Theatrical design for "Woman in Black"


Hi, I’ve been using SketchUp in my stage design work for about ten years, but I’m new here at the forum. I love it because it’s so easy to switch between scenes when presenting the design to a director and cast, and then to port it over to LayOut to do the construction drawings.

This was my design for the stage version of “The Woman in Black,” by Stephen Mallatratt based on the novel by Susan Hill. The story takes place in an empty late 1800s theater, so we converted a generic 1970s theater into what you see below. Something else I liked about SU for this job was the transparency feature in the material editor, since I was able to make that scrim (the large piece of cloth hanging across the stage) translucent to show the setting behind it.

BTW, those statues on top of the columns are placeholders. The actual ones were based on Victorian cemetery statuary.

At this point I’m only allowed to insert one photo here, but later on I’ll have more.


Nice work, and as you say the ability to show angles on the stage set is a great way to understand the space. Have you delved into any rendering software yet? I’m sure one or two key scenes rendered with theatrical lighting would bring your designs to life even further.


Thank you for your note. I did look into rendering software (a lot of them), but finally decided I really don’t need to light the models, since the lighting for the show itself would be done by a lighting designer. As it is, the model gives the production team a lot to discuss.

I do agree, though, that rendering the model with some theatrical lighting would make it look nicer on its own. It’s a matter of how much time I can put into it.