Theatre Design 101

Stage Types – Proscenium Arch

The Proscenium Arch was the most common form of theatre building in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The “Arch” acts like a picture frame through which the action can be seen. The picture above shows the Proscenium Arch of the York Theatre Royal in the UK [Read Full Article]

Stage Types – Thrust

Hang on! that’s a photo of a Greek Amphitheatre! Yes! it’s the amphitheatre at Hierapolis in Turkey (part of Greece in ancient history) and it’s also a thrust theatre [Read Full Article]

Stage Types – Theatre in the Round

Theatre in the Round became increasingly popular in the late 1960s in the UK and Europe, with initially the format proving popular in smaller venues and studio spaces [Read Full Article]

Stage Types – Traverse

Traverse is a form of catwalk – though in its purest form it does not have the stage and back wall area that a fashion catwalk has – the purest form of traverse is illustrated above [Read Full Article]

Theatre Designers – Ralph Koltai

Ralph Koltai has been actively involved in theatre design and theatre for most of his adult life [Read Full Article]

Theatre Designers – Richard Hudson

Hudson trained at the Wimbledon School of Art and has designed for Theatre and Opera worldwide [Read Full Article]

Theatre Designers – Maria Bjornson

Maria’s most famous design was her elegant and ingenious design for Phantom of the Opera – arguably the most famous music theatre production in contemporary theatre entertainment [Read Full Article]

Theatre Designers – Ming Cho Lee

China Ming Cho Lee was by the 1960s to find himself working in American Theater and known as the “Dean” of American theater design [Read Full Article]

Training as a Theatre Designer

Before we get any further we really should point out a few things about any job in the theatre –

  • The pay is awful.
  • The pay for designers is worse than awful – even when you are successful. It’s not uncommon to spend more money on your design, artwork, model box and research than you recuperate in wages or a fee.
  • It’s just as hard to become a famous designer as it is a famous actor.

Now that we have the bad stuff out of the way let’s talk about some of the various paths to becoming a designer. The most common route is similar all around the world [Read Full Article]


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