Theatre students explore the craft of technical theatre

By Ms. Paige Hoke

Shakespeare wrote that “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” but who creates the stage? Who creates all the things with which players interact?  In theatre, we affectionately call these individuals “techies.”

This year, we are running an exciting class at YCDS called “Stagecraft.” This class explores all the technical elements of theatre: set, costumes, props, lights, sound, and stage management.

One of our areas of focus this year is scenic design and construction. The classes began by creating a scenic design for a short play. The students’ ideas were flowing, and every student had a different, creative and viable design. My favorite part of theatre is the element of collaboration, and the students worked together to share ideas to create a strong set design.

After students learned about scenic design, they applied these skills. Not only are these students learning about the elements of technical theatre, but they are also helping to build and create all the technical elements for the three theatrical productions at YCDS this year.

The students in stagecraft are building the set for our first show of the year, Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible. Our first task was to construct large blocks to be used as seating. The students painted the blocks using a scenic painting technique to make them resemble stone. I enjoy seeing the students’ pride as they create something with their own hands. One student said during this process, “I feel like this box is my baby. I can’t wait to see it on stage!” In addition to the set, the students are helping prepare the costumes for the upcoming play. As we get closer to the show, they will also have an opportunity to program the light board and work on sound effects. During the show itself, the stagecraft students will help to work behind the scenes as part of run crew, costume crew, tech crew or as a stage manager.  

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It is wonderful to see students create things and get excited about what they are contributing to our shows. The best part is that all these skills can be used outside of the theatre. Students will know how to fix that loose screw, hem their pants, or sew on a button! Ever tried to assemble a piece of furniture and been totally confused? These students will have quite a head start!
“The Crucible” runs November 2, 3, and 4th at 7 PM. You can purchase tickets at the performances or online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-crucible-tickets-38012262701

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