Talk:Stagecraft

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WikiProject Stagecraft (Rated Start-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of Wikipedia's Stagecraft coverage, and has come to the attention of WikiProject Stagecraft, an attempt to create a comprehensive and detailed resource on the art of stagecraft on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate in the project, you can choose to edit the article attached to this page (just like any other article!), or visit WikiProject Stagecraft, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks.
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WikiProject Theatre (Rated Start-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of WikiProject Theatre, a WikiProject dedicated to coverage of theatre on Wikipedia.
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"In this form, modern stagecraft is a highly technical and specialized field, with many sub-diciplines and a vast trove of history and tradition, far too vast to be discussed here.'" Let's get to work, then.

What, may I ask, is a "theatrical property?" I'm taking it down because I'm not quite sure of what it means.

  • And now it's difficult to find your destructive "downtake" since you haven't signed your entry here, or I would revert it. "Theatrical properties", "props" for short, are portable objects used on stage, e. g. furniture. Stage requisites. It's a common word to use about stagecraft, so it was appropriate in this article. If you choose to edit articles about subjects you're not familiar with, don't delete words just because they're new to you personally. Bishonen 18:36, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)



In my edit, I removed Parentheses, not commas. Just to clarify. A wee bit tired here :).

Lyellin 16:51, Dec 31, 2003 (UTC)

"Customized classics" are a range of "editions" that will put your picture on the cover, add a happy ending to Romeo and Juliet, and replace the names in the texts with the names of your choice: "Oh, Brad, Brad, wherefore art thou Brad?" You can get a customized edition of Moby Dick, with either Ahab or Moby bearing your own name. I'm trying hard to suppose that such links are added in good faith, and not as vandalism. But try to imagine EB referring to this type of product in its articles about literary classics! Wikipedia is a serious encyclopedia too. I've removed one of those links on this page, just as I've removed the same user's nonsense text in Romance novel and Romantic fiction. Bishonen 18:36, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Couple of Queries[edit]

Why were all the links "Excellent"? That's not fact. I've removed all the hyperbole. Also, is Stagecraft an "art"? Or is it a "craft"? Or both? Either way, that's not the best way to describe it. Bryson430 23:07, 25 November 2006 (UTC)


Stagecraft-is it an art or a craft?[edit]

Stagecraft, while sometimes a difficult thing to clearly define and fraught with grey areas, is generally a craft, not an art. While artistry and artistic skill may be required and desireable components or aspects of stagecraft, stagecraft usually refers to the implementation of the designer's designs, drawings, designer's plates, etc., and as such is not creation nor art in their most basic forms, even though creative and artistic abilities or skills may be required. Rather, stagecraft is a skilled and functional, or craftsman's, rendition of another's designs.

Art involves interpretation through the artist's eyes, and is a perspective colored with emotions (“In art the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can inspire”--R.W. Emerson's quote taken from WikiP's basic definition of art). It is the artist's vision of a given thing, and stagecraft is more of an execution or realization of another's artistic vision, or design. One executes their vision, usually very specifically and exactly guided by the designer's plates and specs-very little wiggle room here for creativity or imagination outside of how to execute/realize the designer's vision and goals. We may have some leeway in how we do this, or the materials and techniques we choose to use, and often creativity and artistry in expressing, creating, and realizing the design come into play, but ultimately we are bringing another's vision to life and following their vision or instruction. That's why it's called Stagecraft and not StageArt: Designers are the artists, and the carpenters, painters, costumers, electricians, propmasters, sound editors and so on are the craftsmen.

At its most basic element, design is bringing order, and the designer has already done this; they create, communicate, and direct the vision. Stagecraft involves creating the physical reality of their vision, of what is in their heads and imagination as communicated through design plates, notes, sketches, models,and such. We stagecraft folk take these things, these guidelines, and "craft" them into existence. Designers are Santa Clauses or CEO's, the folks with a vision. We as stagehands, carpenters, technicians, and such are the little elves or the worker bees, following another's vision and interpretation to make the physical reality out of that vision. They draw the pictures of the final product and we hammer, sew, weld, paint, and otherwise craft it into being that final product.

A useful comparison might be a "paint-by-numbers" kit of a van Gogh versus the original Van Gogh--one follows very specific guidelines to reproduce van Gogh's original interpretive vision, and one person may be more talented and end up with a much finer rendition than another person, but one is still limited and guided by 1) the pen-and-ink canvas with specific numbers in each segment to be painted, and 2) the fact that each number represents a defined, specific color to go in that space. Again, there is little room for interpretation or creativity here, which are two hallmarks of art.

That being said, I do personally feel that stagecraft often involves much artistry and artistic talent and skill, but cannot usually be considered pure art. Now, if the Set Designer says "I need you to build me a quarter-scale Italianate scenery Renaissance-style boat with a long flowing flag and hidden wheels that seats two actors to be pushed across stage for our production of "Amadeus"", then you get to be an artist and a craftsman, since the guidelines are very basic with no drawings to guide you and most of the interpretation and creativity is left up to you.

