Scene Design

May 2010

Both of Costume and Scene Design were amazing classes. Not easy, but still amazing. I learned so much from Sandra - her feedback was invaluable to me, and I'm very glad I took her classes. Now, onto a list of things to note before signing up for her classes: - They are discussion classes, do the reading. - It is easy to let the homework get away from you, and leave it all until Thursday night. Don't. Building a good scale model of a set is not easy, and it's not any easier at 3am. - Take the time to do your research. Google Images might seem like your best friend, but suck it up and make the trip to Avery. This is one of the few times where the internet might just fail you. If you can't make it to Avery, at least use Artstor or one of the other digital image archives on CLIO. - BEST FIELD TRIPS EVER, if you're a behind the scenes type of theater geek. For Set Design we went to Hudson Scenic (where they build sets for Broadway musicals) and for Costume Design we went backstage at The Lion King and to a costume shop that works on costumes for Shrek (the musical), The Lion King, the Rockettes, and more. - No textbooks to buy, but you will spend money on supplies. These are essentially art classes in that respect. In the case of set design, a scale rule is a must. A lot of stuff can be found in the supply closet, but a few things you should buy for yourself: good pencils, a pencil sharpener, erasers, and a sketchbook.

Jan 2008

Sandra is a fantastic professor, but be warned that her class is no walk in the park. Her pedigree is amazing and she is a working professional in the city, so she is insanely qualified, but expects equal quality from her students. She does not baby the class or hold anyone's hand, so be prepared to work hard for a good grade. That being said, Sandra's class is one of the most rewarding experiences I've had at Columbia. She recognizes hard work and helps her students in whatever way she can, if they come to her. Any class with her is definitely worth taking, as you will learn quite a bit. And, did I mention that she's brilliant?

Mar 2004

This course is an excellent trial-by-fire for anyone considering entering the design field professionally. Erik brings to the classroom his own knowledge and experience from work in the professional world, and he shares this experience with his students both directly and indirectly -- he will not only tell you about what it's like to work in the field, but he will treat big student presentations as if they were an actual pitch session. And this is great! You really get a sense of what sort of demands are made in the outside theatre world. Furthermore, Erik pushes his students to think critically about the design process while exploring various design options. He does not AT ALL put a dampener on creative and fantastical design ideas, though he will remind you to keep in mind some practical considerations (budget, discussing the vision with the rest of the design team, spitching the idea to a director). Scene design is a great course for anyone interested in theatre design (any aspect), architecture, visual art, or theatre in general -- it is also good for performers to be able to try their hands at design and gain an appreciation for that aspect of the creative process.

Mar 2004

Erik is friendly, smart, and not much older than you. He is a good teacher and usually pretty serious, but pay attention because he definitely has moments of hilarity. The class is very interesting and Erik is all over the New York theater scene; he can give you some great tips. It's probably a moot point, but if you don't have any theater experience, you might be a little lost in this class because he makes you jump right in and design a show for the very first homework assignment. In general, a great class for any theater major.