set the scene for

set the scene for (something)

To be the catalyst for something that happens later. Their squabbling at Thanksgiving set the scene for a total screaming match on Christmas. A positive conversation with the CEO today could set the scene for a promotion tomorrow.
See also: scene, set

set the scene for

Also, set the stage for. Provide the underlying basis or background for, make likely or inevitable, as in Their fights about money set the scene for a divorce, or The comptroller's assessment of the firm's finances set the stage for a successful bond issue . These expressions allude to arranging a play's actors and properties on a theatrical stage. The first term dates from the late 1700s, the variant from the late 1800s.
See also: scene, set
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: A theatrical performance by the group will set the scene for guests and their loved ones
To be greeted in a courteous, friendly way set the scene for the afternoon.
Summary: ITU Telecom World 2012 got off to a flying start in Dubai with the opening high-level leadership summit, which set the scene for the panel sessions and debates this week.
MY WEEKPunting high Nothing to write home about but the promising Bocamix in a weak Wetherby juvenile was probably the pick Punting low The last-flight fall of Hellfire Club at Taunton set the scene for an expensive Thursday afternoon Suspect form Whiteoak was quoted as low as 12-1 for the World Hurdle after bolting up at Kempton on her first attempt at 3m.
Hadidi, accompanied by Majali, is heading Jordan's delegation to the preparatory ministerial meeting in Damascus to set the scene for the Joint Jordanian- Syrian Higher Committee meeting.
The lecture will set the scene for the annual conference of the Freshwater Biological Association meeting at Bangor for the first time in its 80 year history.
These set the scene for the adventure ahead and see Robert Downey Jr playing a gay monk alongside Toby Maguire, and Jack Black farting his way through a parody of your typical Martin Lawrence Lop.
I feel the crazy layout of it, combined with general bad/impatient driving of customers, combine to set the scene for an accident waiting to happen.
Shovels, old black suits, and barbed wire set the scene for a butoh exploration of William Faulkner titled Caddy
insurance industry advocates appeared to be in accord on one thing: Such a plan would result in an "administrative nightmare" that could set the scene for lawsuits.
The craze is by no means limited to men, but you will find few females at the Southland's more frightening offtrack card rooms, where the stained drapery, creepy bartenders and hollow-eyed clientele set the scene for a wedding reception of the damned.
But Gareth Turner pulled one back in 67 minutes and Craig Baxter headed home five minutes from time to set the scene for Davidson's dramatic last-gasp strike.
Half time came with the single goal still separating the teams and this set the scene for another exciting 45 minutes.
Mr Howard said: 'Just as those who have a sense of history will remember, the 1950 intake, who absolutely transformed the House of Commons and set the scene for the next Conservative victory of 1951, so I am absolutely convinced that this splendid new intake, brimming with talent, is going to set the scene for the next Conservative victory.