In-Class Assignment: Create your own Theater

In groups of 4, create a new design of a theatre that would meet the basic needs of either

  1.  an autocratic ruler producing spectacles that express his power to the maximum number of citizens;
  2. a democratic space that allows equal access to the stage space; or
  3. a ritual space that supports the celebration of a deity by a group of congregants (co-performers-observers).

You do not have carbon fuel powered engines or computer technology to help produce the spectacle. You also do not have artificial lighting, so the spaces need to take advantage of sunlight, candle light or fire in some way.

Avoid copying outright any of the architectural design elements we have learned so far – although you can certainly let those examples can inspire your designs. Your rituals and performance traditions should be unique. It might help to design the theatre in an imaginary society and/or geography, or a historical tradition other than Greek amphitheater, Roman imperial heater, or medieval liturgical church drama.

This project works best when all the members of each group are able to contribute, cooperate, and listen to each other.

Draw your design using either single-point perspective, two-point perspective, or isometric drawing.

You have 30 minutes to get the basic structure onto paper, with essential elements. Use a large sheet from a sketch pad. You can perfect the drawing for homework.

Next class, we will spend 30 minutes presenting your sketches and ideas to the rest of the class. Snap a photo and upload to your email before class so that we can project the image. Be able to explain how specific elements of the theatre designs serve the needs of your audiences and performers.

Evaluation will be based on effort, creativity, fulfillment of the requirements, and willingness to participate.