As we’ve tried to demonstrate, the devising or collective script development process doesn’t resemble a straightforward mathematical equation where performers + script + set + props = performance. Rather, devising a play requires a lot of repetition and a kind of simmering to see what bubbles up through the workshop exercises and the (formal and informal) group reflections. The set and props contribute to the process of script development in many important ways. This is why, ideally, the set and prop designer is brought in either from the beginning or early in the performance’s development phase.
Usually made up of everyday objects like tables and chairs or constructed using accessible and affordable materials like cardboard and paper-mâché, the simplicity of TSDC sets and props can make it difficult to grasp their full value and the multiple purposes they play in both the performance and the performance creation process.
TSDC sets and props work to:
- Create a believable world for the audience.
- Provide performers with visual and physical resources to help them act as their characters in the world of the play.
- Orient performers in space by providing visual anchors for knowing where they have to be during each scene.
- Assist in the performance creation process by providing workshop participants with resources for creative exploration.