Duration: Three years, full-time
BILINGUAL PROGRAM:Anglophone and francophone students work together as a group; bilingualism is a definite advantage but not a requirement.
The professional artists invited to teach in the Set and Costume Design program are chosen for their proficiencies and expertise and not for their fluency in either of Canada's official languages.
Scenography as the architecture of moving images
Evita Karasek will graduate from the Set and Costume Design program in May 2012. She shares her learning curve, thoughts and motivation for coming to the National Theatre School.
Odile Gamache is in her 2nd year at the School's only colingual program. Listen to her video profile in French.
Camera and Video Editor: Chloé Robichaud
» For a glimpse of one of the workshops given in the second year, go the Multimedia section to view the video
» Click here to watch two more videos
: see students mount the set and lighting for Les sorcières de Salem
(French version of The Crucible
- 2009) and listen to the designers of this play talk about their work. Both videos were produced by the Montreal Science Centre.
The role of the set and costume designer is that of a poet, thinker and
communicator of images – an artist who uses both the language of
space and of the body. It is a form of expression in itself, one that blends
and joins with the ideas of other creators (directors, lighting designers,
etc.). The distinctive creative process of this art leads the student to
plumb the depths of a theatre text, dissect its meaning and explore all
of its subtleties, while maintaining a constant dialogue with the subject matter.
Imagination, a spirit of research and exploration, an open mind, and a
solid cultural background are the indispensable tools needed for anyone
wishing to practice this art.
The training offered at the NTS enables students to put their knowledge
into practice by collaborating on the performances presented at the School
and the Monument-National. They also have the opportunity to work, on-site,
with professionals in the costume shop, scenic painting, properties, and
sets workshops. Anglophone and francophone students are grouped together
but bilingualism is not required.
On completion of their training, our graduates are professionals who are
sought after to design sets, costumes and props in theatre, dance and opera
as well as in other fields such film, television, circus, and museums.
Students at the School study free-hand drawing, perspective, painting
and computer-assisted drafting. Through various projects of conceptualization,
they explore the dynamics of movement, space, body and light; they also
familiarize themselves with colour, matter, materials and texture.
Students take courses in history of theatre, architecture, and costume.
They are also taught the different steps of the creative process: text
analysis, research in visual metaphors, exploration, final renderings in
two and three dimensions, and technical drawing. With the guidance of the
Program Director, teachers shape their courses in order to help students
develop individually as artists and artisans and take risks, with introspection,
sincerity and integrity.
In their final year, graduating Set and Costume Design students are entirely
responsible for the set and costume designs of the School’s public performances.
It is in these professional situations that students learn how to communicate with the other members of the team: cutters, head carpenters, lighting designers and actors… In these productions, students also work with professional directors.