Behind The Scenes: Set Design
Take a look behind the theatre curtain into the roles and responsibilities of Set Designer Kerry Strahm
Where are you from?
I was raised in NE Kansas and went to college and raised my family in St. Joseph, MO.
What made you want to design sets for theatre?
Doing my part in putting productions together and enjoying the creative process is how I like to spend my life right now. In high school I knew I wanted to be involved in set design/creation and had the workshop skills needed. It was my high school English/Speech/Drama teacher that inspired me. In fact, I originally thought about teaching speech/theatre as a means to that end. Fast forward a few years to when the restoration of an old movie palace in my city brought about the birth of several new art organizations, one being a community theatre whose mission it was to 'do good theatre and have fun doing it'. I got involved in set design/building immediately. I did four shows a year for the fist couple of years. Then I moved on to other production and administrative roles in the theatre and tourism entities. At the end of my work life I sought out a theatre career that suited my real desire. I designed/co-designed/TD for approx. 100 shows in the Memphis area.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
Set designers have to pay attention to budget and available labor first. Then, working with the director, a design is agreed upon. The most difficult part of being a TD/master carpenter/shop foreman is balancing the amount of work with the resources.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Favorite - the synergy that happens when working together to get the show ready.
What is it like to design sets for the Old Creamery versus other theatres?
The main difference between producing work in professional theatre vs. community theatre is the training and main focus of the workforce is on other aspects of putting on a show.
Want to read more about Kerry Strahm? Click HERE.