Set Design is an important as well as an integral part of almost any theatre production. Nearly every theatre production does utilize some sort of them, however minimal. In many productions, it is the most important part of the concept. Importance of set design in theatre adds a different segment. The overall look of the set gives the audience information about the director’s concept and creates a new home for the model to interact with.
Sets can be abstract, highly realistic or anything in between. The primary function, of course, is to provide the audience with some context of the play, but it can also be an opportunity to create something stunning to attract the audience. The stage set is more important in drama than other genre, because some ideas or theme are often implied through the set, rather than spoken by the characters. The scene, properties and stage direction help expose the central idea of the play. It is thus concerned with enhancing the experience the audience can have, at a performance.
SET DESIGN IN THEATRE – THE HISTORY
Concept of Set Design
The concept of set design was born in Greek theatre and used early by its Roman counterpart as well. While acting and theatre have always existed in some form, the origin of theatre as we know it now and the introduction of sets came to us from ancient Greece. Originally, these plays involved just one or two characters but with the passage of time they added a full cast, complex plots and varying locations. To prevent audience from getting confused, they needed a way to mark the different locations of the action. Thus set design was born in Greek theatre and used by its Roman counterpart as well.
Impact Of Italian Renaissance On Set Design
The Italian Renaissance brought life to set design using the development of perspective painting. It thus created depth and different elevations for the action on stage. That was the beginning. Over the years, the process of set designing has evolved much and today we see representational props, computer-generated projections and use of other advanced techniques to add a touch of realism to the sets, while maintaining audiences’ focus on the actors.
SET DESIGN AND BENGALI THEATRE
In the history of Bengali theatre, we see the use of painted backdrop as set in the theatrical presentations of 1860s. ” Naba Natok “, which was staged in Jorasanko Theatre by the thespians of the Tagore family. The painters came and painted the scenes according to the requirements of the play.
Set Design in Contemporary Bengali Theatre
We see the use of dynamic set design, lighting and acoustics to create the proper ambience of the play. In Kolahol Theatre Workshop, we have successfully experimented set design in our second production ” Jhorafuler Rupkatha “. We worked with the sex workers of the different red light areas of Kolkata. We used elaborate sets to depict the red light area (Sonar Sohor), interior of a Brothel, a Mehefil and a Theatre festival. Suman Kabiraj and Dipankar Dey were in charge of the art and set design. Thus this play was a huge success. Importance of set design in theatre thus adds a different segment