Technical Theatre Skills

The details
East 15 Acting School
Southend Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
02 September 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA W496 Acting and Community Theatre

Module description

The emphasis in this second year Acting and Community Theatre module is on developing design concepts, developing technical understanding of costume, prop and small set construction, and developing technical skill in video documentary. Students will be encouraged to make use of found materials and low-budget solutions suitable for small-scale touring and work in community settings.

Students will gain an understanding of the technical, legal and health and safety issues of performance in a range of scales and settings. They will learn to carry out established risk assessment procedures and to propose appropriate solutions to health and safety issues.

Module aims

To develop awareness of:
- design as an essential element of the production process
- practical skills involved in technical theatre
- executing design and construction tasks for performance environments
- video documentary processes and techniques
- the legal and technical requirements of performance in a range of settings
- the process of production management and associated roles
- health & safety issues of public performance.

Module learning outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate ability to:
- Understand the potential of a performance space
- Research and make integrated design decisions
- Use simple design elements to transform performers and spaces
- Execute design and construction of costumes, head-dress and props
- Effectively use video and audio recording equipment
- Apply documentary skill to video production
- Work effectively as members of a production team
- Carry out established risk assessment procedures
- Apply problem-solving skills to technical, legal and health & safety issues.

Module information

Module Content

Term One

Students will undertake introductory training in technical areas such as carpentry and workshop safety, paint, prop construction and costume construction. Students in term one focus on costume design and making, and undertake an individual costume design project, developing a costume from concept, through design, construction and performance, culminating in a showing of the work. Students will be encouraged to consider issues of design and realisation for their projects within specific 'givens' of space, text, budget, timescales and portability.
Small-scale practical exercises will be undertaken in design, visualisation, presentation and realisation of costume, props and set, including design sketches.

Term Two

Student will engage with managing, making and sourcing props, and puppet making.

Students will undertake exercises in operation of video cameras to prepare them for documentation of major projects. Toward the end of term two, students will shoot material for a short documentary video with a group within the community.
Introduction to offline editing of video will lead to students editing their documentary.

Students will have opportunities to consult with staff on designs for set, costumes and props for project work, applying skills as they are developed.

Term Three

Students will design and create a carnival head-dress for procession. This project involves research, design and construction of head-dress and considerations of costume for outdoor performance.

Learning and teaching methods

Technical workshop classes, lectures and seminars, production meetings, practical classes, independent study.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Practical   Video Documentary     
Practical   Costume Project     
Practical   Head-dress     

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Ms Ainslie Masterton, email: amast@essex.ac.uk.
Ainslie Masterton, Technical Theatre Tutors, Media Tutors
For further information email amast



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
East 15 Acting School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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