Theatre Design and 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. 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 and effective communication regarding a variety of texts

Some classroom strategies include:

  • Exposure to and practice of drawing techniques
  • 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
  • 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.

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. Students will learn to:

    • Identify and explain the functions of basic theater stage equipment.
    • Identify and use tools and materials in the theater shops and on stage safely and efficiently.
    • Demonstrate safe and appropriate selection and installation of lighting equipment.
    • Demonstrate theatre drafting processes.

Theatre production presents a range of collaborative needs and safety issues that must be understood and carefully managed. Students will learn to:

    • Identify safety hazards in theater facilities
    • Select all appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for work in theater facilities.
    • 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:

    • 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.
    • Analyze script and other sources for practical needs and artistic concept.
    • Select lighting equipment and placement to implement the above.
    • Design and implement a safe electrical circuit free of overload conditions at all components.
    • Safely install lighting equipment