Courses

PD COURSE

Basic Lighting for Drama Teachers

by Claire Broome

Join drama teacher Claire Broome and explore the basics of lighting, including lighting systems and instruments, lighting plots, how to record a lighting cue, and alternative sources of lighting. You’ll learn some practical, hands-on ways of using lighting in your classroom or theatre, whether you have a lighting system or not.

This course is packed with hands-on examples, activities for your students, and videos to develop your students’ understanding. Find out why lighting is such an important character in a production.

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PD COURSE

Using SketchUp in the Classroom

by Ray Palasz

Instructor Ray Palasz leads this introductory course in using SketchUp in the classroom.

This course is broken down into five easy modules. One, downloading the program. Two, getting started with using the program. Three, drawing two and three-dimensional objects. Four, using the 3D warehouse, which will save you and your students tons of time. And five, a sample assignment and assessment for your students.

Each module also comes with a handout with visuals from SketchUp to guide you through the process. You will learn how SketchUp can add so much to your program.

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PD COURSE

Old Age Makeup Tutorial

by Matt Webster

Instructor Matt Webster guides this tutorial on Old Age Makeup. Old age is the number one special effect makeup you will do and it’s a great process to teach in your class.

This video series takes you visually step by step through everything you need to know about creating old age makeup, from the subtle to the extreme. You can view each step individually so they can be practiced one at a time in the classroom.

The first part is the temple and the forehead. The second part are the cheeks and the jaw. Third will be lips, chin, and nose. Fourth is a section on the face called the nasolabial fold. Fifth, the eyes. And the sixth section will be looking at wrinkles, stippling and finishing the makeup look. These sections are designed to be seen one at a time and to teach within a 90-minute class between instruction, setup, practice, and cleanup. When you put them all together, you will have the parts and pieces to make a full old age makeup. .

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PD COURSE

Introduction to Stage Makeup

by Matt Webster

This introductory course in Stage Makeup is brought to you by Matt Webster, and covers all the basics. You’ll learn the tools you can use to build a makeup kit, how to match skin tone, what are the shapes of the face and how those shapes affect everything you do with makeup.

You’ll learn about highlight and shadow, blending, basic corrective makeup, safety and hygiene, and lastly, tips for teaching makeup. And throughout, sample exercises are included so you have the information you need to bring stage makeup into the drama classroom.

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PD COURSE

Tech for Non-Techies: Teaching Technical Theatre in Your Drama Classroom

by Josh Hatt

In this course, instructor Joshua Hatt shows you how to unpack your drama standards, articulate what you want your students to know and be able to do. The material explores how to incorporate lights, sound, makeup, staging, and costuming into your drama class at any grade level regardless of your school resources or unit structure. Bells and whistles? Awesome! Barely a classroom? We’ve still got you covered.

This 9 lesson series works from the basics and standards, though lighting, sound, costuming, staging, and makeup design, and culminates with a final project including rubrics, resources, and handouts.

A wise theatre technician once said: “the theatre mirrors life but technical theatre teachers us how to live.” Try to keep that statement in mind as you work through this course and see if we can make you a believer in all things technical theatre.

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Units

UNIT

Scenic Design

by Karen Loftus

This unit will focus on the basics: what is scenic design? How do the scenic designer and director collaborate? What is the process that the scenic designer goes through? The unit will also explore basic drafting techniques, and rendering techniques.

Based on what they learn, students will create a ground plan and a rendering. Please refer to the Pacing Guide for more details and ways to supplement with other DTA materials.

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UNIT

Costuming

by Holly Beardsley

A costume designer and a costumer are two different things. A costume designer creates pieces from the drawing board to the stage, while a costumer pulls from already existing pieces to create fully realized characters. This means that the approach is different.

In this six lesson unit students will learn the tools of a successful costumer. They will start by reflecting on their own personal style and the choices that go into that style. They’ll move on to look at versatility and adapting costume staples, creating a costuming vision, period clothing as the costumer, how to use the colour wheel as a costuming tool and everything culminates in a final project (two options).

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UNIT

Lighting

by Josh Hatt

This is an introductory mini-unit to lighting that can be achieved whether or not you have a lighting system. Students will work toward being able to demonstrate their knowledge of lighting effectiveness.

