241 Basic Stagecraft

Basic Stagecraft 241             Kade Mendelowitz

Theatre 241, 4 Credits, Mondays & Wednesdays

Fall Semester 2012 University of Alaska Fairbanks. E-mail: Kade@alaska.edu

Office: 223A (by KUAC) or in the shop.  Office hours: TBD

Course Description:

An introductory course in the ever-expanding worlds of scenic technology.  Exploring the development of the technician’s craft and the current practices involved in the production of the scenic environment.  Students will be offered both a classroom and actual production experience.

Course Objectives:

  • Students will be exposed to all areas of scenic technology currently in use at the University of Alaska of Fairbanks, as well as receiving an understanding of technologies available in other theatre environments.
  • Through project work and lecture / demonstrations, the student will be introduced to the safe operation of tools currently in use in the UAF scene shop.
  • By completing project assignments, the student will begin to develop a technical resume and portfolio.

Required Text:


Suggested Text:

  • Scene Design and Stage Lighting Ninth Edition (old editions are acceptable – though the pages will not follow reading assignments.)  by W. Oren Parker and R. Craig Wolf (older editions will be by Parker and Smith).  Price: I’m not sure, but expensive (sorry – but you will get what you pay for).
  • Backstage Handbook by Paul Carter  Price: $12.95
  • Entertainment Design Magazine

 Required Materials:

Drafting pencils or leads and holder in 6H, 2H and H.  Some students may need HB in addition.  Technical (.05) pencils are NOT ACCEPTABLE!

Architect’s scale rule

Eraser (Plastic-type is recommended)

Erasing Shield

45 and 30/60 degree triangles (one at least 8-10″ long)  or one adjustable triangle (expensive).

Drafting tape (or weak masking tape).

Drafting Vellum 18″X24″ sheets as needed.

   Advised: Ames lettering guide

   May be needed:  “T” Square (at least 24″ – 36″ recommended).

These supplies are somewhat expensive.  They are available at the UAF book-store, Michaels, JoAnns, OfficeMax, Alaska Digital Printing

Digital component:

You will be expected (aka: requirement) to have a UAF e-mail account with Blackboard access.  Even if you do not use this address as your primary e-mail account, you should set it as a forward to the address of your choosing.
 Viewing Productions and Production Work:

Students are expected to see and be prepared to discuss this semester’s Mainstage productions (unless they are on a conflicting running crew).  To aid in show viewing, students will be allowed one complimentary ticket through the box office – and are invited to the final dress rehearsal before opening of each show.

As a class requirement, each student is required to spend, and document, 3 hours a week (39 Hours total for the semester) in the shop outside of class time working on University production projects.  It is suggested that the student plan to spend a minimum of two hours in the shop at any given time.  You may take 1 running crew position on one of the Mainstage shows (worth 39 hours – a running crew schedule is available for you to look at); if you choose this option, you are still required to work 10 hours in the scene shop/electrics crew outside of class time.

Students are also encouraged to explore the wide range of theatrical experiences available in the area.


This course will be graded including +/- values.  Numerical values for +/- grades can be found on page 77 of the 2007-2008 UAF catalog.

Drafting project I          lettering          5%

Drafting project II         lines/boxes         5%

Drafting project III         groundplan         10%

Drafting project IV         elevation          10%

Painting Project                            10%

Participation                               20%

Shop-Time (on productions)                   20%

Final Project                               20%

Class attendance and participation is expected.  After two unexcused absences, your grade will be affected.  Proper attire for labs and shop time is suggested for the safety of both the student and their wardrobe.


Because this class is somewhat related to the production schedule for each specific show and semester, the scheduling of readings, projects, etc. will be assigned through the class – and is subject to change. Fridays after the first month are canceled in order to give you more time to work outside of class on projects, etc.


Attached to the scene shop door is a copy of the scene shop rules.  Please make yourself aware of them – and follow them.  Above all: Do not do anything you are not comfortable with (using a specific tool, saw, etc.)  Be aware of others.  Report all accidents (no matter how minor) to a supervisor A.S.A.P.