The Adventures of a First Time Director: Set Building

Building a set for a play can seem like a daunting  task but if you know what you are doing or have someone that has built a couple sets before it can be a breezy.

When it came time to start building our set for “Miracle on 34th Street: The Play” there was  no question in my mind that we could build the set we were wanting on time and without having to work too much on it past our set “set building” days.  I knew we could do it since, due to my dad being a theatre professor, I have built many sets in my 26 years.

Set Building -Week 1

For the first week of set building the goal was to get all of our walls put up and build our rolling platforms. (PS. If you do build some moving platforms like ours, make sure to put extra support underneath or you’ll have one crack on you from all the weight, like we did during our Saturday performance. Thankfully its fixable for our last show!)  This might seem like a lot to do but we had a great crew the first Saturday that I could tell exactly what needed to be done and they could do it. (Helps when you learn from the best and your hubby has been building things since he was young)  By the end of the day all of our walls were up (magically had just enough 10′ flats) and my hubby and Emily’s dad had built our rolling platforms.

Set Building -Week 2.2

The next week we were able to start painting our set, since we had gotten all of our walls up the week before.  By the end of the day we had gotten all of our walls painted with our base color and the outsides of rolling platforms painted.

Set Building -Week 2

Also thanks to my hubby and Emily’s dad, we also got our judges stand built.  It was so great to have our judges stand so soon, so that our actors could start practicing with it early in the process.

Set Building -Week 3

By the third week, we were painting buildings, the insides of our rolling platforms, and some of our other prop pieces.

Completed Set

Completed Set 2

To finish out our set, it took another three weeks to finish painting and dressing our set but boy does it look great and we hardly had to work past the time we had set aside for building and painting it.  This wouldn’t have been possible though if it hadn’t been for the hard work of some of the cast members and our families coming during set building days and other days when they were free to help us out.

I’d have to say, even through there are probably a few things that could be fixed, our set came out just the way we were envisioning and it really helps to enhance our all ready magically show.


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