Technical Design

I love to build things. It's why most of my technical design experience is on the scenic side, and it's why one of my majors was Mechanical Engineering. Here I've highlighted two productions: Einstein's Dreams, where I was Assistant Technical Director, and The Tempest, where I was Technical Director and Assistant Set Designer.

More information on my technical design experience can be found on my Theater Resume.

Einstein's Dreams

April 2017

I was Assistant Technical Director for the MIT Theater Arts production of Einstein's Dreams in April 2017. For that production, I designed a nine foot cube made of metal pipes. It was on wheels so that it could be moved and rotated on the stage, and it had two internal wooden platforms for the actors to climb onto.

I was given a set of drawings by the Set Designer, Sara Brown, which prescribed the desired locations of pipes in this cube. I worked with the Technical Director, Stef Rodemann, to settle on a final technical design. The next step in building the cube was to precisely dimension each length of pipe.

To do this, I created a SolidWorks assembly so I could ensure the overall cube dimensions would be correct. I color-coded the different lengths of pipe and printed off several views of the model to assist in assembly. I directed students in the Intro to Stagecraft class (21M.606) in assembling the cube, working from the top downwards and using a pulley system to lift the cube as it was assembled.

The cube was ultimately a success. It was finished in time for the actors to rehearse with it before performances, and it easily lasted both weekends of the production before being disassembled during strike.

This is the final assembled cube used in performances.

The actors climbed onto both levels at various points in the performances.

Throughout the performance, the actors would move the cube around the stage.

This is the color-coded SolidWorks assembly I made of the cube.

The Tempest

August 2016

I was Technical Director and Assistant Set Designer for the MIT Shakespeare Ensemble's production of The Tempest. Our production of The Tempest was adapted for an alien planet, rather than a deserted island, so the set had to fit the sci-fi vision. I designed and built two spaceship control panels and one larger console, all of which integrated a significant amount of electronics.

The two spaceship control panels had to be light enough to be carried on and off stage while still being structural enough for actors to lean against them as they pretended to be on a crashing ship. I created a wooden shell on top of a lightweight laundry rack and incorporated LEDs, buttons, and switches into the panels, all of which gave real-time feedback.

The larger console was very different in that it remained fixed during the play. This allowed me to create a much sturdier set piece and to build in more exciting electronics. In addition to the buttons and LEDs that the other set pieces had, the console had a monitor built into it. The monitor was connected to a video camera hidden above the audience, giving a live feed of the stage. This was used by the main character, Prospero, to spy on others at certain points in the play.

This set was incredibly fun to build, and it was extremely successful. It exceeded the expectations of the director and set designer, and numerous audience members commented after the performances that they had been impressed by the set.

This is a front view of the stage at the top of the show.

Here you can see the LEDs active on the smaller control panels. I was also acting in this production as Gonzalo, and you can see me on the left in this picture.

Here you can see the larger console from a front perspective. The monitor is covered by the "AIR-EL" panel in this picture.

Here's another perspective on the larger console. You can see the actors interacting with the buttons and activating lights.

More information on my technical design experience can be found on my Theater Resume.

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