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Set Design and Décor -- A 10-Step Program

Step 10: Adjust and Admire


By the time you get to the first night of tech week, your set should be built and dressed. Take time during tech week to sit in on the rehearsals and watch the show to see how the actors interact with the set and what effects the lighting has on your masterpiece. During this time, consult with the director and the stage manager to make sure there aren't any problems you've overlooked, and to answer any questions the stage manager may have. Move around to different areas of the house to check the view from different angles. While you're doing this, keep an eye out for areas that may need a paint touchup -- look especially around door and window frames and high up on the flats where it may have been difficult to reach -- and to make sure that none of your set pieces is blocking crucial action. Ascertain that backstage areas that shouldn't be seen are completely hidden from view. Watch especially for areas where light may be bleeding through on to the set from backstage at inappropriate places (stage crew often keep small lights on backstage to help them see what they're doing); there may be a need for additional masking, or for the crew to douse or move their lights at certain moments in areas where spill is inevitable.

Finally, make sure you're there on opening night to see your set take its bow in front of an audience. If you're lucky, and have created a set that is truly a standout, you may be greeted with the sweet sound of applause before any of the actors has said a word -- your reward for all the time and energy you've poured into your creation!

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