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Home / College Catalog / 2016-18 / Academic Programs / School of the Arts / Theatre Arts

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The Theatre Design/Technology Program:
Undergraduate Courses

Note: The 1000-level courses are prerequisites for all other theatre design/technology undergraduate courses. In the two-semester course sequences offered every year, successful completion of the fall course is a prerequisite for the spring course, unless noted otherwise. For example, TDT 1100/Stagecraft (part one, fall) is a prerequisite for TDT 1110/Stagecraft (part two, spring).

Design/Technical Practicum
TDT 1010
/ 1 credit / Every semester
First-year acting majors are given crew assignments on conservatory productions.

TDT 1080
/ 3 credits / Spring
Basic drafting skills for professional theatrical applications. Lettering, line weight, measuring, drawing with accuracy and clarity, drafting conventions, dimensioning, and drafting simple units and theatre plans and sections. Ground plans and elevations of each flat with details of door and panel moldings, all with descriptive cross-sections showing dimensions. Students must purchase their own supplies.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

TDT 1100
and 1110 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
An introduction to the basic materials and techniques used in scene, costume, and lighting production, presented in lecture and studio situations. Intended to equip the student with the skills required to work on productions.

Production I
TDT 1120
and 1130 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
A studio course in which freshmen are assigned to the scene, prop, costume, electric, and paint crews on a rotating basis. Intended as a reinforcement of the methodologies taught in TDT 1100 and 1110.

Design Fundamentals
TDT 1200
and 1210 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
An introduction to the process of theatrical design in which a broad spectrum of plays is assigned. Includes script and character analysis, the development of visual concepts, sketches, and renderings, and the use of color and motif.

Dramatic Structure
ACT 1250
Refer to Acting Courses for description.

Music Reading for Stage Managers
TDT 2045
/ 1 credit / Spring
A practical introduction to score reading for theatrical stage managers and designers. Existing musical scores of varying levels of difficulty are used to teach musical vocabulary, tempo, and dynamic markings, and instrumental names and notation in their traditional Italian, French, and German languages. Required for and limited to theatre design/technology majors concentrating in stage management.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Theatre Technology I
TDT 2080
and 2090 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
An introduction to theories of technical production, methods, and planning, with emphasis on advanced technical drafting of scenery and safety practices.
Prerequisite: TDT 1110

History of the Theatre
ACT 2100
Refer to Acting Courses for description.

Production II
TDT 2120
and 2130 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
An intensive studio course in which sophomores are assigned to crew head or other crew positions. Intended as a reinforcement of methodologies taught in TDT 1100, 1110, 1120, and 1130.
Prerequisite: TDT 1130

Scene Painting I
TDT 2140
and 2150 / 2 credits (per semester) / Every year
An exploration of the techniques of large-scale, realistic painting through a series of critiqued exercises in the rendering of various materials and textures. (In this two-semester sequence, TDT 2150, which is offered in the spring, is the prerequisite for TDT 2140, offered in the fall.)

Costume Construction I
TDT 2160
and 2170 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
Training in costume construction: hand-sewing techniques, machine operations, pattern layout, and fabric identifications. (For design/technology majors who are concentrating in costume design or technology: TDT 2160 is the prerequisite for TDT 2170. A different section of TDT 2170 is offered for other design/technology majors, with no prerequisite.)

Properties Construction I
TDT 2180
and 2190 / 2 credits (per semester) / Every year
Craft training in the construction of stage properties: learning basic approaches to upholstery and drapery, learning different sculpturing techniques, and creating prop lists with an emphasis on research, both historical and pictorial. Visual resources are used to push students out of their comfort zone in the ways they approach projects (both independently and in groups, depending on the project). (This is not a two-semester sequence: TDT 2180, offered in the fall, is the same course as TDT 2190, offered in the spring.)

Scene Design I
TDT 2200
and 2210 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
Basic principles and practice of scene design, including script analysis. Composition and focus in scene design, developing acting areas, entrances, exits, and movement patterns. Research period architecture, art, and dress while refining drafting skills: complete ground plans and sections with masking, fully drafted elevations, color sketches, and a white model. All of these areas have preliminary, refined, and finished stages. Fall: Greek play with classical elements in period and Molière play with limitations of period style. Spring: Modern plays, one with exterior and one with period interior box set with ceiling.
Prerequisite: TDT 1080 and 1210

Stage Carpentry
TDT 2250
/ 2 credits / Fall
An expansion of the theories and practices of stagecraft in a studio setting. Includes standard practices involved in stagecraft and accepted construction techniques.
Prerequisite: TDT 1110

Costume Design I
TDT 2300
and 2310 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
An introduction to concept, costume rendering, character extension, and historical research.
Prerequisite: TDT 1210

