Stagecraft I

I.     Course Prefix/Number: THE 135

       Course Name: Stagecraft I

       Credits: 3 (1 lecture; 4 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course presents the basics of stagecraft elements. Content includes basic vocabulary, tool usage and fundamental craftsmanship in scene and costume design and technology, as well as the implementation and utilization of scenic and costume elements for live theatrical events. Course requires lab work with hands-on experiences in support of Performing Arts Center productions.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the types and safe uses of basic scenic construction, painting and costume equipment.
  2. Examine practical technical theater techniques in crafting set designs from basic construction to painting.
  3. Work through and solve complex challenges in scene and costume design.
  4. Recognize potentially unsafe conditions and demonstrate knowledge of appropriate measures to address the problem.
  5. Work effectively in a team setting, communicating clearly in written and spoken forms.
  6. Demonstrate effective management of multiple projects, deadlines and personal responsibilities.
  7. Work on a stage crew, demonstrating the fundamental principles of scene and costume design.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Week I: Introduction to course, course policies and tour of Performing Arts facilities.
Safety principles for set and costume design
Labs: Set and costume
Week II: Set: Design team and process
Costume: Understanding the various roles
Labs: Costume
Week III: Set: Hand tools and their uses
Costume: Tools and their uses
Labs: Set
Week IV: Set: Power tools and their uses
Costume: Measurements and textile types
Labs: Costume
Week V: Set: Fasteners and hardware
Costume: Hats, parasols, and handprops
Labs: Set
Week VI: Set: Basic period styles
Costume: Basic period styles
Labs: Costume
Week VII: Set: Design process for the set designer
Costume: Design process for the costume designer
Labs: Set
Week VIII:   Set: Production organization
Costume: Production organization
Labs: Costume
Week IX: Set: 2-D Scenery
Costume: Advanced Textiles
Labs: Set
Week X: Set: 3-D Scenery
Costume: Basic Pattern Building
Labs: Costume
Week XI: Set: Types of theaters and fly systems
Costume: Basic draping
Labs: Set: Ropes and knots
Week XII: Set: Load lifting mechanical advantage
Costume: Basic pattern drafting
Labs: Costume
Week XIII: Set: Production organization
Costume: Production organization
Labs: Set
Week XIV: Set: Basic scene painting
Costume: Basic make-up
Labs: Costume
Week XV: Set: Advanced scenic art and transfers
Costume: Advanced make-up
Labs: Set
Week XVI: Review and exams

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Seminars, lectures, and demonstrations of efficient and safe use of basic supplies, equipment, and technical production materials for scene and costume.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Attend scheduled lectures, demonstrations, and workshops
  2. Participate in four hours of lab per week.
  3. Participate in crew assignments, generally 20-40 hours during the semester.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  1. Backstage Handbook: An Illustrated Almanac of Technical Information. Carter Paul and George Chiang. Broadway Press; 3rd edition, 1997. ISBN: 09-1174729X
  2. Handouts
  3. Stage materials and supplies

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Crew participation
  2. Technical modules
  3. Mid-term exam
  4. Final

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.