WEEKLY TASKS.

Weekly tasks and challenges designed to give you an insight into real careers in the arts

POSTER BRIEF

At Shakespeare’s Globe, our marketing and design teams often collaborate together to create eye-catching posters.

You will see them outside the theatre and all around London. Maybe on your walk to school or on the tube; keep an eye out to see if you spot any!

We would like you to design a poster for the upcoming production of Macbeth.

The Audience
The audience for this production will mainly be schools and young people from across London and Birmingham, so the mood boards must connect to them. The play was written several hundred years ago, but you can choose any setting you think will engage your audience. Our production is contemporary, but you can take inspiration from any time period or anywhere you choose.

Interpretation
When a play is planned by a theatre-like Shakespeare’s Globe, an important task is to prepare an eye-catching poster to advertise the production and also to form the cover for the programme.

You will find a range of poster designs for this production on this page.

1. Choose one of the posters and use sticky notes to show how you think the images, the colours and the words used link to the play.

2. Now design your own poster for the play. Remember that your poster will need to be eye-catching and provide an idea of what happens in the play.

TOP 5 TIPS FOR DESIGNING A POSTER 

1. You need to make it impactful so that it immediately grabs the attention of the viewer.
2. You need to be as bold and creative as possible so that it is unique from any competition.
3. You need to make sure that all the information can be read clearly so that no important details about dates or times are lost.
4. You need to think about who the poster is aimed for and therefore target it for that particular market.
5. You need to consider the subject matter for your poster. So you need to research the topic and understand it before you begin designing.

Submissions
You can choose how you would prefer to design and present your poster, either by hand or on a computer.

Take a photograph of your hand-made design or share a JPEG/PDF with us on social media. Tag us on Twitter and Instagram @The_Globe and use #PlayingShakespeare so we can see your entries. We will select some of our favourites to reshare on social media and on our website.

A graphic image of a man's face and the words Macbeth

POSTER DESIGN FOR MACBETH 2020

During the design process, lots of images will be collated into a mood board for inspiration. Alternative poster designs are created and reviewed until one is picked as the best representative of the production. But don’t worry the other designs aren’t wasted, you will see some of these images have been used in the programme and all-around this website.

ALTERNATIVE POSTER DESIGNS 

INSPIRATION MOOD BOARD

SET DESIGN BRIEF

Each production at the Globe will have its own message and intention. One of the ways we convey these messages; be it the location, time period or atmosphere of the play is through set design.

The Globe stage itself is very unique and already has so much detail and character, therefore it is a set designer’s role to transform the space to represent the varying locations where Shakespeare’s plays are set.

We would like you to design a set for the upcoming production of Macbeth.

The Audience
The audience for this production will mainly be schools and young people. We would therefore like you to design a set that reflects this. The set needs to be exciting and should have some elements, colours, or shapes that the young audience can relate to. You can take inspiration from anywhere you choose. However, the set also needs to work within the existing Globe space.

The Play
Macbeth is set in Scotland and England. The play opens in a ‘desert place’ during a thunderstorm, and throughout the play there are references to the natural world. However, much action also takes place indoors: in Macbeth’s castle in Inverness and later the royal palace in Dunsinane. A lot of this also takes place under cover of darkness.

The Globe Theatre
The Globe is a unique playing space, with a number of special features which makes it different from a conventional theatre. Therefore these features must be considered when designing a set. For example:

  • It is outdoors rather than indoors
  • It has two very large pillars on the left and right hand sides of the stage
  • It has a balcony on the stage
  • It has seated audience on three sides and a central area where the audience stand (also called ‘the yard’)
  • The actors are able to walk through the yard to enter the stage.

See the Supporting files for a scaled front-on drawing of the stage, also called a Front Elevation.

TOP 5 TIPS FOR DESIGNING A SET

1. Work in whatever way you feel most comfortable and the techniques that work best for you – if you don’t enjoy drawing much, spend more of your time creating a model.
2. When starting a new design, make a note of everything in the story. Use these to think about the world you are creating, and consider how the set design can give support to the telling of the story.
3. Think about the relationship between the actors on stage and the audience and importantly what their sightlines are – you don’t want to build something huge that half the audience can’t see the stage!
4. Leave things open to interpretation – once you have an idea don’t tell people exactly what you are doing but hint at certain things and let people draw their own conclusions.
5. Don’t discount things because they seem big and impossible; there will always be some big and theatrical way of achieving your design.

Submissions
Please draw your set designs onto the Set Template which you can download. You can add colour or written notes if it helps to explain the design. Take a photograph of your hand-made design or share a JPEG/PDF with us on social media. Tag us on Twitter and Instagram @The_Globe and use #PlayingShakespeare so we can see your entries. We will select some of our favourites to reshare on social media and on our website.

COSTUME DESIGN BRIEF

Costumes are an essential part of conveying story and character in the play. They can tell you era the play is set in, the status of characters, they can even influence the way a character carries themselves and interacts with others in the performance.

