Come and Experience Scenic Design 101


A new seminar series has started and with that comes a plethora of new and exciting classes. One of these classes is Scenic Design 101, taught by Mr. Langenecker in the art suite. This class is focused on set design for musicals in which you use creativity and cardboard to create the set. Mr. Langenecker allowed his students to use any stage play or musical that they want so that they could be working on a topic that interested them. 

The class is based around The Addams Family set design. It was given as one of the production options and almost the entire class chose it. There is a program called SketchUp that allows students to virtually create 3D designs, so that directors know what the set is going to look like. Users can enter dimensions and create infinite designs using this online tool. Mr. Langenecker wanted students to learn what it was like to work in the set shop during a production. Most of the people in the class have chosen The Addams Family for their scenic design, but there is one student who chose The Phantom of the Opera. Mr. Langenecker instructed students to make a visual dictionary which is a compilation of 100 or more photos of sets from that show but different companies. The purpose is to help get many different photos so that designers can get a wide variety of references. 

Mr. Langenecker said that he thinks everybody should learn how to create sets and that is why he started this seminar. He believes that everybody should have a basic understanding of things that make a production like set design, using professional programs and being able to analyze a scene is what really makes a show. He plans to go through the same process of this class with the official The Addams Family set design.

In this class, students have chosen a musical, created a visual dictionary, started to work in Sketchup and Illustrator, as well as assembled a set using pieces of cardboard that were cut by the school laser cutter. Students have also had the option to paint their models at the end of class, and three decided to do so. One student said in an interview that she joined the class to learn more about creating sets as well and being able to work with making 3D designs. 

Mr. Langenecker is doing a great job in this class, and he has made it very interesting and fun so far. Students are excited to continue their sets and progress in their learning. Even though most people chose The Addams Family as their production, the sets have so far been very different and creative, so the end result will be incredible. Mr. Langenecker hopes to put the pieces in the Kettle Moraine School for Arts and Performance showcase at the end of the year, so be sure to check them out then!