Theatre Design courses at Wheaton are not limited to theatre majors.  For this reason, courses at both the introductory and intermediate levels are designed to serve the needs of students from a variety of disciplines. Because visual composition is often the first way in which we absorb information about our world, emphasis is placed on:

  • A critical analysis of existing compositions and
  • A reflective process wherein each student is encouraged to identify their individual opinions about those compositions
  • Critical analysis of a variety of texts
  • Effective communication regarding those texts
  • Students are asked to utilize that critical analysis to create their own compositions in an informed manner.

Some classroom strategies include:

  • Exposure to and practice of collage techniques
  • Exposure to and practice of drawing techniques
  • Exposure to and practice of painting techniques in acrylic and watercolor
  • Color mixing and control of hue, tone, and saturation
  • Exposure to and practice of sculptural techniques with paper, foam core, fabric, and various other materials
  • Creation of self-generated written narratives that are translated into accompanying visual compositions
  • Creation of visual compositions to accompany assigned texts such as music, poems, children’s stories, short plays
  • Peer critiques, wherein students are pushed to articulate very specific thoughts in response to others’ work, and also have the opportunity to receive constructive feedback from fellow artists
  • Provide students with a fluency in the traditionally proven methods by which designers communicate their vision with directors, other designers, and ultimately an audience.

 

Theatre Tech courses at Wheaton are not limited to theatre majors.  For this reason, courses at both the introductory and intermediate levels are designed to serve the needs of students from a variety of disciplines. Students taking Stagecraft will understand and be able to:

  • Technical theatre production requires creative use of materials, tools, space and techniques. Successful application of materials and techniques in technical theatre requires understanding both their structural and aesthetic traits.
    • Identify and explain the functions of basic theater stage equipment, including masking drapes and the main elements of a counterweight rigging system.
    • Identify and use tools and materials in the theater shops and on stage safely and efficiently.
    • Demonstrate standard stock scenery construction techniques for studio flats and platforms.
    • Accurately place scenic and lighting elements in a performance space using designers’ technical drawings as a guide.
    • Demonstrate safe and appropriate selection and installation of lighting equipment.
    • Demonstrate theatre drafting processes by creating a scenic ground plan and construction drawings.
  • Theatre production presents a range of safety issues that must be understood and carefully managed.
    • Identify safety hazards in theater facilities using information from class safety training sessions and Material Safety Data Sheets.
    • Select all appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for work in theater facilities.
    • Appropriately use and respond to standard vocal alerts used in the theater environment.
  • Theatre production is a collaboration between members of a production team.
    • Perform run crew duties for a Department of Theatre & Dance production.
    • Communicate clearly and respectfully with peers and faculty in the production environment.

Students taking Introduction to Lighting Design will understand and be able to:

  • Lighting design is a technical process that employs a variety of equipment and techniques to achieve desired results.
    • Identify and explain the specific traits of all lighting instruments and accessories in the Kresge and Weber theaters.
    • Accurately install a lighting system using a light plot as a guide.
    • Demonstrate lighting design drafting processes by creating lighting keys, lighting sectionals, light plots and associated schedules.
    • Design and program lighting cues on lighting consoles in the Kresge and Weber theaters.
  • Lighting design is an artistic process that manipulates the elements and principles of design to convey a production concept.
    • Analyze script and other sources for practical needs and artistic concept.
    • Select strategies for manipulating elements and principles of design to reinforce specific artistic goals.
    • Select lighting equipment and placement to implement the above.
  • Lighting equipment and techniques present specific safety concerns that must be understood and carefully managed.
    • Design and implement a safe electrical circuit free of overload conditions at all components.
    • Safely install lighting equipment, demonstrating appropriate clamp tightening, cable dressing, and safety cable use.
    • Work safely at heights on ladders, scaffolding and theater catwalks by selecting and using appropriate fall arrest equipment, tool leashes and vocal alerts.