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Structural Design for the Stage

Starting this fall, Cal Shakes’ Technical Director Steven Schmidt will be offering a three-part foundational course on how to approach structural challenges in theater. Designed for all technical staff —from seasoned technical directors to emerging technicians—the class seeks to provide an understanding of why “sets stand up” in order to safely meet the increasingly complex and challenging scenic designs of today’s industry.

All classes will take place on  Zoom. Please note that if you are signing up for the bundled classes, you will recieve your first class as a recording.

Structural Design for the Stage will be broken into 3 sections. The Introductory first section is currently in session and closed, but folks who may have an introductory knowledge of this work may still join the following two sections. Each section will include 2 hours of Zoom instruction plus 2-4 hours of homework per week for 8 weeks. Students who fulfill all the requirements will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course.

Cost: $400/section. Participants will also need a copy of Structural Design for the Stage (2nd Edition).

Recommended for: technical directors, assistant technical directors, head carpenters, riggers, professionals who are familiar with the first edition of the text, and any technician with a desire to understand the math behind why sets stand up (and more importantly, why they don’t).

What about the math…while this text includes a lot of math, it is written for theater technicians, not engineers. A basic understanding of algebra and trigonometry is very helpful. This course does not use calculus. 

About the instructor: Steven Schmidt is the Technical Director at Cal Shakes, as well as a Co-author on the 2nd Edition of Structural Design for the Stage, and a Lecturer at UC Davis. Steven received his MFA in Technical Design and Production from the Yale School of Drama.

Please reach out to learn@calshakes.org with questions.

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