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 ?
THE HOUSE BETWEEN TIDES SARAH MAINE The Western Isles of Scotland set the scene for this dual narrative novel spanning a century.
A theatrical performance by the group will set the scene for guests and their loved ones as they enjoy a 4-course Italian culinary experience with drinks.
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.
Wirral claimed a converted try just before the break to set the scene for an enthralling second half.
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.
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.
SIR ALEX FERGUSON and Sven Goran Eriksson have become embroiled in a bitter war of words to set the scene for a potentially-explosive Manchester derby.
The election of Robert Menzies in 1949 set the scene for a clash of titanic proportions with the Communist-dominated waterside workers who had won hard-fought battles for improved conditions since the Depression.
Shovels, old black suits, and barbed wire set the scene for a butoh exploration of William Faulkner titled Caddy!
At a session of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators Annual Meeting in Napa, Calif., 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.
At the same time, banking systems in key countries are undergoing reforms that have set the scene for foreign competition and investment.