Southeastern Theatre Conference

Connecting You to Opportunities in Theatre Nationwide


at the Renasant Convention Center
& Cannon Center for the Performing Arts

Design Competition

Each year, graduate and undergraduate students display their design work at the annual SETC Convention, get critiqued, meet professional designers, network, and compete to win cash and experience awards! Winners of the competition receive cash, product or experience awards (depending on the competition), a certificate of achievement, and recognition in SETC News.

In order to participate in the 2022 SETC Design Competition, students are required to register as an individual and select Design Competition as an activity by January 20, 2022. Your school must also be a current organizational member of SETC. Once you have registered, you will receive an email with further information and instructions about how to complete your application.

For Graduate and Undergraduate Students
Entrants have a chance to be critiqued by Distinguished Career Designers — modern masters of design with national and international reputations. The experts use an open, one-on-one critique format to offer invaluable learning for all in attendance — whether a student, professor or professional.

2022 TENTATIVE Schedule

Thursday, March 10, 2022
9:00AM – 10:30AM
Register student applicants, receive designs, display set-up
10:30AM – 11:00AM
Room closes for final set-up and prescreening
11:00AM – 6:00PM
Design Adjudicator’s walk-thru – closed to convention participants
6:00PM – 8:00PM
Design Competition open to all convention attendees

Friday, March 11, 2022
Juried responses are offered by the 2020 Distinguished Costume, Lighting, Scenic and Sound Designers.

Schedule subject to minor changes based on entries.
8:30AM – 8:00PM
Exhibit open, Exhibit Hall
8:30AM – 11:30AM
Juried Undergraduate Student Responses, Exhibit Hall Floor, Conv Center
8:30AM – 9:30AM
Set
8:30AM
Sound and Projections pick up work to bring to response room (TBD)
9:30AM – 10:30AM
Costumes
10:30AM – 11:30AM
Lights
9:00AM – 10:00AM
Sound (Room TBD)
10:00AM – 11:00AM
Projections (Room TBD)
10:30AM – 11:30AM
Technical Direction Exhibit Hall
11:30PM – 1:00PM
Lunch
1:00PM – 2:30PM
Properties, Costume Crafts, Costume Technology Responses, Exhibit Hall
2:30PM – 5:30PM
Juried Graduate Student Responses, Exhibit Hall Response Space, Convention Center
2:30PM – 3:30PM
Lights
3:30PM – 4:30PM
Set
4:30PM – 5:30PM
Costumes
5:30PM – 7:30PM
Secondary Response Sessions
Responses to designs are offered by Design Faculty from SETC member schools, and Industry Professionals, Exhibit Hall, Convention Center
7:00PM – 9:00PM
Designers’ Shared Keynote & Discussion
Ballroom TBD, Conv Center
Adjudication selections and Ready to Design posted during Keynote

Saturday, March 12, 2022
9:00-10:30 am Design Awards Ceremony
TBD, Conv Center
9:00AM – 12:00PM
Exhibit open: View the Design Competition and check out the winners.
The convention continues with the light lab, programming, presentations
and festival productions. Exhibit Hall
9:00AM – 10:15AM
Design/Tech Committee Business Meeting, Convention Center – TBD
12:00PM-1:00PM
Strike of Design Competitions

For Graduate and Undergraduate Students
Entrants have a chance to be critiqued by Distinguished Career Designers — modern masters of design with national and international reputations. The experts use an open, one-on-one critique format to offer invaluable learning for all in attendance — whether a student, professor or professional.

When are my materials due?
Submissions are due by February 18. Please email Design Committee Chair Emily Schafer (emailyschafer@sjrstate.edu) and Lee Crouse (lee@setc.org) with questions.

What happens next?
Upon completing registration, candidates will receive a link to complete their competition application.  While the Convention is currently an in-person conference, for accessibility purposes and to avoid undue stress in the event we must do a last-minute transition to virtual, we ask that candidates prepare both a hard copy of their design presentation for in-person, and a virtual gallery presentation.

