Studio: Technical Theater
Technical Theater Studio
George Swope, Coordinator
The Technical Theater Studio is a professional training program that provides students with the skills and techniques necessary to pursue a career in Technical Theater. Concepts and aesthetics are taught using contemporary teaching methods that utilize state-of-the-art equipment. Professionally-produced events in our Concert Hall, thrust-stage theater, and black-box theater provide our students with practical hands-on work experiences.
Department Grading Policy
- Homework 25%
- Exams 25%
- Participation 25%
- Projects 25%
Please note: In each department, not all courses are offered each year.
All of the following courses are required and sequential pending budget. Active and consistent participation in class work is essential for the completion of each course. Most courses require production projects as well as written research/analytical assignments or projects. All Technical Theater curricula provide students with hands-on, project-based learning opportunities to work in various aspects of the field. Note: After-school shop and crew calls are required.
Introduction to Theater Technology – This course introduces students to technical systems and standard technical Theater practices. The course emphasizes proper industry-accepted nomenclature of systems, tools, materials, and integrated infrastructure and introduces the steps involved in larger processes. Collaborative teamwork is a specific focus of the course.
Beginning Drawing – Introduction to composition, line and rendering in black and white drawing media. Students will learn basic techniques for descriptive and expressive use of drawing media.
Principles of Design – Introduction to the Principles of Design; for the appreciation and experience of design as an aesthetic, distinct from the other arts, and awareness of design considerations as manifested in theatrical productions. Students continue their drawing progression with rendering and explore period style elements through a survey of art, architecture, fashion, and furniture.
Theater Production 1 – All students of the program are assigned on a rotating basis throughout the year to various crews who build and run the shows. This course creates production assignments for all Technical Theater students, based on the student’s ability, interests and experience.
Technical Drawing I – Introductory Mechanical drawing techniques and projection theories are practiced, including drawing-board geometry, scale and dimensioning, and orthographic principles. Students will use prior knowledge to begin producing working drawings of scenic elements.
Introduction to Video Production – This class will provide an introduction to Digital Video production by taking participants through the process of producing a class project (production process). Students will learn how to take an idea/vision through the process of preproduction, production and postproduction, resulting in a final product. Emphasis on the art of lighting, audio and camera work for video.
History of Dramatic Literature – A study of the development of scripts, the physical Theater, and means of production from ancient Greek and Roman societies through contemporary Theater. The course emphasizes Theater’s changing role in society.
Stagecraft – Students receive instruction in building, rigging, and handling of stage scenery and stage props, with special attention given to the proper use of tools, materials, and stage hardware. Although the emphasis will be on practices for Theater in all venues, there will be an element of the practical, day-to-day “nuts and bolts” process of Technical Theater. Students will use script analysis, images, visual research to explore lighting concepts. They will also work to develop oral, written and visual communication of lighting ideas. Students will learn the history of sound design, as well as how music and the recording of sound have changed throughout the years, and also learn how to approach a script and apply sound design to it. Students will develop creative responses to plays and characters by learning and implementing the theatrical vocabulary associated with the history of costuming and costuming techniques.
Theater Production 2 – All students of the program are assigned on a rotating basis throughout the year to various crews who build and run the shows. This course creates production assignments for all Technical Theater students, based on the student’s ability, interests and experience.
Technical Drawing II – Intermediate mechanical drawing techniques and projection theories are applied to computer application, including AUTOCAD, Vectorworks, and 3DS Max. Students examine scripts and designs from theater productions, apply previous knowledge, and create working drawings using the computer.
Career Management/Portfolio Creation – Students explore available career options in Technical Theater, develop and refine a professional portfolio concept, and create appropriate documentation (resume, cover letter, etc.) in preparation for professional or college interview evaluations.
Lighting Technology – The development and communication of lighting ideas. Includes script analysis, images, visual research, and lighting concepts. Focus on the observation of light and the development of oral, written, and visual communication of lighting ideas. Practice in the translation of lighting ideas into actual designs. Students create light plots using Vectorworks and lighting paperwork, to explore realistic lighting styles.
Sound Design/Sound Technology – An introductory class to the fundamentals of sound technology and the artistry of sound design through understanding the physics of sound and the tools by which you manipulate sound. Students become familiar with the setup and use of audio components, sound systems, and audio signals. Students study the history of music, recording, and sound design. They will learn how to apply sound design to scripts.
Theater Production 3 – All students of the program are assigned on a rotating basis throughout the year to various crews who build and run the shows. This course creates production assignments for all Technical Theater students, based on the student’s ability, interests and experience.
Technical Drawing III – Advanced mechanical drawing techniques and projection theories are applied to computer application, including AUTOCAD, Vectorworks, and 3DS Max. Students analyze scripts from theater productions, develop original designs, refine technical requirements and produce complete sets of design/working drawings on the computer.
Theatrical Collaboration – An investigation, through research and discussion, of the conceptual problems of physically mounting specific, assigned scripts from the classic and modern Theater, covering a broad stylistic range. Students will submit proposals for designs and justify their ideas through literary and pictoral research.
Art History for Theater – This course takes a chronological approach in studying major art forms and periods from ancient Egypt to the present. Emphasis is placed on periods and countries that are most important to American Theater.
Survey of Design for Theater – This course will examine theories of scenic design as currently practiced, as well as historical traditions for use of performance space. Important designers’ work will be examined with emphasis on the social, political and cultural milieu at the time of their creation.
Theater Production 4 – All students of the program are assigned on a rotating basis throughout the year to various crews who build and run the shows. This course creates production assignments for all Technical Theater students, based on the student’s ability, interests and experience.