enjoys and understands the performance.


During 6th form I decided to study creative and media diploma as well as art, these subjects coincide extremely well as the skills that I developed in both are transferable to one another. Studying creative and media has allowed me to explore many different aspects of media itself; film making, photography and journalism are only a few examples.
I have found that I am a highly motivated student, thus by studying this subject I was able to delve deeper into an area that I found extremely interesting and worth while.
The unit which we were completing was called “show,” our task was very clear which was too plan a production named “Little Shop of horrors.”
My role in the production was to create posters and different advertisements to promote the show, to create three plants which were called “Audrey II,” flowers as well as many other props including the set itself. In addition I had to partake in an event, in which I worked backstage.