Thursday, March 4, 2021 (all times ET)
10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Projections
11 a.m. – Noon Props
Noon – 1 p.m. Sound
1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Costume Crafts
2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Costume Tech
3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Make-up
4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Technical Direction
Friday, March 5, 2021 (all times ET)
9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Undergraduate Lighting
10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Graduate Lighting
11 a.m. – Noon Undergraduate Scene
Noon – 1 p.m Graduate Scene
1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Undergraduate Costumes
2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Graduate Costumes

Awards

Separate Graduate & Undergraduate Division winners for each area:

1st Place – $125
2nd Place – $75
3rd Place – $50

For Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Entrants have a chance to be critiqued by Distinguished Career Designers — modern masters of design with national and international reputations. The experts use an open, one-on-one critique format to offer invaluable learning for all in attendance — whether a student, professor or professional.

General Guidelines (Please see below for specific area guidelines)

As SETC navigates the changes in our industry and the limitations COVID-19 has placed on students, we want to make sure students know how we are adapting to their needs for the 2021 SETC Design Competition. We have extended the amount of time a design is allowed to be entered, all the way back to Fall of 2019, as long as the respective design has not been submitted in SETC Design Competitions in the past. We also encourage students to enter their designs from class projects and any online content they may have created. Whether a student utilized video or a live Zoom, we understand the concept, research, and time that it takes to create an end product. There is still time to enter the 2021 Design Competition and have student work evaluated and critiqued by our Distinguished Career Designers from the top of our industry!

  • You may enter one entry in each competition category.
  • Registration and materials must be uploaded by February 18, 2021, 11:59 pm ET.
  • Late entries may be allowed if space permits, but may be declared ineligible for awards.
  • Your school must be an active Institutional member of SETC for you to win an award.
  • We reserve the right to refuse to exhibit entries that do not adhere to the stated criteria.
  • Entry must be your own work.
  • Entry cannot be of previously submitted work.
  • Entry can be theoretical or realized original projection design work from one production.
  • Do not mail the entries to the SETC office.
  • Upload all elements to the website by the designated time.
  • Entrants MUST be present for the critique of their work.
  • Once entrants click submit, changes will not be possible to the submission.

Submission Guidelines

  • There are upload limits for file sizes. Please consider these limits when preparing materials.
  • Your entry should be submitted as a single PDF file saved with your name, title of show and submission area. (Example: “Maggie Smith A Christmas Carol Costume Crafts.pdf”)
  • Please do not display your school’s name, your business card or resume. If your school’s name is already on drafting title blocks, you do not have to remove it.

Awards

Separate Graduate & Undergraduate Division winners for each area:

1st Place – $125
2nd Place – $75
3rd Place – $50

Participants

When are my materials due?
Submissions are due by February 18. Please email Design Committee Chair Emily Schafer (emilyschafer@sjrstate.edu) and Lee Crouse (lee@setc.org) with questions.

What happens next?
Upon completing registration, candidates will receive a link to complete their competition application.  While the Convention is currently an in-person conference, for accessibility purposes and to avoid undue stress in the event we must do a last-minute transition to virtual, we ask that candidates prepare both a hard copy of their design presentation for in-person, and a virtual gallery presentation.

Thursday, March 4, 2021 (all times ET)
10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Projections
11 a.m. – Noon Props
Noon – 1 p.m. Sound
1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Costume Crafts
2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Costume Tech
3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Make-up
4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Technical Direction

Friday, March 5, 2021 (all times ET)
9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Undergraduate Lighting
10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Graduate Lighting
11 a.m. – Noon Undergraduate Scene
Noon – 1 p.m Graduate Scene
1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Undergraduate Costumes
2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Graduate Costumes

HELPFUL ADVICE

  • The content of the work should not compete with its presentation.
  • Be neat, but do not overproduce. Examples of overproduction might include: framing, fancy backgrounds, elaborate titles, or embedded music. Fancy printed labels are fine, but hand-drafted neat labels are just as good.
  • Edit and proofread your Design Statement. Be concise and make sure it focuses on your design approach to the show and not a plot summary.
  • Keep in mind a poor photo or scan can negatively affect your entry. High resolution, well-lit, quality images will best showcase your work.
  • Order your pages or slides in a way that best highlights your process and execution in your design.
  • The judges for each category will carefully review each entrant’s work, giving special consideration to the merits of the concept and how that concept has been translated visually into the work that is presented.
  • The judges will assess the quality of the entry, the clarity of the conceptual statement, the graphical presentation (renderings, sketches, models, drafting), the research (specifically considering how it ties into the project) and the overall presentation of the work. Additionally, the judges may take into consideration information gathered during the feedback session that they hold with the entrants.

