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Set Construction

Course Code: STGE 1106
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Credits: 2.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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

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.

Means of Assessment

Drafting/construction projects x8 50%
Written tests x3 15%
Practical tests x3 35%
TOTAL  100%

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.

course prerequisites

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

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.