Technical Production & Design

Students interested in participating in technical production, stage management, or design with TDPS have multiple course options. Ideally, all students will begin with Theater 60: Introduction to Technical Theater & Production (3 units). Although it is possible to enroll in design courses without taking Theater 60, participation in a technical production capacity will be limited without having taken this introductory course.

In addition to completing Theater 60, TDPS majors are required to participate in Theater 167: Performance Practice (Run Crew) and Theater 168: Shop Practice (Technical Lab). Theater majors must complete both courses and Dance majors choose one or the other. Theater 167 or 168 are taken following or concurrently with Theater 60. Continuing technical work may be pursued under Theater 169: Advanced Technical Theater.

Course Descriptions

Technical Production

Technical Production Courses

Theater 60: Introduction to Technical Theater & Production (3 Units)

A practical introduction to the terminology, theories, approaches, and techniques of technical theater and production. The course will cover theatrical terminology, stage equipment and architecture, production personnel and processes, and design departments, including scenery, properties, costumes, lighting, sound, and video.

The course frequently fills to capacity and it is unlikely for students not on the wait list to be admitted. Transfer students may consult with instructors about possibly equivalency from other institutions.

Theater 167: Performance Practice (1 Unit)

Pre-requisite/Co-requisite: Theater 60 or instructor approval

Performance Practice or "Run Crew" (running shows as wardrobe crew, fly operator, stage hand, sound or video operator, etc.) is fulfilled through an established schedule of technical rehearsals and performances. To be eligible for a run crew assignment, you must be available for all scheduled calls for your production as outlined under the Production Labs & Run Crew section of the Callboard.

Theater 168: Shop Practice (1 Unit)

Pre-requisite/Co-requisite: Theater 60 or instructor approval

Shop Practice or Technical Labs (working in production areas with scenery, costumes, lighting, etc.) are fulfilled within established lab sessions: Monday/Wednesday 2-4, Tuesday/Thursday 2-4, or Wednesday/Friday 2-4.

Theater 169: Advanced Practice (1–3 Units)

Pre-requisites: Theater 60, Theater 167 or 168, and instructor approval

Advanced Technical Practice is continuation of work started in Theater 167 or 168. With the shop supervisor's approval, students elect to work between 3 and 9 hours per week. Working on run crew is also an option for this course. Inquire with the Production Manager.

Stage Management

Stage Management Courses

Theater 172.1 (3 Units)

Pre-requisite: Theater 60 or an approved equivalent for transfer students

Section one of Stage Management examines the role and responsibilities of the Stage Manager within a live theatrical production organization. This includes exploring and creating methods for documenting, recording and “calling” a production. The purpose of 172.1 is to provide an understanding of the complex and collaborative process involved in mounting a theatrical production, the relationship of the stage manager to this process, and the basic skills and techniques of a stage manager. The Fall course culminates in a final project for which all enrolled students participate in the TDPS production of the Fall Choreography Showcase. Each student will be assigned a backstage role on the production, for the technical rehearsals and performances. All enrolled students must be available for the entire "Fall Choreo" tech and performance schedule.

Theater 172.2 (3–6 Units)

Pre-requisites: Theater 60 and Theater 172.1 along with instructor approval

Section two of Stage Management is an independent study course providing practical, hands-on experience associated with Stage Management. Students interested in registering for Theater 172.2 must receive pre-approval from the Stage Management Advisor. Admission criteria for this course includes a minimum grade of A for the 172.1 Stage Management lecture course, and demonstrating the ability to apply skills and lessons taught in Theater 172.1. These skills include:

  • Ability to maintain a mature, responsible, supportive and communicative attitude towards fellow students, staff and faculty.
  • Demonstration of autonomous, positive leadership ability.

  • Demonstrated ability to remain neutral in situations involving rehearsals, tech and performance challenges.

  • Ability to troubleshoot problems as they arise during rehearsals, tech and performances.

  • If assigned the role of Stage Manager, ability to delegate responsibilities/duties to Assistant Stage Managers, including showing them examples of paperwork and providing guidance on their assigned duties.

  • Demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft files, PDFs, Google files and Google Drive

Part of the pre-approval process for 172.2 requires the student to be assigned to a stage management team for a TDPS production. This assignment is made by the Stage Management Advisor if the aforementioned criteria is met. Enrolled students are required to actively participate in the rehearsal, tech and performance process of the assigned production.

The student must be on time and whenever possible, early, to all required calls including all rehearsals, techs and performance calls. The student must also attend all weekly production meetings unless they conflict with a class.

Design (Scenic, Costume, Lighting, Sound)

Design Courses

Theater 173: Scenic Design (3 Units, Fall Semester)

Suggested Pre-requisite: Theater 60

This introductory course teaches some fundamentals of scenic design. Design for live performance will be approached as an integration of all the performative tools — text, visuals, sound, space, kinetics, etc. — with particular focus in this class on the overall scenographic environment. Through personal development and group explorations students will be given basic conceptual and art-making tools allowing them to evolve, communicate and realize scenic and environmental solutions. Previous art training is helpful but not essential. The student must provide most art supplies. The final evaluation will include a presentation in lieu of an exam.

