Curriculum Guideline

Set Construction

Effective Date:
Course Code
STGE 1106
Set Construction
Stagecraft & Event Technology
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
48 hrs. per semester
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

Students will receive 1 to 1 ½ hours of lecture/demonstration followed by 2 ½ to 3 hours of shop that includes independent work and one-on-one instruction.

Course Description
In this course students will be introduced to the basic techniques and procedures for set construction and set up. Students will learn the application and use of tools and equipment common to the scene shop and stage including rigging and electrics. Safe working procedures in both the construction and set up phase will be emphasized. Please note: The scene shop is a construction area. Safety footwear, eye and ear protection are mandatory.
Course Content
  1. The Performance Space:
    • function vs. aesthetics
    • sight lines
    • seating plans
    • the proscenium arch
    • thrust and apron stage
    • arena stage
    • other forms
  2. Stage Equipment
    • the counterweight system
    • the pin and rail
    • rigging
    • curtains, tabs, torms, teaser, borders
    • electric
  3. The Scene Shop:  tools and materials
  4. Construction Procedures: 
    • jointing
    • covering
    • scenic units  -two dimensional  -three dimensional
    • weight bearing units
    • glues and adhesives
  5. Safety Procedures
    • safe work habits
    • safe working environment
    • fire extinguishers and alarms
    • safety switches
  6. Basic Engineering
    • read and interpret plans
    • cost estimation
    • calculate construction requirements for floors, platforms, ramps, stairs under various loads
    • calculate safe working loads for the counterweight system
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the successful student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate safe working practices and procedures when dealing with tools, materials, and machinery common to scene construction.
  2. Develop and demonstrate skills in:
    • construction techniques
    • basic engineering
    • development and interpretation of shop plans
    • cost estimation
  3. Describe the “theatrical space” and its various forms and design.
Means of Assessment
Drafting/construction projects x8 50%
Written tests x3 15%
Practical tests x3 35%
TOTAL  100%
Textbook Materials

A list of recommended textbooks and materials is provided on the Instructor’s Course Outline, which is available to students at the beginning of each semester.


  • Gillette, Michael.  Theatrical Design and Production.  3rd Ed. Toronto: Mayfield Publishing Co., 1997.
  • Carter, Paul. Backstage Handbook.  3rd Ed. Shelter Island: Broadway Press, 1994
  • CSA  Grade 1, Green Triangle Safety Footwear.


Acceptance to Stagecraft Program or permission of the Stagecraft Program Coordinator.