COSTUME CRAFTS

Minimum Requirements:

  • Craft: You may enter 2 areas, or you may have several pieces judged together; i.e. 3 hats.
  • Design Statement: one half-page or less with your name, the title of the show and describing the process of creating the item and any problems that you solved in doing so.
  • Any sketches, research, process photos and documentation, and finished craft photos. You may include the original costume design renderings if needed.
  • Finished craft photos may be displayed on a form and/or from production

Crafts will be judged, at a minimum, on the following criteria:

  • Quality of craftsmanship and finish
  • Historical accuracy (if applicable) and research showing such
  • Appropriateness of craft, if from a production
  • Inventive use of materials or techniques in creating the craft.


COSTUME DESIGN

Minimum Requirements:

  • Design Statement: one half-page or less with your name, the title of the show and a description of your approach to the costume design.
  • 6 or more color costume renderings with fabric swatches included.

Suggested supporting elements: 

  • Selected Research materials
  • Selected Preliminary sketches
  • A costume plot 
  • Budget
  • Photographs if it is a realized production

Designs will be judged, at a minimum, on the following criteria:

  • Historical accuracy (if applicable) and research showing such
  • Appropriateness of makeup design for the production/character
  • Inventive use of materials or techniques in the design.


COSTUME TECHNOLOGY

Minimum Requirements:

  • Entry:  your entry for Costume Technology may include multiple related pieces that you patterned and/or constructed i.e. multiple pieces of one costume.  
  • Concept Statement: one half-page or less your name, the title of the show and describing the process of creating the item and any problems that you solved in doing so.

Suggested supporting elements: 

  • Any construction sketches or research
  • Patterns
  • Process Photos and documentation
  • Fabric swatches 
  • Original Costume Renderings (if applicable)
  • Final photos may be displayed on a form and/or from production

Costume technology entries will be judged on, at a minimum, the following criteria:

  • Quality of craftsmanship and finish
  • Historical accuracy (if applicable) and research showing such
  • Appropriateness of craft if from a production
  • Inventive use of materials or techniques in creating the craft


LIGHTING DESIGN

SPONSORED BY

Minimum requirements:

  • Design Statement: one half-page or less with your name, the title of the show and describing your approach to the lighting design.
  • Light plot drawn in ¼” = 1’-0” or ½” = 1’-0” scale using USITT standard symbols
  • Dimmer/control schedule, magic sheets, instrument schedule
  • Hanging Section (scenic designer’s is acceptable)
  • Photographs of realized production if production was realized

Suggested supporting elements: 

  • Research materials, preliminary sketches, cue sheets, storyboards.


MAKEUP DESIGN

Minimum requirements:

  • Design Statement: one half-page or less with your name, the title of the show and describing your approach to the design and process for realization.
  • 6 or more high-quality photos of completed makeup application.
  • May include reference costume design renderings if needed
  • Research materials and preliminary sketches
  • Makeup plots and product lists

Makeup will be judged, at a minimum, on the following criteria

  • Quality of makeup application and translation on stage/under lights
  • Historical accuracy (if applicable) and research showing such
  • Appropriateness of makeup design for the production/character
  • Collaboration with other design elements (costumes and hair, specifically)
  • Inventive use of materials/products to create the finished look


PROJECTION DESIGN

SPONSORED BY

Minimum Requirements:

  • Design Statement: one half-page or less with your name, the title of the show and describing your approach to the projection design.
  • 6 or more color costume renderings with fabric swatches included.
  • Technical Drawings & Paperwork which may include:
  • Theatre ground plan of the production showing all projector/surface locations with throw information
    • Section drawing
    • Photographs of realized production or digital renderings of theoretical project 

