Also called a set or production designer, a scenic designer helps create the visual world of a play or musical. Working with the director and other designers, the scenic designer decides what the stage will look like, from large or abstract scenic elements to furniture and backdrops. Scenic designers present their ideas as sketches, which can be done by hand or with computer drafting software. Most know how to make scale models of their sets, and understand the basics of carpentry, welding, and other techniques that will be used to build the sets they design. Most scenic designers have an undergraduate or graduate degree in their field. They are hired on a per-show basis as contractors, and usually work with more than one theatre.
If you’re curious about careers in theatre and wondering which ones might be right for you, we’ve created a quick quiz to help you think about the type of job you might want within the arts and what kind of lifestyle and education that career path requires.Take the Quiz