This is an exploratory studio class in which students will study the creative and production process for putting on a theatrical event. Students will explore the design process as performed by the Scenic, Lighting, Costume, and Sound designers.  Students will learn to analyze the script and search out clues pertaining to design requirements. Students will explore the use of space, line, color, scale, light and shadow.  Special emphasis will be placed on visual communication skills including drawing, rendering, painting and model making.

Required Materials Gillette, J. Michael. Theatrical Design and Technical Production, Mayfield, 2000. Arsenic and Old Lace, Available at the Drama Book Store. Tools: 16′ tape measure, pencils and erasers, scale ruler, 9×12 sketch pad, 30,60,90 triangle, 45,90 triangle, 50 sheet pack of tracing paper, 1 1/2″ D ring binder with section separation tabs, starter set of water color paints w/brushes. 

Course Overview Members of this class may earn the privilege of working in various capacities on Pace’s stage productions. Students in this class will design and build a scale models based upon a multi-act play. Other useful tools, used by the creative team, will be explored using the internet and other sources of research. We will also be working with the directing class in a cooperative arrangement; matching directors and designers together to experience the actual production processes. You may be asked to make yourself available to work on department productions.

Learning Objectives By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • An awareness and appreciation of the visual and technical aspects of the performing arts.
  • Methods required to design production elements for an off-Broadway size production
  • An understanding of the obligation required to successfully work in professional theater.
  • Communication skills that will allow student designers and technicians to liaison with the various department heads and Theatre production staff.
  • The proper terminology and nomenclature of theatrical production and facilities.
  • Knowledge of the appropriate tools and techniques to assist in the building of a fully realize Pace University production.
  • An understanding of each position of responsibility in a producing organization.
  • A working knowledge of computer programs currently used to assist stage designers and technicians.
  • An understanding of the inner workings of regional repertory theater companies.
  • A basic understanding of proper and safe working procedures in the use of technical stage equipment.
  • Methods to equip themselves with a variety of printed, web-based, and institutional resources to enable them to continue to work in a safe, efficient, and comfortable environment.

Teaching Methodology Wouldn’t it be wonderful if: you could learn from doing? Learn from your friends while doing something you’re interested in? Be allowed to make mistakes and then simply fix them to your satisfaction? I will be posing several questions during our time together. Few of them will I answer. I will, however, guide you to sources that will help you formulate your answers. Sometimes, you will find the best solutions. Sometimes you’ll need to be pushed a bit further. 

Course Requirements and Grading Your grade is based on a variety of factors: commitment to the responsibility given, quality and completeness of assignments, quality of presentations, proper adherence to safety guidelines, class participation, promptness, crew hour work, quizzes, exams and homework. You can expect a midterm and a final. Please take note of the attendance policy on page three. An additional assignment may be given to work along side the directing class on the evening of one-act plays at the end of the semester.

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