Henry V

Design Project 

This project can be applied to almost any play, Shakespearean or not, and I find that students really demonstrate a complete knowledge of the play through their designs. For those students who are less artistically inclined, I remind them that being a designer is just like writing a paper; you are telling your audience what you think of the text.

To see samples of my students' designs, click here.

Introduction: I have often had students design set or costumes for plays that we are reading, but I continually modify my lesson plan to make it more successful. Here is the latest incarnation. Modify it as you see fit--and don't forget to visit the photos of my students' projects! 

Text: Shakespeare's Henry V (but almost any play would work)

Grade: I did this with my juniors and seniors, but I think it could be easily adapted to other grade levels.

Difficulty: Moderate (students can make it as complex as they want to, which you can see from my students' projects!)

Applications: I've used this with everything from juniors reading Death of a Salesman to sophomores reading Macbeth.


Thank you for your interest in being a designer for Henry V! Below, you will discover what I, as the director, expect in your design pitch.  I am not interested in anyone’s ideas but your own, so bring yourself into the design and use your imagination as you work. There is no right and wrong, but, if you can’t justify your choices, it’s unlikely I’ll think highly of your concept. Therefore, be prepared to answer detailed questions from me on the day of your pitch.

In brief, here are your guidelines:

1)    You must propose a design for the set or the costumes.
2)    Your design should focus on the set for a single scene, the costumes for a single character (tracing one character throughout the show), or the costumes for a single scene (costuming all characters present in the scene). If you have another idea of an element to design, run it by me for approval.
3)    Your budget is unlimited.
4)    Your design must be unique and original, not based on a version of the play you’ve seen or researched.
5)    Your design must be expressed clearly and concisely in 2 typed pages. In those pages, you should explain your design, the logic behind it, and why you think it would help the audience better understand or gain new insight about Henry V.
6)    You must accompany your design with a sketch and/or model. It is also strongly recommended that you offer fabric swatches, paint chips, photographs, or other artistic renderings (by you or by someone you commission) to get across your concept.

Good luck—and I look forward to your pitches!