Theater Design: Both Sides of the Curtain Matter

Perhaps for most people, good sets and scenic theatre design are an almost-invisible backdrop. They’re supposed to be nearly invisible—and that happens only when experienced designers and craftsmen know how to make sets an integral part of the stage and the story. Sounds easy, but it’s not.

Chicago Scenic started out in theatre set design and construction 40 years ago. We can introduce you to our magical scenic artisans—painters, carpenters, metal workers, electrical technicians, fabric and sewn goods experts—who have honed their techniques in rigorous theatre programs. Cyclorama walls, theatre scrims, backdrops, turntables and slip stages—they get it.

Their expertise is earned. Our artisans have made their living by working on Broadway and in regional theatres across the country. That’s where they learned how to create scenic elements, meet budgets, and make sure the show always, always goes on.

Look at the magic they’ve created here…

Great ideas—but how’s it gonna look on stage?

The right techniques, the right materials, the scenic techniques. Can you wait until the set design lives on your stage to make sure it looks good? We wouldn’t.

And that’s why theatre clients come to Chicago Scenic. Our shop is massive—165,000 square feet—and it has ample ceiling height to set up your complete set. Decking flats, you name it—it happens in our dedicated space, 150-ft. wide by 100-ft. deep, reserved for full theatre set construction.

Bring your whole team. This is the opportunity to see exactly how your theatre set is going to appear on opening night. It’s an unusual opportunity—many clients tell us they usually only view their sets laying down or in segments. Not the whole thing. And as all of our clients know, once the stage set has moved into your theatre, surprises and changes cost time and money.

Theater Design: Our Core Expertise

Chicago Scenic’s roots are in designing and building theatre sets — a deep tradition now in its fourth decade. Learn more.

What’s behind the curtain?

The most important thing you want behind the curtain and on stage is safety. Our ETCP-rigging and electrical certified professionals take care of that. Their rigorous training and certification programs ensure that they have a deep understanding of science and engineering behind all stage rigging. All their choices and specifications meet strict industry safety standards.

There’s also a lot of stage automation going on back there—and it’s crucial to a show’s perfect cues and reliable automation. Perfect automation is what makes curtains rise and kabukis drop when they’re supposed to.

Our skilled technicians are adept at integrating automaton into each scenic piece. They’ve developed strategic partnerships to ensure the correct system for any application. So, when you need large capacity turntables, lifts and hydraulics, winches and pinpoint effects, you’ve got it.

Automation control systems? Name your partner—we know those systems and we integrate with them flawlessly.

Technology—for budgets small and big

Great news for every theatre design—we’ve found a partner whose graphics are magnificent and affordable. 

Using new technology printing capabilities, we’re offering our theatre clients large format printing—up to 40-feet wide. This is the perfect opportunity for large theatres and small, especially when you require fast turnarounds paired with cost effective shipping. These seamless backdrops and this quality output deliver a three-dimensional visual from every seat in the house. And the affordable price tag is always a delight! 

On the other side of the budget…

If you’re looking for the effects that new technology brings to the stage via projection mapping and video walls, we have the team you need for a flawless show. Our project management professionals will assemble the scenic designers, technology partners, and the equipment providers. Once we assemble the team—we’ll manage it, too. Sure, price is value here, but the results are stunning. 

All the project management will be ours; the applause is all yours.

Contact Chicago Scenic today and talk to us about your theatre set project and check out our work in other industries.