How Do I Become a Scenographer?

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  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2019
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A scenographer is a creative professional who most commonly works in theater. He or she designs costumes and sets and is responsible for creating the atmosphere that helps define the overall mood of a theater production. To become a scenographer, you should begin getting as much theater experience as possible. This means that you should get involved in all aspects of theater production. While acting experience might not be necessary to become a scenographer, it can certainly help you develop a greater understanding of the stage and of aspects of costume and set design that affect actors' performances.

In order to become a scenographer, you should start getting theater production experience in high school. Many schools have theater programs where all students are invited to participate in one way or another. If you are not in high school or if your school does not have this kind of program, you should seek out community theater opportunities. Community theater positions are often unpaid, but they provide participants with valuable experience that can strengthen resumes and make it easier for them to enter academic theater programs.


A person who would like to become a scenographer should plan on getting an undergraduate degree in a field such as theater production or set design. Regardless of the concentration you choose, remember to get a taste of as many different facets of theater production as possible. The more experience you gain and mention in your resume, the more qualified you might appear to future employers.

While a graduate degree in theater production is not essential for a person who would like to become a scenographer, it can be a great way to stand apart from your competitors in tight job markets. A graduate program also is a great way to meet colleagues who might later become valuable job leads. Internships you take while in a graduate program can lead to some early scenographer positions.

It is important to join professional organizations. These groups might require that members pay annual fees. In other cases, members might be required to have a minimum number of years of experience in theater production. Belonging to professional groups allows members to attend classes and seminars where they can learn about new industry trends and network with other professionals.

The theater industry is one which knowing the right people can go a long way. Of course talent and experience are essential, but those who have met the right people tend to get the best positions. Aside from joining professional organizations and enrolling in degree programs, you should also attend parties, shows, and gatherings where there are bound to be many theater professionals.



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