The questions of the unit include: How can light affect a scene? How can lighting affect the audience? What is the mood of the scene? How does lighting play a part in creating mood? How can you use shadows onstage? How does color impact the scene?

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UNIT

Sound

by Josh Hatt

This is an introductory mini-unit to sound that you can use whether or not you have a sound system. Students will work toward being able to demonstrate their knowledge of sound effectiveness.

The questions of the unit include: What is effective sound? What sounds and music do we need in order to make our scene effective? How will we know our sound cues are effective?

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UNIT

Costuming

by Josh Hatt

If the costumes in a play are going to be effective, we need to be thoughtful about how we use them.

In this mini-unit, students will demonstrate their understanding costume effectiveness and address the following questions: What is the role of costume in the performance? How does color contribute? How does the style of costume affect a performance? How does costume indicate setting? Do you need costumes in a scene?

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UNIT

Staging

by Josh Hatt

This is a mini-unit on staging. Along with the driving question for the unit, students will explore about how staging affects the performance. Students will draw a plot design (ground plan) to emphasize the need to plan where scenic elements will be placed. They will also practice taking cues from the script, in order to create staging.

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UNIT

Free Play Makeup

by Josh Hatt

This is a student centred mini-unit on makeup design. Makeup is useful in transporting an audience to a different world.

The purpose is for students to understand that makeup is a tool that theatre technicians can use in order to contribute to effective performance aesthetics; to understand basic makeup rules and care instruction; to understand how to complete a makeup design plot; to look at a project and figure out for themselves what they need to succeed.

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UNIT

Culminating Project

by Josh Hatt

Once students have completed the five Tech Theatre Units (Lighting, Sound, Costume, Staging, Free Play Makeup), you can give them this culminating project.

Depending on how you structured your technical theatre unit, you can adapt this project to suit your needs and context.

Up to this point, all the work in the units have been exploratory. This is where students will apply their skills and knowledge.

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UNIT

Introduction to Technical Theatre: Flipped Learning

by Lindsay Price

When an audience watches a piece of theatre, they never see what goes on behind the scenes or know the people who work to make the production look its best. But theatre is a collaboration between what happens onstage and off.

This flipped learning unit will introduce students to the world of technical theatre. Through video, they will learn information on specific technical theatre roles and how they work together, types of stages, parts of a theatre and stage geography, and then apply this knowledge through in-class active-learning exercises.

For example, students will take on the role of a producer and decide how a budget will be divided among different departments. They will practice the calls a stage manager uses. The culminating assignment has students solve a common technical theatre issue: to design, create, and implement a solution for a unique stage direction in a play.

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UNIT

Introduction to Technical Theatre: Distance Learning

by Lindsay Price

When an audience watches a piece of theatre, they never see what goes on behind the scenes or know the people who work to make the production look their best. But theatre is a collaboration between what happens onstage and off.

This distance learning unit will introduce students to the world of technical theatre. Through video, they will learn information on specific technical theatre roles and how they work together, types of stages, parts of a theatre and stage geography, and then apply this knowledge through synchronous exercises.

For example, students will take on the role of a producer and decide how a budget will be divided among different departments. They will practice the calls a stage manager uses. The culminating assignment has students solve a common technical theatre issue: a unique stage direction in a play.

NOTE - Please read the Troubleshooting Hyperdocs instructions in the Overview, if you are having issues. If your students have trouble accessing the videos, try VERSION 2 Hyperdoc links provided under each module.

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Lesson Plans

LESSON PLAN

Stage Management: Know the Details

by Anna Porter

Students will learn the details a stage manager must be aware of as well as how to communicate those details in a clear and productive way.

Students analyze a work of art to find the visual details required for that “production” and create an organized list to communicate those details. Students then apply those skills to a written script as the stage manager.

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LESSON PLAN

Stage Managers in Rehearsal

by Karen Loftus

Stage Managers have numerous responsibilities in the production process. This lesson will focus in on the things a stage manager does prior to and during blocking rehearsal from preparing for rehearsal, to taking blocking notation, to communicating important notes to other members of the production.

