The Art of Theatrical Design by Kaoiṁe E. Malloy

Elements of Visual Composition, Methods, and Practice

The Art of Theatrical Design: Elements of Visual Composition, Methods, and Practice, Second Edition, contains an in-depth discussion of design elements and principles for costume, set, lighting, sound, projection, properties, and makeup designs.

This textbook details the skills necessary to create effective, evocative, and engaging theatrical designs that support a play contextually, thematically, and visually. It covers key concepts such as content, context, genre, style, play structure, and format and the demands and limitations of various theatrical spaces. The book also discusses essential principles, including collaboration, inspiration, conceptualization, script analysis, conducting effective research, building a visual library, developing an individual design process, and the role of the critique in collaboration. This second edition includes

  • A new chapter on properties management and design.
  • A new chapter on makeup design.
  • A new chapter on digital rendering, with evaluations of multiple programs, overviews of file types and uses, and basic tutorials in Adobe® Photoshop® and Procreate.
  • An expanded and revised chapter on traditional rendering, with the inclusion of new media, including watercolor, gouache, and mixed media, and updated exercises and tutorials.
  • Revised and expanded chapters on individual design areas, including additional practices for conceptualization and collaboration, with new exercises for skill development.
  • Additional exercises in all elements and principles of design chapters for investigation of each design principle and skill development.
  • Revised and updated content throughout the text, reflecting current pedagogy and practices.

This book gives students in theatrical design, introduction to design, and stagecraft courses the grounding in core design principles they need to approach design challenges and make design decisions in both assigned class projects and realized productions.

The Art of Theatrical Design provides access to additional online resources, including step-by-step video tutorials of the exercises featured in the book.


ISBN 9780367902117
462 Pages
Published June 29, 2022


Focal Press (Routledge)