[1] [2]Waltjohnson (talk) 12:49, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Removed Stagecraft.com link[edit]

It's currently dead, and www.waybackmachine.org has the last update nearly a year ago. Quick Google showed no new page. If anyone has a new page that I missed feel free to put it back in. Thanks.Mutton 02:31, 3 April 2007 (UTC)


Theatrical Production redirect?[edit]

Why on god's green earth is there no page for Theatrical Production and a redirect to this page? It makes absolutely NO sense. The definition of theatrical production is not the same as stage craft.

We really need to correct this. There is also no page for Stage Show. If we want a comprehensive listing of Theatre subjects, this needs to be addressed.

I agree. Although "Theatrical Production" already exists as a page and refers to theatrical production in terms of the show, not the production side of theatre. I'd like to propose creating a page titled "Theatrical Design and Production." If no one objects, I'll begin it. --Xaraphim (talk) 00:39, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps there should be a page for Theatrical Production-Performance and another for Theatrical Design and Production. Xaraphim's idea is a good one, though the site could easily become huge. There's Set Design, Costume Design, Sound Design, Lighting Design, Props, New Developments, Design Trends, Design Schools and Styles (Historical as well as related to Style), and then you get into the Production and Construction end: Construction Materials and Techniques (subcats-Traditional, Historical, Wood, Metals, Fabrics, Plastics, Tools, Scene Shop Set-up and Layouts, Safety, Motorization, Hydraulics and Pneumatics), then Rigging and Fly Systems, Painting (Tools and Techniques), Pyrotechnics, Special Effects, Elevators,Traps,and Lifts, Turntables, Lasers and Holograms, and of course General Stagecraft, which could touch on or link to much of these aforementioned titles and segue into Film and Video and Music (think of all the production involved with rock concerts, for instance). I think it might be best to focus purely on Theatre and Drama related topics here. Sounds like we've got our work cut out for us, and that's assuming this chunk of the Project is still active. I'm personally versed and interested in set and scenery construction and particularly Historical aspects. For instance, it can be argued that the first Technical Directors appeared during the Italian Renaissance, when no Duke or Ruler was considered to have a fully-developed court or palace without a theatre and his own Capitano del Teatrico, the most famous of which was Leonardo de Vinci. Waltjohnson (talk) 13:53, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Terminology[edit]

When I first joined the Stagecraft group there was a reference to the Wikipedia:WikiProject Stagecraft/Terminology site. It was pretty sparse, and I added a lot of terms, but I find at this point I'm creating blurbs for pages that already exist and didn't know about. Is it worth adding a link to it on this site to create some sort of general hub to stagecraft sites, or am I thinking in a vacuum. I hate the thought of deleting it after all the time I've put in... DJSparky (talk) 23:33, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

I think that stagecraft is such an all-encompasing, wide, general term that some kind of hub/link would be very useful and cut down on repetitive or redundant work, but I'm brand new to Wiki and wouldn't know how to begin or how to implement such a comprehensive linking. Somehow involving theatre students at the MFA and MA level, or even gifted undergrads, might be an excellent workforce source. But again, where to begin, and is this appropriate? Waltjohnson (talk) 14:03, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

This Page Needs Cleaned Up![edit]

This description is contradictory: "It includes, but is not limited to, constructing and rigging scenery, hanging and focusing of lighting, design and procurement of costumes, makeup, and recording and mixing of sound. Stagecraft is considered a technical rather than an artistic field as the focus of stagehands is usually on the practical implementation of a designer's artistic vision." How can it include design if stagecraft is done by stagehands implementing the designer's vison?

I know that in the theatrical business it's really hard to define a lot of terminology, but we need to better define stagecraft. I like the second description ("stagecraft is managed by a single person (often the stage manager of a smaller production) who arranges all scenery, costumes, lighting, and sound, and organizes the cast") but that sounds more like the definition of a stage manager, not of stagecraft itself.

I wish I had more of an idea to help out on this issue, but the best I can do is try to bring it to attention.Andrew Donnelly (talk) 06:46, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

You're right. Stagecraft should deal with execution and implementation of the designer's visions, not the design itself. It's about turning ideas into physical realities. It's about the nuts and bolts, so to speak, but if we try to define everything that's a tall order of nuts to soup.Waltjohnson (talk) 14:18, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ teachings from three Technical Directors (TDs) while receiving my Technical Theatre education: Brent LeFavor(TD at Millsaps College}(BA); Bruce Bacon(TD for UMKC Master's Degree program and The Missouri Repertory Theatre) and Doug Taylor(undergrad TD at UMKC, Grad School Scene Shop Instructor for Materials Master classes, and Archivist for USITT)(MFA)
  2. ^ my professional experience at The Missouri Rep and New Stage Theatre, as well as discussions on "Artists vs. Craftsmen" with two Actor's Union Stage Managers