Theatre Stagecraft

At UW-Whitewater, the
stagecraft and design classes use the students as much as we
can as designers on the shows, so it’s a combination
of theoretical and it’s a process of
hands-on actual design work, as well as construction
in the shops. In Arrangement For Murder,
it was a lot of little parts and pieces that have to
go together in an order, so the set came to me as
a three-dimensional model. So I went through that
model, I identified the sizes of all the
pieces– the columns, the different colored
panels in it– and then I sat in the theater
with my computer and the 3D model in front
of me, and installed it. So the skillset needed to create
a set– the basic construction requires fairly
simple construction skills — the ability
to use power tools, — the ability to use
a screw gun — so you have construction skills,
you have painting skills. And then when we went
and installed the set, it’s a process of oh, how
do we make sure it stands up and stands up safely? It is a desire, a love, and a
passion towards what they do, pure and simply. You do not go into this world wanting just to do it. There’s more to it. If you’re going to make it professionally
in the world of theater, there has to be a passion for what you do. As we go through the process
of building the show, obviously we are building
towards opening night. Now everybody is in costume,
everybody is under light, the set is done, and now
an audience is there. That’s what we build towards,
that’s the special part of what — a lot of why we do theater, is to get to that opening
night so that the audience just gets that wow moment
when they walk in and see the play for the first
time and get to enjoy it.

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