At the beginning of every Broadway creative process, all that exists is an empty stage. Using craft, imagination, and theatre magic, designers bring a production to life, transporting an audience to worlds near and far.
It’s a challenging feat for any one production, but for many Broadway designers, a life in the theatre involves re-inventing the wheel again and again. Playbill caught up with Tony Award–winning scenic designer Scott Pask to unpack his approach to design, his creative process, and to explore his favorite theatre designs.
"It has always been important to me to approach design like a chameleon. I design many different kinds of productions in a wide variety of formats: plays, musicals, operas, and dance for the stage, museum exhibitions, TV/film projects—and approach each one with a visual diligence and heightened level of specificity and detail, whatever the style, period, or aesthetic goals," Pask says. "I hope this selection of productions shows this diversity in approach as well as an aesthetic nimbleness, and that they are all linked by their rigor in attention to detail."
After reading the material and speaking at length with a director about the goals for the production and developing a sense of space in which the story will be told, "sketches are quickly developed into more clear renderings and then into physical models to explore the space in three dimensions with the director and producer, along with the lighting, costume, sound, and prop designers," Pask says.
"Collaboration with the team is the most important part of the design journey and the conversations, investigation and work together is what ultimately shapes the process as well as the world onstage that we are creating."
From the high energy design of Mean Girls to the quiet nature of The Band's Visit, go inside Pask's process as he unpacks the designs of six of his favorite shows.