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Set Design For Performance

Set Design For Performance

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Laura Cordery


An introduction to the creative process of set design for live performance: site-specific work, theatre, musical or opera. We explore the designer's vision, creative and practical skills, effective communication and how to develop a critical eye for performance.

You will finish with a combination of practical understanding of the requirements for set design and a portfolio of project work reflecting the designer's creative process. 

Topics covered

Project work will include:

  • analysing a script, libretto or synopsis to establish a scenic breakdown
  • historical research
  • 2D and 3D creative interpretation and concept development,
  • storyboarding and the scaled 3D model
  • roles and responsibilities in pre-production and in production

Who should take this course?

This course welcomes learners from a wide range of disciplines, including those wanting to develop, diversify and extend their current creative experience towards set design for performance.

It is also suitable for those wishing to strengthen their portfolio for application to higher education studies in design for performance.

Entry requirements: None

Level : Beginners

Related courses

If you want to broaden your skills and expand your portfolio for application to further studies in design for performance, we recommend that you consider also taking our Costume Design for Performance course.

Read more about the Set Design for Performance course on the CSM Short Course blog

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Laura Cordery is a UK based set and costume designer, primarily working in theatre but with experience in opera, dance and film. She graduated from RADA in 2010 in Theatre Set and Costume Design, and prior to this completed a BA Art History at Warwick University, which she continues to draw on as an invaluable point of reference and inspiration. Her work to date has been varied. She has designed set and costumes for a various for regional and London venues and some outside the UK, including numerous Shakespeare productions for the theatre on board the QM2, operas for Venetian Palazzos, storytelling pieces in transformed disused spaces, and creating sculptural playgrounds for musical and physical theatre pieces.


Please bring with you to the first session:

  • A3 Sketchbook
  • Pencil
  • Coloured pencils
  • Crayons
  • Notebook
  • Pritt stick glue

Available dates