Scene Design Challenge

The phobia I chose to create a stage set for is claustrophobia. In my design, I include a large box in the centre where the actor could fit in and act. The front of the box is made of plastic material in the model but should be latex or a rubbery, stretchy material in the real set. This is so that the actor’s hands could move around and show how they are trapped in the small space. By doing this, the actor can show the audience their fear through hand movements, rather than facial expressions as they are trapped in the box. This is demonstrated by the black handprints in the model. It is also surrounded by smaller boxes, which actors will not be in. On the set, they will be like the model, handprints painted or models of hands showing through the latex. The numerous small boxes are placed, so it creates a smaller, tighter space on stage, further enhancing the display of claustrophobia as not only is the small space inside the box but also on stage as a whole. As the stage is intended to be a thrust stage, the smaller boxes all face outwards in different directions, so all of the audience could see. Lights could also be placed behind the largest box, so the shadow of the actor inside could be seen better.


In the process of creating this model, I think what I was in successful in is that I had a clear direction of how I wanted my stage to look like. I immediately knew that I wanted to display my design on a thrust stage, and I think I did a good job of displaying my design on this type of stage by orienting the smaller boxes. However, considering the thrust stage, I think I can make at least three sides of the largest box latex, so the audience on the sides can also see the actions of the main actor clearer.

This process helped me to understand the amount of work and consideration that gets put into one single set design. Not only does the designer have to consider the setting of the play or scene, but also how each piece is placed for the convenience of the actors and different lighting and sound effects. They also have to be creative and original in most of their designs, to create a better viewing experience for the audience. It is also hard to take all factors into account, so it is awe-inspiring how set designers create effective, convenient and visually pleasing sets.

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