Lighting Design I
TDT 2400
and 2410 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
An introduction to concept-based lighting design in the theatre. Through play analysis and practical lab exercises, students begin to comprehend the connections between color, equipment, angles of light, etc. and how these are used to support their ideas and feelings on stage. Students also obtain a basic knowledge of lighting rendering, equipment, history, theory, drafting, etc., and have the opportunity to observe working professionals during technical and dress rehearsals of outside productions.
Prerequisite: TDT 1210

Rendering and Graphic Techniques
TDT 2440
and 2460 / 2 credits (per semester) / Every year
Focuses on the development of painting and sketching techniques in all categories of theatre design. The primary goal is to assist student designers and technicians in pictorial explanations of their ideas.
Prerequisite: TDT 1080 and 1210

Introduction to Sound Design
TDT 2500
/ 2 credits / Spring
An introduction to audio for the theatre, covering the basic principles of sound design, reinforcement, equipment and technology, live recording, editing, and show control.

Sources of Stage Design
TDT 2540
/ 3 credits / Fall
Lectures and research assignments in historical modes of decorative art and ornamentation (Greek through 18th century).

Introduction to Stage Management
TDT 2600
and 2610 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
An introduction to the fundamental skills of stage management through each phase of the production process: preproduction, first rehearsal, rehearsal period, preparing for the tech, technical rehearsals, previews, opening, running of the show, and closing.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Costume Design Seen Through Film
TDT 3008
/ 4 credits / Spring
A survey of costume design that covers the creation of icons and myths as well as attempts to reinvent history by exploring self-definitions as individuals and groups, and by looking at people’s need to express their subconscious and define themselves in historical context. R-rated films may contain some adult material (hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements).

Theatre Technology II
TDT 3080
and 3090 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
Focuses on the advanced technologies needed to understand and build complete structures. Topics include live load and structural computations, wood vs. steel structures, and rigging practices for large loads. An intensive research/drafting project is required.
Prerequisite: TDT 2090 and permission of instructor

Production III
TDT 3120
and 3130 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
An intensive studio course in which juniors are assigned to designer/technical director, crew head, and/or other crew positions.
Prerequisite: TDT 2130 and permission of instructor

Costume Construction II
TDT 3160
and 3170 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
Familiarizes students who are interested in a career in costume construction and/or design with the basics of textiles and related crafts. Focuses on textile identification, fiber classifications and painting, distressing/aging, and other related textile crafts.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Scene Design II
TDT 3200
and 3210 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
Students learn to develop a cohesive, unified design for a multiset show. Topics include finding design elements that flow through each set to give the sense of style and unity, working out ground plans and scene changes to assure speed and practicality, and using historical plays from several periods to evoke a sense for period style. Full drafting and model building with intensive work on sketching and rendering techniques to develop presentation-quality sketches.
Prerequisite: TDT 2210 and permission of instructor

Costume Design II
TDT 3300
and 3310 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
A continuation of TDT 2310, with emphasis on character and script analysis and on developing skills in color, line, proportion, scale, movement, and rhythm. Study involves historical reality and stylization with projects that address design theory and practical problems, research and chart making, as well as conceptualizing designs for dance, drama, and opera. Rendering technique workshops are included.
Prerequisite: TDT 2310 and permission of instructor

Stage Combat for Stage Managers
TDT 3350
/ .5 credit / Fall
A course in the foundation skills necessary for safe and dramatically effective techniques of staged combat.

Lighting Design II
TDT 3400
and 3410 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
Continued study of lighting design principles, with emphasis on drafting and design of full-scale, concept-based light plots for the theatre.
Prerequisite: TDT 2410 and permission of instructor

Model-Making Seminar
TDT 3490
/ 1 credit / Spring
Focuses on the materials and methods used to construct scenic models for the designer. Students learn techniques that allow them to build accurate presentation models and work safely with various materials.

Vector Works
TDT 3520
/ 3 credits / Fall
Covers the computer-aided drafting and graphic standards for lighting design used in the industry. Extensive out-of-class work is required. Required for design/technology majors who are concentrating in lighting design.
Prerequisite: TDT 1080

Directing for Stage Managers
TDT 3550
/ 2 credits / Fall
The problems, requirements, and relationship of the stage manager to the director. This seminar deals with script analysis and technique of the designer, as well as the position of the actor as an instrument of the director and the play.

Advanced Stage Management
TDT 3600
and 3610 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
Thinking like a stage manager; the psychology of management; critical thinking, collaboration, conflict resolution, problem solving, principled negotiation, and leadership tools. Advanced stage management skills, e.g., calling a show, public speaking, scheduling, theatrical unions and contracts, preparing a Broadway musical, and the ins and outs of working as a professional freelance stage manager.
Prerequisite: TDT 2610 and permission of instructor

Company Management
TDT 3620
/ 3 credits / Fall
Examines the fundamental techniques and information needed for managing commercial and nonprofit theatrical productions. Students gain a working knowledge of union contracts, pricing, human resources, new media, publicity, and the rise of demand pricing, as well as contract negotiation and conflict resolution. The working relationships between the stage manager and producer(s) are also explored.

