Print Version

Effective: Summer 2014

Advisory: Advisory: ART 4A or equivalent; not open to students with credit in DRAM 42C or THTR 42A.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (72 hours total per quarter)

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Description -
A survey of the theory and practice of theatrical design and construction techniques using traditional and digital tools. Introduces basic concepts applicable to scenery, lighting, sound, costumes, makeup and properties. Coursework includes research and analysis, sketching and drafting, rendering and model making and the use of computer graphics software and equipment to create three-dimensional designs for the performing arts, film, and television.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Define and distinguish between commonly used theatrical terms applied to design and the technical elements of theater production.
  2. Define and evaluate the relationship between design concepts and how they are translated and executed in production process.
  3. Demonstrate and use basic skills in creating and organizing a design project from concept to execution.
  4. Demonstrate and apply basic skills used in theater production techniques.
  5. Demonstrate basic skills and proficiency in the operations of basic areas of technical theater.
  6. Outline and analyze the basic steps necessary to coordinate and integrate the various aspects of theater production.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. Drafting/design studio and computer laboratory.
  2. Access to fully-equipped theatre scenery and costume shops
  3. Access to computer for online instruction.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Organization of theater technical personnel (L)
    1. Design areas and personnel (L)
    2. Production departments, tasks, and personnel (L)
  2. Theater Architecture (L)
    1. Historical forms (L)
    2. Modern innovations (L)
  3. Design analysis (L)
    1. Scenery (L-L)
    2. Sound and lights (L-L))
    3. Costumes and makeup (L-L)
  4. Drawing & rendering techniques (L-L)
    1. Concept sketching (L-L)
    2. Design presentations (L-L)
      1. Models (L-L)
      2. Renderings (L-L)
      3. Virtual modeling (L-L)
  5. Stage and hand properties (L-L)
  6. Drafting and computer aided design (L-L)
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Individual projects in and outside class
  2. Assigned design exercises
  3. Portfolio review
  4. Written analysis of design aspects of public performances
  5. Final exam/project
Representative Text(s) -
Gillette, J. Michael. Theatrical Design and Production. 7th edition, Mayfield Publishing, 2012.
Recommended supplemental texts:
Crabtree and Beudert, Scenic Art for the Theatre, Third edition, 2011.
Winslow, Colin. The Handbook of Modelmaking for Set Designers,The Crowood Press, 2008.

Disciplines -
Theatre Arts
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture presentations and classroom discussion using the language of theatre.
  2. In-class reading of dramatic texts by the instructor and students followed by instructor-guided interpretation and analysis.
  3. Oral presentations of projects followed by in-class discussion and evaluation
  4. Independent creative exercises in design and construction using techniques demonstrated by the instructor.
  5. Independent and group viewing of stage and film productions followed by discussion and evaluation.
Lab Content -
  1. Students will create design sketches.
  2. Draft plans and build models for theatrical and film projects.
  3. Learn basic theatre construction and painting skills as they relate to the design process.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Students will read , analyze and prepare design presentations for theatrical plays. Plays used have included "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams, "Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen, A Midsummer Nights Dream" and "The Tempest" by William Shakespeare.
  2. Students are required to attend local theatrical performances and provide a written evaluation of the effectiveness of the scenic designs and execution as part of the overall production.
  3. Students will work collaboratively to create a comprehensive production design using a play or film script.