This piece is part of our Performing Arts Guide in the September 2022 print issue of District Fray. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Freelance set designer.
District Fray: What does your process looks like, start to finish?
Paige Hathaway: Reading the script, talking with the director, seeing what their vision is for the show. From there, I’ll do visual and aesthetic research. [Then] I do 3D constructs of what I’m imagining. I’ll take that into Photoshop and flesh it out, add furniture pieces, color and texture. Once we settle on a design idea, I will communicate the design phase because each theatre company either has their own shops that build and create the scenery, or they hire a company. It all basically becomes about communicating what I want the set to look like. [After that,] we move into technical rehearsals, then finally, we move everything into the actual theater itself.
What’s most creative about the process?
You’re able to get away with some fun, stylized representations of reality — or even go further out and do something more expressive about creating a tone or a feeling. [You’re not] grounded in, ‘Okay, we have to have a sink here, a door here, a sofa here.’ You get to play a bit more with aesthetic expressions of the play’s themes.