Suggested supporting elements: 

  • Video of projection sequences (no longer than 3 minutes in length).
  • Hookup Plot or Hardware Schematic
  • Research materials 
  • Cue sheets


Properties

Minimum Requirements:

  • Maximum of 3 items from an actual production OR project unrelated to a specific production.  Props are “non-costume items used by an actor (hand prop) or set dressing including furniture and decorative elements of the set even if not handled by an actor.” Uncertain if an item qualifies? Send photo to emilyschafer@sjrstate.edu
  • A sketch true to the item, whether or not entrant designed item. 
  • Research if necessary.
  • Design Statement:  One-half page or less, describing the process of creating the item and any problems that you solved in doing so. 

Props will be judged on, at a minimum, the following criteria:

  • True to design – whether the item was designed and built by the same individual, or designed by someone else and built by the entrant, it should be accompanied by a sketch and supporting research if necessary and true to the designer’s intention.  Historical accuracy (if applicable), as well as appropriateness if from a production, will be considered.
  • Creativity – consideration should be given to items that utilize old techniques in different ways or that use new techniques or experimentation but not at the expense of beautifully executed traditional items.
  • Elegance of technique – the quality of craftsmanship and finish.


SCENE DESIGN

Minimum Requirements:

  • Ground Plan at least ¼”=1’-0” scale
  • Color sketch, scaled model or painter’s elevations
  • Design statement: one half page or less with your name, the title of the show and a description of your design approach to the scenic design.

Suggested supporting elements: 

  • Research materials & preliminary sketches
  • Full drawing package including sections, elevations and detail drawings in addition to the required ground plan
  • Photos if realized production

Designs will be judged, at a minimum, on the following criteria:

  • Historical accuracy (if applicable) and research showing such
  • Appropriateness of makeup design for the production/character
  • Inventive use of materials or techniques in the design.


SOUND DESIGN

SPONSORED BY

Minimum requirements:

Written Presentation:

  • Design Statement: one half-page or less with your name, the title of the show and describing your approach to the sound design.
  • Cue sheets samples
  • A theatre ground plan of the production showing all speaker locations, placements and signal flow.
  • Any accompanying documentation about the entrant’s research supporting their overall design or design process  

Audio Presentation:
Entrants should present audio files that represent the overall design of the show.  This can consist of audio samples of the following work by the entrant:

  • Cues built or recorded
  • Music compiled or created
  • Other sounds used for the show
  • Atmospheric Soundscapes used in the production  
  • The compiled audio samples can be interesting to listen to on their own and can consist of multiple samples of sound(s) and music combined in creative ways. If a single .wav encompassing the production is submitted the entire length should be no longer than 3 minutes in length.  

Video (Optional): Sound Designers have the option of presenting a video file containing the above audio samples in addition to visual elements (photos, video clips, etc.) provided that all visuals are images from the production or are directly related to their research. 


TECHNICAL DIRECTION

Minimum Requirements:

  • Design Statement:  One-half page or less, describing the process of the build and implementation and any obstacles that you solved in doing so.
  • Production Book Sample Pages in PDF form
  • Examples of the budget (estimated and realized), build calendar, notes, research, other applicable items
  • Designer drawings (you will not be judged on the designer’s work, this will be for reference) should have piece used for representation.
  • Working drawings
  • Documented pictures of set pieces, showing backstage (internal) structure as well as stage-side (external).  Showing stage side under work light and also stage light.

Technical Directors will be judged on, at a minimum, the following criteria:

  • True to the intention of the design – whether the item was built by the same individual or a team it should ultimately represent the work of the design team.
  • Creativity – consideration should be given to items that utilize old techniques in different and appropriate ways or that use new techniques and bring innovation to the industry.
  • Production Book – paperwork management
  • Calendar and Budget Management – effective use of stock, cost saving measures, materials and labor.  Notation of calendar changes and explanations.
  • Effective Technical Design – technical drawings, use of modern materials, consideration of how product will be developed and utilized.  Construction/load in considerations.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

REGISTRATION INFORMATION