Scenic design, also known as stage design or set design, is the creation of
theatrical productions including
musicals. The term can also be applied to
television productions, where it may be referred to as
production design. Scenic designers create sets and scenery to support the overall artistic goals of the production. Scenic design is an aspect of scenography, which includes theatrical set design as well as light and sound.
A scenic designer works with the
theatre director and other members of the creative team to establish a visual concept for the production and to design the stage environment. They are responsible for developing a complete set of
design drawings that include:
floor plan showing all stationary scenic elements;
Composite floor plan showing all moving scenic elements, indicating both their onstage and storage positions;
Complete floor plan of the stage space incorporating all elements; and
Front elevations of every scenic element and additional elevations of sections of units as required.
Brockett, Oscar G., Margaret Mitchell, and Linda Hardberger. Making the Scene: A History of Stage Design and Technology in Europe and the United States, Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, distributed by University of Texas Press, 2010. Traces the history of scene design since the ancient Greeks.
Pecktal, Lynn. Designing and Painting for the Theater, McGraw-Hill, 1995. Details production design processes for theater, opera, and ballet. The foundational text provides a professional picture and comprehensive references to the design process. Well-illustrated with detailed lined drawings and photographs to convey the beauty and craft of scenic and production design.