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LESSON PLAN

Building Stage Flats

by Karen Loftus

Lumber is expensive, so just letting the students have a go at building a stage flat could get pricey. Why not let them “try it out” by constructing the cheapest flat they’ll ever make. This lesson plan guides students through the identification and construction of the various elements of a stage flat (both Hollywood and Broadway) using paper, drinking straws, and glue.

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LESSON PLAN

Properties & Prop Design

by Karen Loftus

In this lesson, students will take what they learn about the different types of props and how props are created or acquired in order to apply it to a specific project. Using their critical thinking skills, they’ll have to invent, design, and create a science fiction style prop for a hypothetical show.

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LESSON PLAN

Creating Ambiance

by Holly Beardsley

To create ambiance is to define the feel, mood, and tone of a play. Light and sound can change ambiance drastically. A castle in dark shadows will look gloomy and mysterious, while a castle in bright light will appear magical. In this lesson, students will analyze the use of sound to create and change the ambiance of a production.

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LESSON PLAN

Stage Management Calls Game

by Karen Loftus

It’s important for students to be aware of both onstage and offstage theatre roles. But applying stage management tasks to a classroom setting is not always easy to do. The Stage Management Calls Game gives students a practical way to hear and react to the various things a stage manager may say during a rehearsal or technical rehearsal.

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LESSON PLAN

Technical Theatre Performance Challenge

by Kerry Hishon

Students will work in small groups to devise a one-minute long theatrical piece from a prompt. They will create a performance, create a prompt script, assign Stage Manager and Technical Operator roles, rehearse the piece, and perform it for the rest of the class. Depending on your time allowance, this lesson could be completed in one class using only items found in the classroom; or this lesson can be spread over four classes (one class to assign and plan, one class to rehearse, one class as a technical/dress rehearsal, and one class as a performance and discussion/reflection class).

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LESSON PLAN

What is Scenic Design?

by Karen Loftus

Students are introduced to the concept of scenic design, as well as the role of the Scenic (or Set) Designer. They are also introduced to the 3 kinds of props and 2 types of sets

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LESSON PLAN

The Process

by Karen Loftus

Students learn a process for scenic design and participate in an exercise to develop their skills.

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LESSON PLAN

The Script

by Karen Loftus

Students use the opening stage directions from The Glass Menagerie script to identify scenic elements and create thumbnail sketches of a set.

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LESSON PLAN

Drafting: Part 1

by Karen Loftus

Students are introduced to the concept of scale, sightlines, drafting symbols, and how to create a ground plan. A reflection is included.

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LESSON PLAN

Drafting: Part 2

by Karen Loftus

Students apply what they learned in Drafting: Part 1 to create a ground plan for their design from The Glass Menagerie.

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LESSON PLAN

Rendering

by Karen Loftus

Students learn what a rendering is and how to draw their own from their ground plans.

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LESSON PLAN

Final Submission

by Karen Loftus

Students hand in script notes, ground plan, and renderings. An assessment rubric is included, as well as ideas for unit reflection and an extra credit project.

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LESSON PLAN

Introduction to Lighting

by Josh Hatt

Students are introduced to lighting through video demonstration, discuss the impact of lighting on a scene, address lighting safety and complete a vocabulary activity.

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LESSON PLAN

Colour and Angles

by Josh Hatt

Students will explore how lighting can affect a scene through colour and angles. Questions include: What is mood? How do shadows affect a scene? Students are given a lighting assignment to apply colour and angles by drawing a simple light plot.

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LESSON PLAN

Lighting Effectiveness

by Josh Hatt

Students continue to work on their lighting assignment. They will rehearse their scenes, continue to discuss lighting effectiveness and reflect on their work in class.

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LESSON PLAN

Tech Rehearsal and Performance

by Josh Hatt

Students are given time for a tech rehearsal and then perform their scenes. The emphasis is on the groups demonstrating a knowledge of lighting effectiveness.

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LESSON PLAN

Reflection

by Josh Hatt

Students watch the scenes from the previous class and reflect as a group on the process.

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LESSON PLAN

Introduction to Sound

by Josh Hatt

Students are introduced to sound through video demonstration, discuss the impact of sound on a
scene, and complete a vocabulary activity.

