The Designers

Before the opening night, "the stage must be set", and this is literally true: there must be a set, sound, lights, costumes, and so on. A group of designers get together with the director (or directors) and decide how their specialties can work towards realizing the vision of the production put forward by the director.

Set Designer

The Set Designer's setting is based upon the needs of the play. This person sketches in the locale and helps to create mood and atmosphere. The set designer works with the director to define the visual appearance of the production (including the basic colour scheme) and the need for acting areas on stage. The design is constrained by the physical limitations of the playhouse, script requirements, available building materials and skills, and of course cost; and occasionally, as when Over the River and Through the Woods was taken to Sault Ste. Marie, transportability must be considered. The designer may build a model, both to check the feasibility and to demonstrate the set to other people.

Lighting Designer

The Lighting Designer, working with the director(s), decides how the set is to be illuminated. Or rather, decides how the actors are to be lit, since is quite unusual for lights to be set so that the lights shine on the actual set.

The lighting design must take into account the equipment that we have available, the fixed lighting brackets that are built into the playhouse, the angle of lighting, the possibility of shadows (that may or may not be wanted), and the colour needed from each light.

Additional lights may be needed as part of the set ("practical" lights that an actor may appear to turn on or off). Further lights may be needed, mounted on the set itself, to give the impression of rooms or corridors leading off-stage.

Sound Designer

The Sound Designer works in conjunction with the director to decide on music and sound effects for a production. Obtaining the sound usually consists of locating pre-recorded music and sound effects then editing them to work with the show. It may require recording and/or creating special sound effects that are not readily available, such as voiceovers.

On occasion, the Sound Designer or other member may act as Composer and produce music especially for a particular production. A CD of music composed for Kanata Theatre is available for purchase.

Costume Designer

The Costume Designer will work with the Director and possibly also the Set Designer to establish the costume requirements: that is, the general style of costuming appropriate to the production. The designer may demonstrate patterns or sketches or swatches of fabric or costumes to ensure that all agree on the general costuming style before going to work on the actual costumes.

Set Furnishing

Almost always, furniture is needed on stage. The set furnishings person has to decide, in conjunction with the director and the set designer, what style of furniture and what items of furniture will be needed.

Again, the furniture actually obtained will partly depend on what can be begged, borrowed, or otherwise obtained! Sometimes an existing piece of theatre-owned furniture can be modified or painted to fit the needs of a play.