Set Design

In order to accommodate the maximum variety of sets with the least damage to the stages and related equipment, and in order to allow for the storage of sets while waiting for dailies, the following set design policies must be followed:

  • The Stage Supervisor must approve all set construction. Details of said construction, including a set plan showing the set’s intended position on the stage, must be provided to the Stage Supervisor before construction can begin.
  • The College does not provide any building materials or tools, including power or hand tools. Students needing to construct a set must provide their own tools and materials.
  • Sets must be designed and drawn out in plan and elevation form with all dimensions.
  • Set plans must include all bracing and support to safely hold vertical and suspended units.
  • A list of intended building materials must accompany the designs. This includes lumber, metal, and plastics, as well as coatings and textures. Certain organic or potentially toxic materials may be forbidden.
  • If building on College property, a construction schedule and list of who will be building must accompany the plans. The list of personnel must include each person’s experience and tool skills.
  • Sets must be made of units no larger than the area 11’8”H x 8’W x 2’D.
  • The total of all units must be able to be stored in an area 11’8”H x 8’W x 8’D for Stage A, 11’8”H x 4’W x 8’D for Stage B. Larger items may not be stored on stage. It is the student’s responsibility to acquire storage for such pieces.
  • Sets may be secured to catwalks, pods, grids, or stage walls only by permission from the stage supervisor.
  • Sets may be screwed to the stage floor.
  • If the floor is to be painted, it must be done with flat un-textured latex paint. Complicated paint schemes should be painted on masonite or other floor coverings.
  • Plans for the removal and disposal of the set must be established before stage use will be approved. The student may have to pay a fee for dumpster use and disposal.

College-Owned Set Pieces

There are three types of College-owned set pieces:

  • Existing scenery are set segments, which upon approval by the Stage Supervisor, may be modified to suit the needs of the student production
  • Stock sets are complete sets built for use in classes and workshops. These sets are available for checkout only when they are not in use for classes and may not be modified.
  • Stock pieces are separate segments of the stock sets, which may be used in conjunction with existing scenery or newly built pieces. This must be discussed, and approval secured, at the initial meeting with the Stage Supervisor.

Supporting documentation requesting use of any or all of these items must be presented to the Stage Supervisor at the initial meeting.

Use of existing scenery, stock sets, and stock pieces is not guaranteed to any production. The Stage Supervisor will monitor the proper use and care of these items.

Building on the Stage

The student production designer must present supporting documentation, including set drawings, material and crew lists, to the Stage Supervisor at the initial meeting. Drawings may need multiple revisions before approval is granted. Once approval is secured, the production will be assigned dates for construction, load-in and strike.

The Stage Supervisor, the Set Operations Manager and ER employees will periodically check the stage for cleanliness and safety. All building materials and tools must be removed from the stage at wrap.

Handing Off Sets

In the instance where a set is built for one production but is desired for use by another, the set may remain on the stage only until the dailies from the first production have been viewed. The student production designers from both productions must sign a Hand-Off Agreement, and the new production must go through the procedure for requesting a stage for a built set. A new form must be filled out, but copies of the original set drawings may be attached, and there would be no need for a building schedule or crew list.

If the second production needs the set before or immediately after dailies screening of the first production, the set may remain in its corral on stage until the second production starts its setup. When the second production is not within the time the set is scheduled to remain on stage, the student producer and production designer from the second production must acquire an offsite storage space, and remove all items from the College facility to that space. The College does not provide, or in any way take responsibility for, off-site storage.

After the hand-off, the second production becomes the party responsible for the set and the stages.

Holding Sets for Dailies

Any set constructed for use on the stages must conform to the basic set design policy. At wrap and strike, the set must be broken down into smaller units conforming to the 11’8” x 8’ x 2’ dimension requirement. These may then be stored on the stage in a predetermined area selected by the stage supervisor. Pieces that do not fit into the predetermined area must be removed and stored at an off-site location acquired by the student production designer. Only one set can be stored on each stage. Immediately after dailies, an unneeded set must be disposed of, passed to another student production (see policy for hand-off of sets), or moved to off-site storage at a facility acquired by the student production designer. The College will not store, or be responsible for storage of, any items that do not fit into the allotted storage space.

If the supervising faculty determines that re-shoots are required, the Stage Supervisor and supervising faculty will together determine how much and what pieces of the set will be needed for re-shoots. All other pieces must then be removed from the College facility as usual. On-site storage of the required pieces will be arranged, and the student production designer must move the items to that location. After re-shoots the pieces may again be stored on stage until dailies have been screened. It will continue to be the responsibility of the student production designer to move and set-up these pieces until re-shoots are deemed finished and the items are permanently removed from the College. Only removal or hand-off to another production will resolve the student’s responsibility for these set pieces.