University of Technology Sydney

88444 Design for Stage and Theatre: Classics

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject introduces students to the specialised area of design for performances in theatre spaces. Using a classic script as a starting point, students learn how to design for a stage production which expresses the script through set and costume design. Delivered to support the design project, a series of lectures, workshops and assignments cover: the design process; the history of appropriate stage and costume design; set design; costume design; script analysis; and associated technologies. The project tests, through the use of a classic script, the understanding that the student has attained in reference to the key areas of theatre design. This is a multi-disciplinary subject that brings together students to solve specific design problems through group and individual tasks.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Have an increased awareness of the Performing Arts both within Australia and internationally;
2. Understand the basic principles of designing for theatre, involving costume, lighting, set and property design;
3. Understand the issues that are pertinent to contemporary design for theatre;
4. Demonstrate an ability to analyse scripts both at a fundamental literacy level and for the specific purpose of preparing a theatrical design realisation; and
5. Demonstrate a clear and progressive work method throughout each project, by keeping a journal, to encourage organization and logical design process.

Teaching and learning strategies

Face-to-face sessions will incorporate a range of active learning strategies including experimentation, modelling, presentations, videos, simulations, and discussion alongside case studies, field studies, readings and reflection. These will be complemented by independent student engagement with projects through iterative exploration of design propositions, research and development.

Content (topics)

This subject addresses the following issues and topics :
1.0 Research techniques used in designing for theatre
2.0 Principles of script analysis
3.0 Site analysis
4.0 Theatre review
5.0 Model-making techniques
6.0 Colour workshop


Assessment task 1: Script Analysis and Design Proposal: 1st text

Weight: 30%

Assessment task 2: Script Analysis and Design Proposal: 2nd text

Weight: 40%

Assessment task 3: Journal, Process and Participation

Weight: 30%

Recommended texts

Pecktal, L, c1995, Designing and drawing for the theatre, McGraw Hill, New York

Wallschlaeger, C, 1992, Basic visual concepts and principles for artists, architects, and designers, Wm C Brown Publishers, Dubuque, Iowa

Warre, M, 1966, Designing and making stage scenery, Reinhold, New York

Woodbridge, P, 2000, Designer drafting for the entertainment world, Focal Press, Boston

Wong, W, 1993, Principles of Form and Design, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York