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!

Course Summary

Standards Addressed

10 Modules
1 hours, 38 minutes
3 Credit Hours

design production directing

Course Outline

Lesson 0: Introduction 7:36
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Lesson 1: Selecting a Play 11:33
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Lesson 2: Time, Space and Money 21:23
Lesson 3: Understanding the Concept-Driven Production 7:57
Lesson 4: Creating the Concept Design 8:50
Lesson 5: Generating a Design 3:35
Lesson 6: The 'What If?' Game 8:05
Lesson 7: Advertising & Publicity 8:51
Lesson 8: Using Existing Scenic Elements 14:14
Lesson 9: Teaching Concept-Based Design 6:24

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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