Technical Direction

Andrew Long, Technical Director; Colin Bixler, Assistant Technical Director

Designer Spotlight

As a technical director, I work with the scenic designer to make their dreams a reality within an assigned budget. My process starts with creating a cost-out for the original design, to show the team how much it would cost to make the set as-is. I then make construction drawings and develop a build schedule to let my team know how long it would take to build the set. I then begin figuring out how my team would load the set in and have it “actor ready” by the time the actors needed to get on it. After the show is over, I would need to figure out how to take the set apart and either store it, or take it apart even more.

 

Normally this process is done full-scale, but since we were hit with the COVID-19 Pandemic, I had to come up with a different way to represent the dreams of every designer. This is when I brought up the idea of a 1” scale model, in which every designer can showcase their work. It was especially challenging, because this was the first model I had ever built: but I am extremely proud of the work I, and the team, has done! I feel that this was the best outcome of a really unfortunate situation.

Construction Drawings 

This is the construction drawing for the staircase that comes off of the main platform. The staircase was going to be built out of 2” X 12” dimensional lumber. The steps were going to have a 1” overhang to give it more depth. The railings were going to be made out of 1” steel tube and welded together. Once all is loaded in, the railings would be lag-bolted in and the staircase would be bolted to the platform.

The platforms were going to be pulled from the theatre's stock and my team and I would have needed to make the frame and the legs. The frame and legs were going to be made out of 1&1/2” x 2” steel tube on-end and welded and bolted together. The platform would have been lag-bolted to the frame for stability.

For the portal, we were going to “cartoon” the design onto muslin and then paint that to get the portal effect we wanted. To do that, we would need to make a 1’x1’ grid to make the process easier for getting the design on the muslin. The portal would be tied to the grid of the theatre and hang from there.