So You Want To Be A Theatre Designer?

£12.99 £8.99

Michael Pavelka

Paperback. 416 pages.

2 in stock

SKU: 9781848423541 Category:


The definitive guide to designing for theatre – by an award-winning designer with over 160 productions to his name. With a Foreword by Alison Chitty.

A theatre designer needs to be able to draw on a wide spectrum of skills, work collaboratively with all the different members of the production team, and deliver designs that work in the testing conditions of performance.

This book guides you through everything you need in order to become – and ultimately to succeed as – a theatre designer, including:

  • The various aspects of design – set and props, costume, masks, make-up
  • The applications of design – opera, dance, site-specific, lighting, video and more
  • The skills you require, and the training available
  • The journey of a design from page to stage, from your first reading of the script, through research, first sketches, storyboards, technical and costume drawings, and on to the model
  • The people you will collaborate with – directors, producers, actors, writers and more – and how to work effectively with each of them

Finally, there are sections on landing your first production and furthering your career. Also included is a production timeline to guide you through the mechanics of contracts, copyright, costings, and what you need to have ready at each stage of the process. It is illustrated throughout with designs, by the author and other leading designers.

Written by an experienced practitioner and teacher, this book will be an essential guide for any aspiring or emerging theatre designer, as well as anyone seeking a greater understanding of how designers work.

‘A comprehensive introduction and guide to the world of the professional theatre designer, a key book for anyone contemplating entering the profession’ Alison Chitty, from her Foreword.


Michael Pavelka has created designs for productions at the National Theatre, RSC, Old Vic, Barbican, in the West End and abroad. He is a founder member of Propeller Theatre, and Course Director of the MA in Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Arts.

Additional information

Weight 0.7 kg