Production Management
TDT 3660
/ 3 credits / Spring
This detailed look at the position of a production manager on Broadway takes students from the design process to the load-out of a show and introduces them to the inner workings of a Broadway musical and play.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

CAD for the Theatre
TDT 3700
and 3710 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
An introduction to the theories and practices of computer-aided drafting for theatrical productions, including how to draw and organize DWG files so that a designer can express his or her designs to anyone working in the field. Emphasis is also placed on communication skills to help students become comfortable discussing projects with directors, other designers, and future employers. Includes in-class participation, lectures, practical exercises, and critiques. (This is not a two-semester sequence: TDT 3700, offered in the fall, is the same course as TDT 3710, offered in the spring.)
Prerequisite: TDT 1080 and permission of instructor

Computer Graphics and Techniques
TDT 3720
/ 3 credits / Every semester
Focuses on creating the skill sets necessary to adapt students’ existing manual drawing and painting talents to the realm of computer-assisted media.

Design/Technology Internship
TDT 3980
/ 4 credits / Every semester
A program providing structured, off-campus theatrical work experience. Placement by faculty committee. Limited to fourth-year design/technology majors.
Prerequisite: Permission of board of study

Theatre Technology III
TDT 4080
and 4090 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
A seminar covering a mixture of advanced scenery construction techniques and the set of managerial skills required to be a working professional in the industry. Typically includes field trips to production venues in New York City, including shops, theatres, and studios, together with mock interviews and production/shop scenarios.
Prerequisite: TDT 3090 and permission of instructor

Production IV
TDT 4120
and 4130 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
An intensive studio course in which seniors are assigned to design, technical direct, assist, and hold crew head and/or crew positions.
Prerequisite: TDT 3130 and permission of instructor

Stage Management/Tech/Design Production
TDT 4140
and 4150 / 6 credits (per semester) / Every year
An intensive studio course in which senior stage management and tech students staff conservatory productions on a supervisory level.
Prerequisite: TDT 3130 and permission of instructor

Costume Construction III
TDT 4160
and 4170 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
Fall: Construction techniques for dance costumes using stretch fabrics, including patterning, cutting, sewing, and fitting techniques. Also basic principles and construction of tutus and other classical dance costumes. Spring: Tailoring with an overview of the development of the three-piece suit (style details and construction). Basic techniques used in traditional tailoring and an exploration of theatrical methods of tailoring. Alteration techniques and some pattern making are included.
Prerequisite: TDT 3170

Scene Design III
TDT 4200
and 4210 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
Design projects developed to meet the needs of each student. Furthers the skill sets needed to become a working professional in the many mediums of scenic design.
Prerequisite: TDT 3210 and permission of instructor

Advanced Design Seminar
TDT 4260
/ 1 credit / Spring
An advanced seminar in design techniques and practices of leading industry professionals.

Costume Design III
TDT 4300
and 4310 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
Advanced design projects developed to meet the needs of each student. Furthers the skill sets needed to become a working professional in the many mediums of costume design.
Prerequisite: TDT 3310 and permission of instructor

Lighting Design III
TDT 4400
and 4410 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
Advanced work in concept-based lighting design, preparing students to enter the professional community. Through class projects, lab exercises, guest lectures, and field trips, students master a wide range of lighting design mediums (e.g., theatre, opera, dance, television, video, corporate theatre, architectural). Students are exposed to automated and advanced lighting equipment, control consoles, channel assignment theory, the business of lighting, and industry leaders.
Prerequisite: TDT 3410 and permission of instructor

Collaborative Process
TDT 4460
/ 2 credits / Spring
An analysis of current theatrical practices and the interaction of designer, technician, stage manager, actor, and director. Guest lecturers include leading industry figures who stress the various methods of collaboration.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Stage Management Seminar
TDT 4605
and TDT 4615 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
Focuses on methods, practices, theory, and organizational structures specific to Broadway and other commercial production environments.
Prerequisite: TDT 3610

Seminar in Production Design/Art Direction
TDT 4770
/ 3 credits / Spring
Advanced studies in the art of scenery for film and television. Explores similarities to and differences from the theatrical model involved in the creation of the changing frame with varying camera angles.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

TDT 4880
/ 1 credit / Spring
Discussion of the skill sets, techniques, and requirements needed to enter the professional community.
Prerequisite: Permission of the board of study

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Conservatory of Theatre Arts


Theatre Design/Technology:

The Program & Faculty

Academic Requirements
Scenic Design
Costume Design
Lighting Design
Costume Technology
Stage Management
Technical Direction/
    Production Mgmt.