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LESSON PLAN

Sound Effectiveness

by Josh Hatt

Students will explore how sound can affect the mood of a scene. They are then given a sound assignment to apply sound and music to a blank scene using a specific format.

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LESSON PLAN

Sound Assignment

by Josh Hatt

Students continue to work on their sound assignment. They will rehearse their scenes, continue to discuss sound effectiveness and reflect on their work in class.

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LESSON PLAN

Tech Rehearsal and Performance

by Josh Hatt

Students are given time for a tech rehearsal and then perform their scenes. The emphasis is on the groups demonstrating a knowledge of sound effectiveness.

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LESSON PLAN

Reflection

by Josh Hatt

Students discuss the scenes from the previous class and reflect as a group on the process.

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LESSON PLAN

Introduction to Costuming

by Josh Hatt

Students are introduced to costuming through a tableau exercise, discuss the role of costumes in a performance and the impact of colour in costumes. The lesson concludes with a costume research assignment.

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LESSON PLAN

Costume Effectiveness

by Josh Hatt

Students give their research presentations from the previous class. They then discuss costume design and the impact of colour on costumes. How can colour communicate mood in a costume? Students complete a reflection on what they’ve learned so far.

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LESSON PLAN

Costume Sales Pitch Assignment

by Josh Hatt

Students are given a Costume Sales Pitch Assignment. They will work in pairs to pitch costumes for a Blank Scene in which they must articulate mood, setting, the characters, and costume colours.

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LESSON PLAN

Costume Sales Pitch Presentations

by Josh Hatt

Students are given time to prepare and then give their Costume Pitch Presentations. The emphasis is on the pairs demonstrating a knowledge of costume effectiveness.

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LESSON PLAN

Reflection

by Josh Hatt

Students discuss the presentations from the previous class and reflect as a group on the process. They address the role of costumes and costume effectiveness in a scene.

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LESSON PLAN

Introduction to Staging

by Josh Hatt

Students are introduced to staging through video demonstration and discuss the role of staging in a performance. How does staging help to visualize a location? The lesson concludes with a Greek Myth Staging Activity.

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LESSON PLAN

Staging Effectiveness

by Josh Hatt

Students complete a Staging Vocabulary Activity. They are then given a setting description and have to draw a set based on the description. The point of the activity is not to excel in drawing but learning how to plan and translate a description into a physical setting.

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LESSON PLAN

Changes and Transitions

by Josh Hatt

Students discuss scene changes and transitions. How can a poorly rehearsed transition hinder a technically effective performance? They then apply this discussion to a Scene Assignment. Groups create a scene and must demonstrate a scene change within the scene.

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LESSON PLAN

Scene Assignment: Presentation

by Josh Hatt

Students review what makes a scene technically effective. They are given time to rehearse and then present their scenes. The emphasis is on the groups demonstrating a knowledge of staging effectiveness.

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LESSON PLAN

Reflection

by Josh Hatt

Students discuss the scenes from the previous class and reflect as a group on the process. They then address how lighting, sound, costume and staging interact together to create a technically effective scene.

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LESSON PLAN

Introduction to Makeup

by Josh Hatt

Students are introduced to makeup through video demonstration and discuss the impact of makeup in a performance. What is the role of makeup in an effective production? Resources are introduced along with the Makeup Code of Conduct. The lesson concludes with students conducting research on
pictures for possible makeup designs.

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LESSON PLAN

Makeup Techniques

by Josh Hatt

Students explore basic makeup techniques through practical means, video demonstration, and online research.

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LESSON PLAN

Liquid Latex Technique

by Josh Hatt

This is a completely optional day as it requires a material (liquid latex) that you wouldn’t normally have on hand. It gives you an opportunity to show students another facet of stage makeup, opening the door for ideas and projects that students can do within this mini unit. It also creates a great “buy-
in” for students who have been reticent to the process thus far.

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LESSON PLAN

Makeup Assignment

by Josh Hatt

In this class period, students must decide what makeup application they are going to strive for and determine what skills they need to make it happen.

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LESSON PLAN

Makeup Design Plot

by Josh Hatt

Students work on their makeup design plot. They have this class period to complete their design on paper.

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LESSON PLAN

Makeup Skill Practice

by Josh Hatt

Students use this class to learn and practice any makeup skills they will require to complete their makeup design.

