Considered as a technical rather than artistic field, stagecraft refers to the practical implementations of a designer’s artistic vision. It is the general term used when referring to aspects within theatrical, film and video production. These areas may include constructing and rigging of scenery, hanging and focussing of lighting, design and procurement of costumes, makeup, acquiring props, stage management, and recording and mixing of sound.
Backstage stage theatre has played and continues to play a fundamental role in helping to bringing to life an artist’s imagination and dreams to an audience. For one to, therefore, have a better understanding of the overall organisation in the theatre as well as the basic conventions still used for stagecraft one has to delve into the history starting at the very genesis, Greece where “Theatrum Mundi” has its roots. An example being, how the Greeks built their theatres into the side of hills, thus using the natural acoustic properties of the hill to bounce sound up towards to audience. Another being the way they angled the acting stage higher as it went away from the audience, creating a bowlike effect known as the ‘rake’, so sound can bounce around to all areas of the audience, serving today as the basis for modern stage directions.
Stagecraft has evolved through time, once being able to be managed by a single stage manager (often for smaller productions) has grown, to In recent times, to be managed by many skilled professionals such as painters, electricians, carpenters, stagehands, wigmakers, stitchers and many a-like.
>>> The branches or so to say sub-disciplines of stagecraft can be broken down as follows;
This is the process of identifying the size, shape, intensity and colour suitable for a given scene within the theatrical piece. Some processes associated with lighting design include hanging, focusing, procurement and maintenance of fixtures as well show control.
Show Control: This usual entails to stage control disciplines working in sync. For example, the lighting arrangement going along it a musical theatre.
– Colour Temperature
– Intelligent Lighting, LED stage lighting, Light Plot, Stage Lighting, Stage Lighting Instrument, Stage Lighting Accessories
Processes associated with sound design include musical underscoring, vocal and instrument mixing, rigging and theatrical sound effects.
– Audio engineering
This is the process of building the scenery. This may involve scenic painting and the soft goods; the drapes and stage curtains. ‘Mechanics’ falls underneath the scenic carpentry, as it is the design, engineering and operation of Fly System scenery or flying of performers and mechanised scenic elements.
– Counterweight Fly System, Rail (theatre), Rigging (theatre), Scene Shop, Scenery Wagon, Show Control, Theatrical Scenery.
Props (Theatrical Property):
This includes furnishings, set dressings and items; be it big or small, which does not or cannot be classified aas scenery, electrics or wardrobe though certain aspects crossover. ‘Personal props’ are those kept in an actor’s costume and props handled by actors are known as ‘hand props’.
The Wardrobe department, also known as costuming, is responsible for costume design, construction and the procurement and maintenance of costumes.
– Make-up Artist, Wigs
Career Positions in Stagecraft
– Stage Management
– Technical Director
– Production Management
– House Management
– Company Management
– Carpenter (theatre)
– Electrician (theatre)
– Fly Crew
– Property Master
– Running Crew
– Spotlight Operator
– Theatrical Technician
– Technical Crew
– Wardrobe supervisor
– Costume Designer
– Lighting Designer
– Scenic Designer
– Sound Designer
– Video Design