Scope & Scale Checklist

The Forum has gathered the following list of considerations that designers can use to help determine the scope and scale of a project when negotiating their contracts. Scope refers to the complexity of a designer’s role on a particular project, whereas scale refers to the complexity of the design itself. This list is a selection of factors and is intended as a starting point towards conceptualizing a designer’s overall engagement with a project. Scope and scale considerations will vary widely from project to project and additional factors may apply. These are preliminary questions for designers to consider and their use is intended solely as a guideline.

Time Commitment & Compensation

  • Rehearsal dates and time:

    • How often are you expected in rehearsal?
      * if you’re unable to have a flexible schedule, you may want to discuss a weekly/hourly rate.

    • Departmental deadline?

    • Will there be a production run prior to load in? How many?

  • Tech dates and times:

    • How often are you expected in the theatre?

    • Length of day, breaks?

    • Notes time (length and hours)?

  • Expected number of design and production meetings?

  • How will requests for changes after the approval on Finals be handled?

Available Equipment & Information

  • Equipment:

    • Kit fee? Rental budget?

    • What equipment is provided?

    • What equipment is being shared?

    • Is software owned, rented or need to be sourced/created?

  • Availability and state of technical drawings:

    • House plot?

    • Sightlines?

    • 2d or 3d model?

    • Are they up to date?

    • File format?

  • Venue Visit:

    • Fire code?

    • Wing and storage space?

    • Quick change and dressing spaces?

    • Restrictions and quirks?

  • Expected Output:

    • Physical rendering?

    • Content creation vs. sourcing?

  • Available stock held by the producing company?

    • Any additional resources available through the producing company?

  • Is a workspace or shop being provided?

Show & Performance Information

  • Definition of the role (are head of wardrobe duties expected? Is programming expected?)

  • State of the script:

    • New work, revisions or work in collaboration?

    • Has there been a previous workshop?

  • Total number of performances?

    • ASL or Relaxed performances?

  • Equity house Category?

  • Longevity of show:

    • Touring?

    • Rep run?

Team, Budget & Labour

  • Team:

    • Who else is on the design team?

    • Are departmental positions filled: TD, PM, Operator, Head of Wardrobe, Head of Props, etc.

    • When is everyones start date/availability?

  • Total budget:

    • Department budget?

    • Labour Budget?

    • Assistant budget?

    • Head of wardrobe/dresser budget?

    • Protocols around reallocation of budget?

    • Have key positions been filled?

      • Assistant?

      • Transpo?

      • Carpenter, Painter, Crew?

      • Buyer?

      • Operator, Programmer, Light Walkers?

      • Dressers, Running Crew?

Role of the Designer

  • Definition of role:

    • Additional duties, such as head of wardrobe, programming, building, etc?

    • Expectations of the designer for Load In, Run and Strike?

    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning/Maintenance?

Expectations of the Producer

  • Protocols for last minute requests/additions on the fly?

  • How will past deadline requests be handled?

  • Schedule periodic check-ins so that everyone is on the same page about the shows scale and budget as it progresses. 

  • Rights management.

  • Additional Requests:

    • Photo shoot, video shoot, trailer?

    • Adjustment during the run (outdoor LX)?

    • Extra budget and deadlines?