Technical Design (Scenery, Mechanisms, and Special Effects) OpenCourseWare: A Free Undergraduate Special Effects Class by MIT

Published Feb 10, 2009

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Did you ever wonder how the scenery and stage effects happen for a theater production? In MIT's 'Technical Design: Scenery, Mechanisms and Special Effects,' students learn about all aspects of a stage production from the first meeting with the director to opening night. This Music and Theater Arts course is offered through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's OpenCourseWare for self-study.

Technical Design (Scenery, Mechanisms and Special Effects): Course Specifics

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Technical Design (Scenery, Mechanisms and Special Effects): Course Description

For any theater production, the set design and special effects are very important. Once the director has finished his or her stage design, it is up to the design crew to take that vision and make it happen. Students in 'Technical Design: Scenery, Mechanisms and Special Effects' learn the importance of all aspects of set construction, like structural integrity, backstage and onstage safety procedures, budgeting and much more. Students in the original class worked on an actual production and were expected to write ten technical reports. As a final project, students submitted complete drawings, budget and building time estimates for a scenery design, special effect or complex stage device. MIT professor Michael Katz offers this peek at MIT's curriculum for a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Theater Arts.

This Theater Design course includes student-written technical notes, a comprehensive reading list, assignments with an extensive list of student projects and a list of stage designer resources. If you are interested in this set, mechanism and special effects design course, please visit this technical theater design course page.

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