What is Technical Theater?

Technical Theatre, sometimes referred to as stagecraft, involves all visual, mechanical, and auditory production aspects of theater that supplement the acting, writing, and directing—essentially acting as the backbone to a production. 

Technical theater comprises about five primary elements, though sometimes these are broken down into subcategories, including scenery, lighting, costumes, props, and sound engineering.

Behind the scenes is where the real magic happens, from speedy costume changes to illusions to breathtaking scenes, stagecraft brings live performances to life.

What is Technical Theater Vocabulary?

When performing the duties and responsibilities of technical theater, there are a slew of terms you should know in order to efficiently complete your tasks. We recommend exploring an entire technical theater glossary, but some of the most common vocab terms you should retain to memory include:

  • Act Curtain: A curtain for closing the proscenium opening between acts or scenes
  • Box Set: Naturalistic setting of a complete room built from flats with only the side nearest the audience (the fourth wall) missing.
  • Cue: The command given to technical departments to carry out a particular operation
  • Curtain Call: At the end of a performance, the acknowledgement of applause by actors – the bows.
  • Get-In: The process of moving set, props and other hardware into a theatre prior to the fit-up
  • Get-Out: Moving an entire production out of the venue, and back into storage or into transport. Usually preceded by the strike (where the set is disassembled back into component parts
  • House: The audience or the auditorium
  • Marking Out: Sticking tapes to the floor of the rehearsal space to indicate the groundplan of the scenery. Also for marking position of furniture etc. within a set.
  • Raked Stage: A sloping stage which is raised at the back (upstage) end
  • Technical Rehearsal: Also known as the tech run, or just tech. Usually the first time the show is rehearsed in the venue, with lighting, scenery and sound.

Useful Skills Learned from Technical Theater

Like any other team-oriented activity, technical theater allows kids and teens to gain useful skills that are not just applicable to theater, but all facets of life! Here are three skills your child or teen will practice while learning about technical theater:

1. Leadership

Surrounded by other individuals their age, kids are able to support and provide peer mentorship for each other in a judgement-free zone, which is essential for personal growth.

2. Communication

In theater, as in any setting with interpersonal relationships, it is essential that all members of the production have fine-tuned communication skills. In this setting, kids learn how to give and take direction, receive feedback, and are encouraged to become creative problem solvers—all of which contribute to them becoming better communicators. 

3. Time management

Another crucial skill not just in theater, but in all areas of life is time management. During our Stages & Studios summer camp program, students learn how to manage their time in tandem with working cross-functionally with a team. 

Technical Theater Summer Camp Program

Does all of this sound like something you or your child would greatly enjoy and benefit from? Then we highly recommend exploring our Stages & Studios summer camp program. 

Stages & Studios is an immersive experience for those interested in exploring the many facets of the visual and performing arts while simultaneously participating in a traditional summer camp environment. For those interested in the technical side of theater, the three-week tech troupe will explore lighting, set design, and stage management.

Don’t pass up this hand-on learning experience, and get in touch with us today!

About Brooks School Summer Programs

Established in 1971, Brooks School Summer Programs has earned the reputation of New England’s leader in summer programs. Over the past 50 years, we have created a portfolio of programs for all ages and interests. When you choose Brooks School, you are joining a community of alumni who have spent their summers here, creating memories and partaking in life-changing experiences.