In this production of Macbeth flags are incorporated into costumes to show allegiance and status. You will notice when watching the production how this contrasts the witches whose clothes look salvaged and stitched together. The visual identity of the characters is an important element when conveying the story.

We would like you to design some costumes for the upcoming production of Macbeth.

The Audience
The audience for this production will be mainly schools and young people. A key consideration for designing these costumes is that the audience must be able to relate to the characters. That means it’s really important to dress the characters in clothes that feel familiar to young people today. Our production is set in the modern period, but like us you can take inspiration from anywhere you choose.

The Characters
There are different kinds of characters in the play; soldiers and generals, thanes and kings, ladies and witches, (and a goddess). We would like you to use costume to help to show the differences between these characters. Think about what materials, symbols or accessories you can use to help show the character’s status and personality.
You could design multiple costumes for one character, as it’s common for actors to change throughout the show. Good examples of this are Macbeth and Lady Macbeth: you could contrast their costumes in Act 1 (before Duncan’s murder) with their looks in Act 5 (as the English army approaches).

The Practicalities
The costumes must achieve the desired look for the performance, but still be comfortable and allow the actors to move easily in them. The performances are outside on the Globe stage and so the costumes also need to be resilient to wet and windy weather. Make sure that what you design is hard-wearing because the costumes will be taken on and off many times by the actors, particularly on days with two performances.

TOP 5 TIPS FOR DESIGNING COSTUMES

1.  Be open initially to lots of different options, but remember you will need to focus in on specific ideas related to the character you are designing for. This could be to do with their age, gender, background, shape, height etc.
2. Don’t be afraid to reuse bits of old costume you’ve created in the past or have seen – but remember you’ll also need to think about how characters relate to each other and so view them not only as individuals but as a company.
3. The shape of a costume can be as important as the materials you use – something with good lines and fit can also signify an expensive outfit.
4. You need to make sure your drawing is really clear so that someone could actually make it. To help with this you should include notes describing what materials you will use and any other details.
5. Sometimes you might not be able to say everything about a character through their clothes – think about what accessories you could add to help with your character’s identity.

Submissions
Please draw your costume designs onto the template provided. You can add colour or written notes if it helps to explain the design.
Take a photograph of your hand-made design or share a JPEG/PDF with us on social media. Tag us on Twitter and Instagram @The_Globe and use #PlayingShakespeare so we can see your entries. We will select some of our favourites to reshare on social media and on our website.

REVIEWING BRIEF

After months of preparation and planning, you would think once the play is up and running some of the pressure would be off- but no! Often plays will have a press night where reviewers, journalists, and influencers are invited to watch the show and share their thoughts.

Following this, reviews will appear in newspapers, online and on social media often with a star rating. As an audience member, you have probably read reviews before deciding whether or not to see a show.

Use the guide below to write a review for the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production of Macbeth.

Write a heading

  • Write the title of the production and that it was written by William Shakespeare.
  • Say that you saw it at Shakespeare’s Globe and the date you saw it.
  • Write your name.

Set the scene (Context)

  • Give a description of the Globe, assuming that the reader has never visited before. Perhaps describe how it feels when you first arrive, as well as what the building looks like.
  • Maybe add a brief history of the Globe, including its origins.
  • Mention the type of play (e.g. comedy, history, tragedy). You may choose to add when the play was written or published.
  • Describe the theme(s) of the play – its main subjects or message.

Narrative and Character

  • Write a brief summary of the plot.
  • Outline the main characters. You can put the actors’ names in brackets after the characters they played, or mention their names as you evaluate the acting, e.g. ‘Macbeth was brilliantly played by Ekow Quartey…’
  • Try to show how the characters behaved in the context of the plot, scene, or with other characters.

Acting Skills/Styles

  • If the piece was supposed to be ‘naturalistic’, say if you thought the actors were convincing.
  • Show how their voices or movements affected the way that they performed their part.
  • Mention any outstanding performances by the actors (good or bad), giving examples and details.

Technical Evaluation (Atmosphere)

  • Describe how you were welcomed into the theatre.
  • Describe what you actually saw on stage, including the set, costumes and music.
  • Live music always plays an important part in Globe productions. How was it done and how were the musicians used?

Directorial evaluation

  • The Globe stage is very distinctive. Was the way the actors used it innovative or traditional? Explain how.
  • Do you think the director’s interpretation was true to what Shakespeare intended? Would it have been performed like this when it was written? What might be different now?

Personal Thoughts

  • How did you feel at the end?
  • What are your lasting impressions?

Submissions
Take a photograph of your hand-made design or share a JPEG/PDF with us on social media. Tag us on Twitter and Instagram @The_Globe and use #PlayingShakespeare so we can see your entries. We will select some of our favourites to reshare on social media and on our website.

REVIEWING A PLAY TOP TIPS

An actor has balloons spelling congrats above him while confetti showers the stage Watch video

Check out some top tips from real theatre critic Matt Trueman! Typically reviewers will decide how many stars out of 5 a show deserves – we hope you think it deserves ★★★★★

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