I have taught technical theatre classes for many years using some of the major texts on this subject, and while there are some quite comprehensive texts available, I wanted something that could speak more specifically to the needs of my students. I wanted to create a text that covered the basics, including theatre terminology and general practices, but was not so in-depth as to overwhelm those who were studying technical theatre as an elective part of their education. It occurred to me that my situation and students are not unique and that a text of this type might be of use to many.
This text is intended to be a learning resource for classes at both high school and college program levels. It is written in a modular format to help others, like myself, who regularly rearrange their syllabus around productions and space scheduling. Highlighted terms throughout the text indicate important theatrical terminology and are included in the glossary. As the text is modular, some terms may be highlighted in several sections upon first use therein. Boxed information under “There’s more to know” or “Consider this” headers provides further information and ideas that relate to the text.
This book has come from my experience in this art form both in and out of the classroom over the last 30+ years. While I have tried to be inclusive and to avoid being overly controversial, I appreciate that there are many schools of thought regarding the intricacies of producing within this art form and expect some instructors may take exception to a term or point of view.
Cost is also a factor for my students. We would like to think the cost of our required textbooks pays off over time as they are continuously used as reference, but I am not sure that logic always applies to the modern student. Offered as an OA text, this book is intended to be free to all interested readers. It is my hope that by eliminating the cost this knowledge will readily spread, helping new students find the passion for this art that I love.