In conjunction with any department of theatre there is a need for Scene shop. This is typical in any academic B.A., B.F.A., M.F.A. program. This is also the lab where scenery and props/properties are fabricated, painted and assembled for a theatrical production. The Department of Theatre and Dance oversees, maintains and utilizes this space on a weekly basis.
The space is open Monday-Friday from 9:00-5:30 p.m. The morning hours are academic courses and related course projects the afternoon is for the construction and fabrication of scenery.
Large tools include- table, radial arm and band saws. Stationary sander (belt and disk), Also included are a variety of hand tools that would common in the construction trades.
All costs (materials, equipment and expendables) used in this space are supported thru the departmental operational budget. There are no fees attached to this operation. Individual(s) projects are not supported due to the lack of funds and the demand placed on the space while a production (stage set) is being constructed over any given academic quarter.
The Scene shop is managed by a Production Manager/Technical Director with some additional support coming from the Resident Scenic Designer and Theatre Technician.
The department offers three courses (Introduction to Production, Scenic Painting, Production Workshop) where students can learn safe procedural use of the equipment.
The shop requires that a member of the faculty or staff be present to oversee students work crews who are part of a Production workshop class to insure the safe use of any of the large or small power tools. These are both electrical and pneumatic tools that are used for construction projects.
The very nature of Theatre is collaboration and working together in the exchange of ideas, approaches and methods for the safe construction and delivery of scenery. There are some projects that are done by the individual, however there is always someone providing oversight and direction for the students.
Each production brings a set of challenges that require the creative use of different materials or techniques in creating that particular set or ‘theatrical world’ where a production comes to life on stage.
First and foremost the space must be a safe working environment. We utilize best practices in purchasing sustainable materials and are always mindful of environmental standards when dealing with adhesives, paints and foam products. This is essential for the health and safety of the students, staff and faculty.
We are very fortunate the University has an Environmental and Health Safety officer on campus. This person works very closely with us and we value his insight and contributions for a safe working environment.