Workshop 11 : Set design and costumes

Implementation: what do we need?

– Set design elements and costumes;
– A workspace: the room provided must be large enough and arranged in such a way that it can accommodate all participants and allow freedom of movement, the workshop requiring physical commitment.

The participants

The methodology is aimed at primary and sixth grade students, aged between 9 and 13. Ideally, the group should not exceed 30 students. 


School teacher, educator, theatre teacher

Objectives of this workshop

Strengthen the capacity for individual and collective reflection around a text. 
Reinforce the notions of listening, attention to others and debate.
Develop the ability to act as a group.

Time required

90-120 minutes


The workshops use techniques of oral expression and debate around a theme related to a source text. They also put into practice, through body expression techniques, the questions theorized by students to allow a global understanding of the issues raised by the text. 


At the end of the session, children will have: 

Developed ability to work individually and in groups
Progressed towards acquiring communication skills
Strengthened their critical thinking by sharing and discussing symbolic themes present in their stories.

1. Start session

The clap  
In a circle, the children pass a clap to their neighbor. e (one claps in his hands) while making the circle. For the clap to pass, students must look each other in the eye before clapping their hands!

2. Esthetics

Through videos, illustrations and photographs, we come to expose students to different aesthetics through stage costumes and traditional clothes from around the world: 

make-up like in Australia
jewelry as in Cameroune
headdresses as in Bolivia

Masks can be fully trained with: 

the masks of the commedia dell’arte
the Venetian masks
the masks of the peking opera
the masks in the Kathakali
ritual masks in Nigeria, Malawi, Tibet, Japan and the Kwakwaka’wakw (non-exhaustive list of course, these are only suggestions!)

3. Creation

Then discuss with them what they like and what can be wise to be inspired for their story: a headdress for a king instead of a crown, a decorated stick that can serve both as a mount and a weapon, a large scarf that serves as a boat sail, of a witch’s cloak and a skirt of a dancer…

Also look at accessories that can be used as instruments such as maracasse bracelets. But beware of their manipulation during the performance, the noise of which could interfere with certain paintings…

Make the different costumes and accessories by making masks, headdresses, matching fabrics…

Note: the accessories are real supports for the game of students. They help them in the process of incarnation, stimulate their imagination, act as a reassuring crutch on which to rely to use their body in the scenic space.

3. End of the ritual

The. a leader stands opposite the other members of the group in order to be seen by all. He/she positions his arms horizontally and will clap his hands above his head. The others must imitate him at his/her pace. Then, little by little, he.elle will accelerate until reaching applause.