Thr 97-373 Mick Alderson
AC-W18 Office: AC-W124
MWF 11:30 - 12:30 Phone 424-7051

Syllabus (
Class Schedule

Class Notes

The purpose of the course is to provide an introduction to techniques and methods used to realize lighting and sound plots , with particular attention paid to the technical skills required to prepare, set, and run lighting and sound equipment in production.

The student should be able to prepare and execute a simple light plot and sound plot, and set up and run the equipment for it, by end of course.

Theatre is a collaborative art, requiring an understanding of the work of the other artists in the theatre process and of the wider culture as a whole. Some projects will therefore be collaborative in nature. Life is also a "collaborative art". As part of a liberal arts education, the study of theatre contributes to an understanding of our culture, how it works and how it affects us, and how we can affect our larger society. A liberal arts education thus makes us more effective participants in society.

Stage Lighting Revealled     by Glen Cunningham
Sound Check               by Tony Moscal
Various Handouts provided through semester
Theatrical Design and Production     by J. Michael Gillet

Course Materials:

Most necessary materials will be available in class. Software to complete projects will be available in AC W16 lab or as free downloads on the Web. Covered software titles will include LXFree, LXFree for Java, or Vectorworks Spotlight; Audacity and Qlab or Quicktime. We will also use iTunes or Windows Media Player.

Light plot project will use a CAD program (Vectorworks or LXFree) to create. You MAY use hand drafting to complete, in which case the following equipment is suggested (not required): 

Drafting Equipment (hand drafting option): 
We can make an order for templates if desired.
A 6" or 8" Adjustable wrench (Crescent wrench) is suggested.


Grade will be based on laboratory projects, on quizzes, and on production work.

Projects: There will be 12 laboratory projects spaced throughout the semester. Projects are due ON TIME.

Quizzes will be given approx. weekly, and will be based on the previous class discussion.

Production work may be completed one of two ways:
--20 hours of work time on stage to hang and focus shows.
--Working on a running crew as lighting or sound crew.

Strikes will also be required, but will not count against work time.


Triffles/Sometimes I Sing: Oct. 6-8, at 7:30 pm, Oct. 9 at 2:00 pm.
Strike is approx. 4:00 pm
All My Sons: Nov. 17-19 at 7:30 pm., Nov. 20 at 2:00 pm.
Strike at approx. 4:00 pm

Projects 60%
Quizzes 20%
Production work    20%

Grading will be based on the standard format:
94 - 100 (A); 90 - 93 (A-); 87 - 89 (B+); 83 - 86 (B); 80 - 82 (B-); 77 - 79 (C+); 73 - 76 (C); 70 - 72 (C-);
67 - 69 (D+); 63 - 66 (D); 60 - 62 (D-); below 60 (F).


1. Electricity lab: (5 points)
Using parts supplied:

2. Demonstrate how to change a lamp in an Ellipsoidal Reflector Spotlight, a S4 PAR, and a PAR can. (5 points)

3. On the Fredric March stage, given a sample light plot, hang and cable a temporary electric batten. Set instruments properly, and calculate counterweight required. (5 points)

4. Create a simple light plan on paper or CAD of a single area to present a mood or atmosphere effect, then set and save in color a visualization of the lighting layout using Virtual Lighting Studio ( or Virtual Light Lab program. (5 points)

5. Set up miniature single area light plots in the light lab demonstrating: (5 points)
6. Using whatever instruments are hung at the time, create on the Ion light board a series of cues as follows: (15 points)
  1. Patch a set of at least 12 channels and create the following sequence of cues:
  2. Save your sequence.

7. Prepare a light plot for a short play. The plot should include:

The scene will be selected by the instructor, the Theatre will be the Fredric March Theatre, and a set design will be provided. Use of CAD to draft the plot is expected but not required. (25 points)


8. Dub three different sound effects from CD (music AND sound effects library CDs) to an Audio CD-R to create a three cue sequence. Prepare a sound cue sheet. (5 points)

9. Dub three different sound effects from CD (music AND sound effects library CDs) to the hard drive of a computer using a Sound editing program (such as Audacity, Audition, or Pro Tools) to create a three cue sequence.  Prepare a sound cue sheet (paper or electronic). You may use either Qlab or Quicktime as your anticipated playback program. (10 points)

10. Set up a portable PA system consisting of a small mixer, a "talent" microphone on a stand, a PCC floor mic, a cassette deck or a CD deck, an amplifier, and two speakers. Speakers should be set up as mono or stereo, depending on capabilities of the amplifier supplied. Get sound from all sources. (5 points)

11. Set up a dynamic microphone, a PCC microphone, and a wireless microphone on the Fredric March Theatre sound system and get sound from each through the house cluster. (5 points)

12. Create a five cue sequence utilizing at least three different sources. You may use the effects from the previous two projects as cues. At least one cue must be a layered cue utilizing more than one source. Prepare a sound cue sheet and play back on cue through the Fredric March Theatre house cluster. (15 points)


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