Theater 174: Costume Design (3 Units)

Suggested Pre-requisite: Theater 60

This studio class explores some fundamental approaches and techniques for designing costume. Performance design will be approached as a product of all the performative tools and contexts — text, visuals, sound, space, kinetics, etc. — with particular focus for this class on the scenographic role of the performer. Through personal expression and collaborative investigation students will be given some basic tools allowing them to conceptualize, communicate and realize costumes. Previous art training is helpful but not essential. The student must provide most art supplies. The final evaluation will include a presentation in lieu of an exam.

Theater 175A: Lighting Design (4 Units, Fall Semester)

Suggested Pre-requisite: Theater 60

This course will introduce you to the tools, terms, and techniques of stage lighting through lectures and practical application. Working as part of a production crew (an additional 45 hours outside of class) will demonstrate the practice of stage lighting. Class lectures and workshops augment the production experience. They will cover descriptions, explanations, and demonstrations of lighting concepts and equipment, and the initial elements of design.

Theater 175B: Lighting Design (4 Units, Spring Semester)

Suggested Pre-requisites: Theater 60 and Theater 175A

This is the second of two classes in stage lighting design and execution. In this course, you will study the design and execution of stage lighting from the visualization of the initial concept through the realization of that concept on stage. The course is divided into four segments: Review foundational information about stage lighting. Analyze performance material and present a proposal for a production. Design a repertory light plot by drafting the plot with VectorWorks Spotlight, a CAD program for stage lighting. Finally, work with a light plot in the Playhouse, creating light cues for music of your choice.

Theater 177: Sound Design (4 Units)

Suggested Pre-requisite: Theater 60

In this course, students will learn to construct sound cues and soundtracks for theater performances and videos using industry standard software, and will learn fundamental principles of incorporating video and sound into stage productions. Students will be exposed to the writings and works of prominent sound theorists, designers, and engineers and multimedia performance artists. The most successful students may be invited to participate in UC Berkeley theater productions as sound designers.

Theater 176: Supervised Lighting Design (Variable Units)

Pre-requisites: Theater 60, Theater 175A or 175B, and consent of instructor

Students are provided experience, structure, and support in the practical application of design to the stage in departmental productions. Interaction and team approach of the designers will be promoted from the earliest stages of conceptualization through the opening night and the run of the production(s).

Theater 179: Supervised Costume or Scenic Design (Variable Units)

Pre-requisites: Theater 60, Theater 173 or 174, and consent of instructor

Students are trained in the working methods of set or costume design; supervised preparation and implementation of designs in the department's production season, from initial discussions through opening night.

How to Enroll

Performance Practice / Advanced Practice

Theater 167 & 169: These courses are not listed in the class schedule because they require an individual course number for enrollment. Therefore, lab preferences must be submitted in the semester prior to intended enrollment to get onto the course list. Seats may be available at the beginning of the semester for those not on the list, although it is not guaranteed.

Preference Submission for Theater 167 and 169 can be found on the Callboard

Shop Practice / Technical Labs

Theater 168: Students who have met the Theater 60 pre-requisite (or co-requisite) may enroll directly in this course via Cal Central. Please note that transfer students who received waivers for Theater 60 will still need to receive permission numbers from the Production Manager for enrollment. Please email Jamila Cobham for further information:

Stage Management

Theater 172.1 (lecture course) is open for direct enrollment for students who have met the Theater 60 pre-requisite.

Theater 172.2 (practical, independent study) requires instructor approval for an assignment. Interested students should meet with the Stage Management Advisor following completion of section one.

Design Courses for Costumes, Scenery, Lighting, and Sound

Theater 173, 174, 175A, 175B & 177 are open for direct enrollment. Theater 60 is a suggested pre-requisite and is required to take advanced courses (Theater 176, 179) following an initial design course.

Technical Curriculum Requirements for Majors

Contact the Undergraduate Academic Advisor with specific degree plan questions:

Course Requirements as of Fall 2019

Theater 60

Introduction to Technical Theater and Production

  • Required for majors
  • 3 Units (lecture only)
  • Pre-requisite for (or co-requisite of) Theater 167 or 168; pre-requisite for Theater 172.1

Theater 167

Performance Practice: Run Crew

  • Required for majors *
  • 1 Unit
  • Take with or after Theater 60

Theater 168

Performance Practice: Technical Shop

  • Required for majors *
  • 1 Unit
  • Take with or after Theater 60
* Dance & Performance Studies majors choose one to complete the requirement. Theater & Performance Studies majors must complete both.

Theater 172.1

Stage Management

  • Elective
  • 3–6 Units
  • Fulfills Upper-Division Requirement
  • Pre-requisite for Theater 172.2
  • Lecture only; no show work

Theater 172.2

Advanced Stage Management

  • Elective
  • May be repeated
  • 3–6 Units
  • Fulfills Theater 167
  • Show work only, no class meeting
  • Theater 60, 172.1, and consent of instructor required for assignment to Assistant Stage Manage or Stage Manage