Class Overview / Syllabus (Tech 1)

CTE Stage Technology 1 - MVHS - Syllabus

(Printable Version)

Instructor: Matthew Chewiwie
Classroom: Scene Shop (enter through the back stage door of the Theater building)

Course Description: Stage Technology 1 (C114) 
(Abbr. Transcript Title: Stage Tech 1)  | Prerequisite: None | Meets the UC/CSU “F” requirement
Take a peek behind the curtain and discover how audio engineers, lighting designers, costume designers, makeup artists, and set designers work their magic. In this course you'll have hands-on training with the core elements of stage technology, and you'll even have the opportunity to use your newfound skills to work behind the scenes on an MVHS stage production.

Course Objective: The purpose of this course is to give first year students an overview and understanding of the major areas of Stage Technology, as well as hands on-training on the basics of these fields of study. Students will work individually and in groups on writing assignments, hands-on skills training, class presentations, and design projects. Students will use online research and shared digital assignments on a regular basis for purposes of class collaboration.

Topics Covered: Stage Tech 1 is divided into four main units, covering the following topics:

Unit 1: Intro to Stage Lighting
  • Roles of an electrician, master electrician, and lighting designer.
  • Types of lighting equipment.
  • Hands-on Follow Spot and Light Board basic training.
  • Hands-on Electrics basic training.
  • Understanding how to read and write light plots.
  • McCandless 3-Point lighting theory.
Unit 2: Intro to Scenic Design, Props, and Carpentry
  • Roles of a scenic designer, stagehand, and load-in crew (carpenters.)
  • Types of tools, sets, and components of the stage.
  • Hands-on Power Drill, Power Saw, and Painting basic training.
  • A history of the evolution of the stage.
  • Scenic design project.
Unit 3: Intro to Costuming and Makeup
  • Roles of a costume designer, dresser, milliner, makeup designer, and makeup artist.
  • Types of costuming equipment.
  • Types of makeup in a starter makeup set.
  • Hands-on Sewing basic training.
  • Hands-on Special Effects Makeup basic training.
  • Hands-on Sewing project.
Unit 4: Intro to Audio / Video
  • Roles of a sound engineer, mixer, and playback operator.
  • Types of audio / video equipment.
  • Signal chain and signal flow.
  • Video display systems and playback.
  • Hands-on audio setup / patching basic training.
  • Designing and operating basic audio playback for performance.

Composition Book Requirement: All students are required to obtain a Standard Composition Notebook and maintain it through the duration of the course. This notebook will be used for all writing prompts, class brainstorming, notes, and while working on theatrical productions in the MVHS theater. It will also be used to log all outside of class time (Practical Hours) worked. This book will be evaluated as part of midterm and final grades.

Outside Participation / Final Project Requirement: Students must meet one of the following requirements for finals:

  • Work a Show: Students can fulfill their final requirement by working as a crew member on an MVHS stage production. Students will have the opportunity to sign up to work crew on shows via Crew will be chosen based on in-class behavior, and academic performance in all classes.
  • See a Show: Students may choose to find a play (outside of MVHS) to go see. Students should take notes on the show, and then use their observations to write a 4-5 page paper on their thoughts and observations of the technical elements. A list plays being performed in North County will be maintained on

Specific requirements for each option can be found on the “Tech 1” page on
Homework: Students are not typically assigned homework on a normal basis, outside of the aforementioned Outside Participation / Final Project requirements. Students are given ample time in class to complete most if not all assignments. Students who find themselves spending excessive extra time at home completing assignments for this course may not be choosing to use their allotted in-class work time efficiently.

Late Work Policy: Late work is accepted at any time, with a 10% drop in grade (after grading) for each day that the assignment is turned in late. Percentage drop maxes out at 30%, so students may turn assignments in at any time for up to 70% credit, provided the assignment is completed in full.

Classroom Procedures :
  • Class will meet in the scene shop unless otherwise informed. Be in the shop, sitting in designated seating area when the tardy bell rings. Food and drinks are not allowed except for lidded water bottles, and cell phones and digital devices should be turned off and put away.
  • Students must have a pair of closed-toe shoes available at all times. Some days will be lecture based and some will be more hands-on instruction. On hands-on days, scene shop appropriate dress will be required (students will be notified prior to these days when to dress appropriately.)
  • Due to the nature of this course, students must be held to the standards of a professional working in the field of Stage Technology. All students will be properly trained in scene shop safety and conduct, and must pass a Safety Test with an “A” before they are allowed to perform “hands-on” training. Any student who conducts themselves in a way that is unsafe, in poor character, or showing disregard for the sensitive and expensive equipment in our program is subject to have their “hands-on” privileges revoked indefinitely, to be replaced by alternate coursework.