Theatre characters portrayed by actors in Plays are made more believable to an audience, thanks to the work of the Set Designer. As the characters enter onto the stage the illusion created by the Set Designer draws in the audience’s attention to another time and place. Seldom, does the creative work going on behind the scenes, ever enter an audience’s mind. Through set design trickery, props and lighting; the audience is mesmerized by a world created by the Set Designer.
Key Records spoke with Set Designer Robin Riddihough in his workshop. He gave us insights into the Set Designer’s creative process, which unfolds months prior to the Play's first showing. We learned that a Set Designer is often researching and thinking about the tasks at hand. With ideas in mind the Set Designer draws rough sketches to present to the Play’s Director. After receiving feedback from the Director the Set Designer then proceeds to build a scale model of the set. When the scale model is completed it is then shown to the Play’s Director for further input. With the final result agreed upon the Set Designer then proceeds to draw up precision drawings, which will be used by the builders who build the set. Right up to the last moment before a Play begins a Set Designer may make slight changes or modifications to the set. When the Play has ended its limited engagement run the stage set is then torn down and the process begins all over again.
Robin Riddihough’s Set Designing inventiveness is in constant demand and he often works for several different production companies. His Set Designing talents have earned him acknowledgements in the artistic field of set design through media coverage and awards that he has won.
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Video recorded December 10th 2009 in Ottawa, Canada.