The Scenic Ground Plan
A “section” is a view of an object that has been cut through to show the
structure. The Ground Plan is a horizontal section with the cutting plane placed at a level that shows the most characteristic view of the shape of the set. Generally this would be as if a knife cut through the setting an arbitrary 4' above the floor of the set on all levels, cutting through the all openings. Construction above this line is represented by dashed lines, such as tops of doorways, overhanging balconies, levels above, etc.
The Ground Plan shows:
- The horizontal shape of the set as it sits on the stage floor.
- The location of all scenic elements on the stage floor.
- The setting in its assembled state.
- The identity and size of all major scenic elements.
- The suggested location of major floor properties and their approximate size,
indicated in thin lines.
- Overhead construction and properties, indicated by dashed line.
- The swing and arc of all doors and alternate positions of other moving
- All backings and drapins in position relative to sightlines.
- Location of key flying elements, including teasers, curtains, electrics, and
cyclorama, if used.
The set is located on the stage in reference to two lines which are standard
for each given stage:
- The Centerline: the center of the area where the setting is to be placed. In the proscenium theatre this line bisects the proscenium opening.
- The Plaster line: a line parallel to the proscenium opening coinciding with the upstage surface of the proscenium wall. Where there is no proscenium, or if a show will tour, designers often use a more flexible reference called the Set Line. All elements are specified in reference to a line at the extreme downstage extent of the setting, which is then placed in reference to some permanent theatre feature, such as the proscenium or back wall.
- Locate principal points of the visible components of the set and other significant reference points in their relationship to PL and CL.
- All walls, windows, platforms, and other elements are then dimensioned, placing dimensions outside and upstage of the setting as much as possible.
- -Furniture and floor properties generally are located but not dimensioned unless placement is critically specific.
- -There must be enough dimensions to adequately locate all elements of the setting in relation to the reference points already established in 1, above. The Stage Manager must be able to mark the set in the rehearsal space from this plan.
- -When dimensions risk becoming too crowded, focus on the critical dimensions that show key placement of the elements. Minor details will be indicated on the design elevations.
- Diminsion heights of platforms by simply placing the dimension in inches, in the form +x" (circled) in key places on the levels, such as at access points. The figure indicates distance above the stage floor (regardless of rise from surrounding levels). A - designation might be used if a level, such as an apron extension, dropped below the stage floor level. This convention is used for walking or floor surfaces, not furniture tops.
- -Stairs are dimensioned by indicating platform height at the top step and indicating the rise and tread, and direction up, in a label note.
- -Label and note all walls alphabetically from the stage right return and progressing around every wall to the stage left return. This provides reference for other drawings. The letter designation is placed in a circle adjacent to the face of the wall indicated.
- -Label and note all other elements not readily identifiable by standard drawing symbols.