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LESSON PLAN

Makeup Application

by Josh Hatt

Students take everything they have learned, and complete their makeup designs on themselves.

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LESSON PLAN

Reflection

by Josh Hatt

Students discuss and reflect on the process. What went well? What didn’t go so well?

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LESSON PLAN

Theatre Hierarchy

by Lindsay Price

This lesson introduces students to the various roles in the theatre and how they make up a hierarchy. Students take on the role of one of these three important roles in a theatre production through an activity.

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LESSON PLAN

Technical Director and Tech Crews / Stage Manager and Running Crews

by Lindsay Price

Students are introduced to two groups of technical theatre roles and the people in charge of those groups: the technical director and tech crews and the stage manager and running crews. Students will take on the role of a stage manager and practice the calls a stage manager would use.

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LESSON PLAN

Common Types of Theatres & Stages

by Lindsay Price

Students review the three most common types of theatre stages used today: proscenium, thrust, and arena stages. Students create the audience for a specific type of stage in a warm-up, and then in groups, students work to stage a fairy tale using the three different theatre configurations.

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LESSON PLAN

Stage Geography & Parts of a Theatre

by Lindsay Price

Students learn about stage geography and parts of a theatre. Students practice stage geography in a warm-up, and then participate in a group activity where they are given random stage geography positions and have to present a scene from those positions.

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LESSON PLAN

Culminating Activity

by Lindsay Price

Students design, create, and implement a solution for the famous “exit, pursued by a bear” stage direction from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

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LESSON PLAN

Pre-Knowledge

by Lindsay Price

Students will identify areas of technical theatre and explore how the use of these crafts affects storytelling.

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LESSON PLAN

Theatre Hierarchy

by Lindsay Price

This lesson introduces students to the various roles in the theatre and how they make up a hierarchy. Students take on the role of one of these three important roles in a theatre production through an activity.

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LESSON PLAN

Culminating Activity

by Lindsay Price

Students work together to come up with a solution for the famous “exit, pursued by a bear” stage direction from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale through written response, drawing, and making a design element with materials found at home.

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Resources

RESOURCE

Poster: Scene Shop Safety

Use this poster for your scene shop - to keep actors and crew focused on safety.

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RESOURCE

Lighting Exercise

Have students brainstorm alternative lighting options for a scene when you can’t use a traditional lighting rig. What do they come up with? How can they experiment with existing lighting sources? (For example: flashlights) Sometimes their options will be the best options.

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RESOURCE

Activity: Sort the Props

A guide to the different types of props, and a sorting activity to help students identify props by category (scenic props, hand props, set dressing).

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RESOURCE

Stage Management Staff Breakdown

Here is one way to set up a stage management staff at your school. You know your students the best and you know that some can handle more responsibility and some may be better suited to certain tasks. Make sure your PSM is the one who represents the team especially to the actors.

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RESOURCE

Tech Hacks and Exercises

How do you teach tech, or use tech in your productions when you don’t have the expertise or the equipment? How do you make it work? How do you problem solve? Topics include Lighting, Set Design, Costumes, and Sound.

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RESOURCE

Keith Rollins: Experience at FX University

Lindsay Price talks to Keith Rollins, one of the winners of the DTA Travel Scholarship in 2017, about his experience at FX University, a hands-on, professional training event covering prosthetics application, makeup effects, mask making, sculpture, mould making, airbrush and more. See some of Keith's work and hear what he learned in this interview.

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PLCs

PLC

Technical Theatre

Hosted by Matt Webster and Karen Loftus

If you struggle with tech or want to share your ideas for teaching tech, this is the event for you.

Hosted by DTA Instructors Matt Webster and Karen Loftus.

Recorded July 23, 2015

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PLC

Tech Hacks: Tips and tricks to make your production a technical success!

Hosted by Matt Webster and Holly Beardsley

Technical Theatre Tips

Tips for set design, costuming, lighting, and more! Dealing with small budgets, overcoming obstacles, and making the most of what you have. BONUS material at the end of the PLC!

Hosted by DTA instructors Holly Beardsley, Matt Webster, and Lindsay Price.

Recorded on September 15, 2015 at 8pm.

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