DTA | Concept-Based Design for the Theatre Teacher
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Concept-Based Design for the Theatre Teacher

Created by Matt Webster

Concept-Based Design is a method of design that allows the director and production team to create a unified world based on the ideas, perceptions and images extracted from an in-depth analysis of the play. Matt Webster designed this course for theatre teachers in a typical school setting with limited budgets, space and materials to use towards the design of their shows. Many theatre teachers feel most unsure about their design and tech skills and Matt wanted to help those teachers look at design differently, and make designing a show a little less scary and a little more fun!

10 Modules
1 hours, 38 minutes
3 Credit Hours

Course Outline

Lesson 0: Introduction 7:36 FREE PREVIEW
Lesson 1: Selecting a Play 11:33 FREE PREVIEW
In this lesson you’ll learn about how to select a play for your school by taking into consideration your school and local communities as well as your talent pool.
Lesson 2: Time, Space and Money 21:23
Producing a play from start to finish takes planning and a goal. In lesson two you’ll learn about creating a schedule and obtaining the rights for your production. By examining your production needs and the resources and limitations of your school’s program and facility, you’ll be far better prepared for your production.
Lesson 3: Understanding the Concept-Driven Production 7:57
Lesson three defines what a concept is and how it can be applied to the various production elements of your show.
Lesson 4: Creating the Concept Design 8:50
Script analysis and understanding the theme of your play will help to drive your concept and design. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to analyze your script and identify possible themes that will support the concept that drives the design of your show.
Lesson 5: Generating a Design 3:35
In lesson five you’ll use what you’ve been developing throughout the other lessons such as a conceptual statement to address design challenges and problem solving. You’re guided through the process and provided with multiple examples.
Lesson 6: The 'What If?' Game 8:05
In this lesson, you’ll learn how to play the “What-If” game to further your ideas and to help you think outside of the box in addressing challenges and new ideas for your design.
Lesson 7: Advertising & Publicity 8:51
Lesson seven introduces you to the idea of how to use your conceptual design as part of the advertising campaign for your show. Step by step instructions and clear examples are provided.
Lesson 8: Using Existing Scenic Elements 14:14
In this lesson, you’re going to learn the five basic pieces of scenery you must have in your stocks for nearly every occasion. If you have these five pieces, you can generate just about anything.
Lesson 9: Teaching Concept-Based Design 6:24
Lesson nine will show you how to teach concept-based design to your students. By starting at the very beginning, a blank scene, your students will work individually, in pairs, and in small groups to analyze a script and apply the various techniques you’ve learned throughout this course to develop a concept-based design.

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - High School Accomplished

TH:Cr1.1.HSII.b - Understand and apply technology to design solutions for a drama/theatre work.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 6

TH:Pr5.1.6.b - Articulate how technical elements are integrated into a drama/ theatre work.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 7

TH:Pr5.1.7.b - Choose a variety of technical elements that can be applied to a design in a drama/theatre work.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 8

TH:Pr5.1.8.b - Use a variety of technical elements to create a design for a rehearsal or drama/theatre production.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Pr5.1.HSI.b - Use researched technical elements to increase the impact of design for a drama/theatre production.

Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cr2.1.HSII.b - Cooperate as a creative team to make interpretive choices for a drama/theatre work.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Pr5.1.HSII.b - Apply technical elements and research to create a design that communicates the concept of a drama/theatre production.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 6

TH:Cr3.1.6.c - Explore a planned technical design during the rehearsal process for a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 7

TH:Cr3.1.7.c - Consider multiple planned technical design elements during the rehearsal process for a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 8

TH:Cr3.1.8.c - Implement and refine a planned technical design using simple technology during the rehearsal process for devised or scripted drama/ theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Cr3.1.HSI.c - Refine technical design choices to support the story and emotional impact of a devised or scripted drama/ theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cr3.1.HSII.c - Re-imagine and revise technical design choices during the course of a rehearsal process to enhance the story and emotional impact of a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Advanced

TH:Cr3.1.HSIII.c - Apply a high level of technical proficiencies to the rehearsal process to support the story and emotional impact of a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Common Core

California VAPA Standards (2019)

6.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

6.TH:Pr5.b - Articulate how technical theatre elements are integrated into a drama/ theatre work.

Florida Sunshine State Standards

Georgia Performance Standards 2017 - Theatre Arts

Tennessee Theatre Curriculum Standards

Tennessee Theatre standards (2018) standards were built using the framework of the NCAS which is built on four key domains: Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Connecting, and Responding. Within each of these domains are foundations and standards to support the development of curriculum, programs, and learning.
(source: Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Academic Standards for Fine Arts, Summer 2018)

Please refer to National Core Arts Standards to determine the standard that best suits your needs.

Alberta, Canada

Technical Theatre/Design 10-20-30 - Management - Stage

2 - recognize and use basic technical theatre/design terminology

British Columbia (2018)

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect

Apply feedback to develop and refine ideas

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and the audience

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and audience

Ontario, Canada

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