Technical Theatre

Opportunities and Facilities in Technical Production

Production Management

From assistant director, production manager, presale and at the door box office responsibilities, rehearsal and production stage management, publicity and promotions direction, house management, deck captain, and special team leaders, production management offers a wide variety of practical opportunities in providing the infrastructure, schedule and personnel management that is so crucial to the success of any production.


Done in a variety of styles, and in a wide range of periods, we use platforms, wagons, flats, drops, three-dimensional sculpted and formed units to create a variety of Indoor and outdoor locales. Whether it’s a unit set, selective realism, or multiple locales, each production is uniquely designed, built, painted and installed in the theatre for anywhere from six to twenty-three performances. Abstract and realistic designs are realized to fit the director’s concept for the show, and students are taught the tools and techniques that bring a design from the page to the reality of the stage. Whether mounted in the traditional proscenium style, black box, arena, or occasional environmental or found space setting, the variety in scenographic approaches and staging engages students in experiencing the wide variety of design choices. Occasional guest designers, painters, and carpenters offer students new insights and opportunities. Assistant technical director and one annual design opportunity exist for qualified students.


A fully computerized, midi-compatable two monitor lighting control board, an instrument inventory of over 120 instruments, 20 flyable battens, catwalk, balcony and multi-level cove hang positions creates the flexibility for proscenium, black box and arena theatre productions, as well as dance and music concerts. Chaser, blacklight, strobe, mirror ball, starstrobe, double gobo rotators, and optikinetics projectors create dynamic kinetic lighting patterns. Four current faculty have extensive experience in design and execution. Chief electrician and one annual lighting design opportunity exist for qualified students.


With an extensive sound reinforcement system, students can gain operation and design experience with our musical, dramatic, comic and experimental productions, not to mention dance and music concerts. The theatre sound system features 48 channels and 10 group outputs on a modern mixing console used with Special Effect processing for a 2800 Watt, 4 channel, 3 monitor house system. Along with the operation of the house system is a seperate stage mixing system that can be utilized for sophisticated professional sound design needs. The stage system features 24 channels and 6 group outputs on a modern mixing console. Our Chief Engineer can take you through advanced concepts and processes for live sound reinforcement. Using this class along with the music division's state-of-the-art digital recording studio and various telecommunication courses will enable you to tackle even more advanced projects. Qualified students are given design assignments.


Our lab includes drafting table, one industrial and two home machines, two cutting tables and storage for over 3,000 pieces and accessories. Covering the major periods through contemporary, international, fantasy, animal and dance costumes, we have a stock that provides a good first pull for virtually any production. Our resident designer and technical director can lead you through the various processes of production preparation. . Once annually a qualified student designs a show, and assistant costumer positions are available for students, or as part of our federal workstudy program.

Makeup, Mask, Prosthetics and Hairpieces

A 12 seat makeup station downstairs and eight additional chairs in backstage dressingrooms make study and application a breeze. Wigs for males and females are complimented by falls, beards, mustaches. Scars, elf ears, noses, and a variety of other attachments, along with a lab for custom construction, allows for those special touches. Commedia, neutral, decorative and fantasy masks are built or repainted for use in appropriate productions. Qualified students can design and create for production. Three current faculty have extensive experience in these areas.


An often overlooked area of production, properties design and construction offers opportunities for the craftsperson to test their skills with realistic, fantasy and special effects props. Our armory is stocked with a variety of knives, handguns, rifles, and swords. Wood, plastics, foams, fabrics, metals and found objects are combined with imagination to answer the demands of any production. Design, craftsperson and management positions are available to qualified students.

Special Effects

Mechanical effects include a 20 batten flyspace, four trap doors, two winches, castered wagons and elevated traps. Pyrotechnic capabilities include sparkle, flash and percussion pots and confetti canon. Atmospheric effects include fog, mist, snow and wind. Illusion effects are employed when appropriate, both purchased and built in-house. Two faculty members have worked professionally with illusion as part of their performance history. Live sound effects such as a crashbox, phone ringer, doorbells, horns and alarms are complimented by our prerecorded effects that are part of our rich sound library. A variety of projectors are used including slide, scene machine and Linebachs. Lighting effects are listed under the lighting area.

The Federal Work Study Program in the Technical Theatre Area

There are four positions available: one costume, one secretarial/promotional and two shop technician. Costume position maintains the lab and storage areas, assists with pulls, alterations, craftwork, building and designing. The secretarial/promotional position does filing, copying, distribution, mailing lists, inventories, budget, e-mailing, phone followup, and other miscellaneous organizational and minor administrative tasks. The two shop technician positions maintain and prepare the stage, booth and storage areas. The sceneshop is the major work area, and we also work outdoors during pleasant weather. A full array of power and hand tools make scenic construction and assembly easy and quick. A paintroom plus four paintcarts and wide range of equipment offer the painter an opportunity to work in any location easily. Rigging, lighting, props and sound are other common areas of activity for these technicians.

Technical Support Experience

Students and workstudy students are offered opportunities to support not only the four theatre productions annually, but also departmental dance and music concerts. In addition a variety of rental activities: theatre, dance, music, lecture and special event activities are part of every year’s calendar. Activities include stage management, lighting, sound, deck captaining, fly crew, stage hand and other miscellaneous jobs, as the need arises.