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Stage Designs

From idea to design to stage

In a modern production, once the Director and Designer have decided on the concept of a show, the designer will make some preliminary sketches and accumulate reference pictures and drawings. They will then pitch their idea to the theatre’s management who, if they accept the proposal, will ask for a white card model. The theatre’s Production Manager will cost the set, taking into account all the materials to be used, and will discuss its practicalities and feasibility within the show’s budget with the Designer. Once every detail has been covered, a full, colour model of the entire set is built, and working drawings and ground plans are distributed to the theatre’s various departments and specialists. Giuseppe Valeriani's Set of Designs for a Stage Set provides a fabulous example of such a model.

If the set includes a particularly intricate piece, the designer will produce a detail drawing. Giuseppe Valeriani’s Design for Part of a Stage Set shows such a detail. It is likely that Signor Valeriani presented this drawing to his carpenter who would have recreated his design in wood and possibly plaster. It is also highly likely that another detail drawing of the columns (not shown here) would have been submitted to the carpenter and another to the furnishing expert for the drapes.

The two beautiful Stage Drawings by Giuseppe Galli Bibiena are probably not working drawings or designs for cloths but are reference pictures. Perhaps having seen this beautiful interior he drew a couple of sketches to use later for a stage design.

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