Skip to Main Content

DRAM 1310 | Sandra Kreps



Theatre Appreciation DRAM 1310 Final Project Information

Congratulations, you’ve been hired as a Scenic or Costume Designer at My Fantastic Theatre Company! You will be designing either scenery or costumes for Romeo and Juliet.

1. READ THE PLAY. Yes, the whole play.
If you are designing SCENERY, list the different settings in the play.
If you are designing COSTUMES, list the major characters.
Write a brief design statement. This is a paragraph or two about the major themes and your design approach.  (15 points)

2. Choose a setting for your production (both time period and location).
Be specific, for example, 1360s in Venice, Italy, or 1946 in Hiroshima, Japan.
Note: You can choose a futuristic time period or fantasy realm if you like, but this will make the research a little more challenging. (That is OK if you enjoy an extra challenge.)  (10 points)

3. Research!
If you chose SCENERY, then you’ll need to research places for your chosen location and time. Look at both outdoor spaces and indoor spaces that would be appropriate settings for different scenes in the play.
If you chose COSTUMES, then you’ll need to look at images of clothing or people. Sources can include paintings, magazines, newspapers, books, etc. What kinds of clothes were people wearing in your chosen location and time period? Are these characters wealthy or poor? Do they care about their appearance? Are they in casual or formal settings? What kinds of clothing would these characters wear in a particular scene?
Don’t forget to take into account any major historical events happening in the date/time you’ve chosen. (Our actors are all imaginary so assume your director did an amazing casting job!) (25 points)

4. Create a color palette.
Does your design include warm tones? Cool tones? What kinds of textures? You can use Prismacolor pencils, paint chips, or swatches of fabric to communicate these ideas. Be creative! (25 points)

5. Put it all together.
Now it’s time for the Design Meeting (aka, Final Exam). You will present your scenic or costume design approach.
Please provide at least TEN research images of either scenic or costume inspiration.
If you have chosen SCENERY, then you can either sketch your design for the stage, or you can create a collage of your scenic research and explain which elements you would use for different settings in the play.
If you have chosen COSTUMES, then please provide costume plates for SIX characters of your choice. If you are comfortable drawing or using Photoshop, you may do original designs. If you are more comfortable using a research image and adding a color swatch, that is also acceptable. (25 points)

6. Don’t forget a Works Cited page so I know where you found your inspirational images! (10 points)

Video Tutorials

Below are video tutorials to help you navigate some of the library resources.

Reference Databases

The following resource will provide you some resources for background information. Doing background research will not only help you narrow your focus, but will also help you identify keywords to use when searching the databases for scholarly articles. 

Video Tutorials

Boolean Operators 

Using Boolean operators in a database is highly recommended, as this approach usually generates the most useful results.  Databases are not "intuitive" like search engines (e.g., Google) - they must be "told" how to process a search query.  Boolean operators let you "tell" the database what you want to see in your results.  


Use AND to connect KEYWORDS - Retrieves sources with both/all terms [refines search]

Example: diabetes AND adult AND self-management 


Use OR to connect SYNONYMS & LIKE CONCEPTS - Retrieves sources with either/any term(s) [broadens search]

Example: heart attack AND (female OR women) AND symptoms


Use NOT to EXCLUDE word(s) - Eliminates sources with the word(s) following NOT 

Example: Omega-3 fatty acids NOT fish oils 

Identifying Keywords

When you are conducting your background research on your topic, consider the who, what, when, where and why of what you are reading, and highlight or write the main points down. You can use those as keywords in the databases!

Who, what, when, where and why

Recommended Databases

Costume Print Books

Set Print Books

MLA Citations: Images & Artifacts

Format Example
Images in a book  Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1900, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Gardener's Art Through the Ages, 10th ed., by Righard Tansey and Fred S. Kleiner, Harcourt Brace, p. 939.
A physical image displayed on a website Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado, Accessed 22 May 2006.
A digital Image that only exists online Adams, Clifton R. "People Relax Beside a swimming Pool at a Country Estate Near Phoenix, Arizona, 1928." Found, National Geographic Creative, 2 June 2016,
Painting, sculpture, or photograph (physical artifact) Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

by Owl Purdue