The Department of Stage Design equips artists with the tools to create an artistic image of performance space for theatrical, opera, ballet, and other productions. The aim of the studies is to teach students to visualize the idea that stems from a dramatic text, a scenario and/or a concept developed together with the director of the performance or event. Stage designer's task is to express the theme of the performance in the stage language using visual art assets.
Students learn to transform objective space into a subjectively perceived work of art using various creative methods; they study the basic principles of visual solutions for a theater stage – the interaction of spatial and plane composition. During the study process, students are looking for techniques that help to poetize the relationship between man and space, written word, subject, color, light, material, texture. The main objective of stage design is to conjure up the artistic image of the theater space by combining these elements in different ways and poetizing their relationships.
The main subject of the specialty is composition or manifestation of a space for theatrical performance; however, students also learn about theatrical costume, stage painting, video projection as a means of expression integrated into stage design, tectonics of art object's form, as well as spatial scale layout design. Production Basics course acquaints students with different schools of theater and directing, learn about technology and methods for reading and analyzing plays and literary works of other genres, which is an important condition for a professional stage designer. For an in-depth development of the sense of shape, color, and space, students learn the principles of plane and space organization by learning drawing and painting.
During their studies, students already begin to cooperate with professional theaters in Latvia.
Students of the Department of Stage Design can learn the following subjects:
- Composition – the "main" course in witch student actually work with stage design for the play;
- Directing – analysis of the play;
- Costume Studies – it is actually costume design for the play;
- Tectonics – theatrical ideas outside the scene. Installations, action art, and nonconventional performances considering the main theme formulated by composition. Professor of this subject is a sculptor;
- Computer Studies – projections, video and printing design for the production 3D or special modeling – sketchup;
- Stage painting – basically it is contemporary orientated tasks playing around the basic theme but not exactly scenographic ideas. More freedom and less restrictions, but it is not about classical painting. Ideas for the poster of the play, street art wich advertises the production in unconventional way and so on;
- Scale layout (scale models) and, later on – basics of the scene technologies: it is about how to have fun from the technical routine of the scenographers work. Restrictions and conditions – how to live with them and to maintain creative attitude.
In addition to the department’s specialty subjects students study drawing and painting, gradually learning topics such as still life, interior design, portrait, figure and nude.