21M.735 | Spring 2004 | Undergraduate

Technical Design: Scenery, Mechanisms, and Special Effects



Each Student is required to research and write 10 reports in the form of a Tech Note. The student needs to choose 10 topics from the list of tech notes provided below.

Tech notes are concise 1-3 page descriptions of a tool, technique, methodology, or solution for specific problems in Technical Production. The Tech note should use text and, or graphics to explain the selected topic.

Reports are due by class time on each date that they are due.

  • Organization for Production (PDF)
  • Tech Design Materials for Production (PDF)
  • Tech Design: Flats (PDF)
  • Scenery: Decks and Stairs (PDF)
  • Drops and Soft Goods (PDF)
  • Scenery: 3d (PDF)
  • Scenic: Paint, Doors, Molding Finishes (PDF)
  • Scenery: Structural Design (PDF)
  • Scenic mechanisms: Rigging (PDF)
  • Scenic Mechanism: Rolling Units (PDF)
  • Stage Mechanisms: Turntables (PDF)
  • Motor Drives (PDF)
  • Hydraulics and Pneumatics (PDF)
  • Electrical Power (PDF)
  • Traditional Effects (PDF)
  • Special Effects: Projection (PDF)
  • Special Effects: Lighting (PDF)
  • Special Effects-Pyro, Fog, Mist (PDF)

Sample Student Work

  • Musical Theater Guild: Typical Production Staff (PDF)
  • Musical Theater Guild: Minimal Production Staff (PDF)
  • Basic Concepts of Rock and Brick Walls (PDF)
  • Data on Common Theatrical Beams, Geared Toward Platform Framing Design (PDF)
  • MTG Production Staff Flow Charts (PDF)
  • Stage Plug Candles (PDF)
  • Pnuematic Debris Cannon (PDF)
  • Tricks For Safetying a Rope or Arbor (PDF)
  • A Motorized Turntable System (PDF)
  • A Unified Case Formula For Platform Loading (PDF)
  • Triscuits (PDF)
  • Rigging for Two-Dimensional Motion (PDF)
  • Electroluminescent Wire (PDF)
  • An Inexpensive Remote Projector Shutter (PDF)
  • Projector Shutter Control Circuitry (PDF)
  • Air Casters (PDF)
  • Switching and Pulse Width Modulation (PDF)
  • Safety Issues for Glycol/Glycerol Water-Based Atmospheric Effects (PDF)
  • Flowing Water Effects (PDF)
  • Some Plastics for Scenic Use (PDF)
  • Faking Fireworks (PDF)
  • Point Loads and Impulse (PDF)
  • How to be a Good Stage Manager (PDF)
  • Guide to Building Good Columns for Less $$$ (PDF)
  • Hemp: It is a Structural Material? (PDF)
  • Directions For Setup of Communication and Monitor System In Kresge Little Theatre (PDF)
  • What Fastener Do I Use? (PDF)
  • Patching Holes (PDF)
  • KLT Patch Bay (PDF)
  • Where Theatrical Rigging Comes From and Some Misunderstood Words (PDF)
  • Designing a Hydraulic Scissor Lift (PDF)
  • Section V. Parts Identification (PDF)
  • Running a Meeting (PDF)
  • Squeaky Stairs (PDF)
  • Unbalanced Arbors (PDF)
  • Beam Bending Analysis (PDF)
  • Three Wheel/Track Designs for Guiding a Rolling Wagon (PDF)
  • Case Study of Using Hydraulics/Pneumatics to Lift Drywall (PDF)
  • Simulating a Storm Blowing Open a Door (PDF)
  • Safety Guidelines for Working with Pyrotechnics (PDF)
  • Star Drop Technologies (PDF)
  • Unsung Heroes of Structural Mechanics: The Double Overhanging Beam (PDF)
  • UFO’s and Such (PDF)
  • Fwoosh! Crackle, Pop, Duhhh (PDF)
  • Spiral Staircases (PDF)
  • Technical Considerations for “The Spiral Staircase” (PDF)
  • “Flame-proofing” Fabric (PDF)
  • Organization for Production (PDF)
  • Production Schedule for the Dramashop One Acts (PDF)
  • Rigging: “Flying” (PDF)
  • Traditional Effects: Rain (PDF)
  • Atmospheric Effects: CO2 Fog (PDF)
  • Lighting Effects: Through a Window, at Night (PDF)
  • 3-D Scenery: Irregular Shapes With Fiberglass (PDF)
  • Materials: Extruded Foam (PDF)
  • Joints (PDF)
  • Spooks, Specters, Ghosts, and Princess Leia: 3D Projection (PDF)
  • Using a Turntable on a Raked Stage (PDF)
  • Wool Serge Tech Note (PDF)
  • Design of a Theatrical Escalator (PDF) (Courtesy of Alexander F. French. Used with permission.)
  • The Chandelier from the Phantom of the Opera (PDF)

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2004
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples