Stagecraft is a generic term used applied to the technical aspects of theatrical, film, and video production. It encompasses, but is not limited to, constructing and rigging scenery, hang and focus of lighting instruments, construction and procurement of costumes, the application of makeup, and the 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.
In its most basic incarnation, stagecraft may consist of a sole individual (often the stage manager of a smaller production) who arranges all scenery, costumes, lighting, and sound, and organizes the cast. At the more professional levels, for example modern Broadway houses, stagecraft for a production may include hundreds of skilled carpenters, painters, electricians, stagehands, stitchers, wigmakers, etc. In this form, modern stagecraft is a highly technical and specialized field, with many sub-disciplines and a vast trove of history and tradition.
The majority of stagecraft is practiced in an environment between these two extremes. Regional theatres and larger community theatres will generally have a technical director and a compliment of designers, each of whom have a direct hand in the implementation of their respective designs.
Stagecraft comprises many disciplines, typically divided into seven main disciplines:
- Scenery, which includes set construction, scenic painting, soft goods (drapes and stage curtains), and special effects.
- Costumes which includes costume design, costume construction, and maintenance.
- Lighting, which involves the process of determining the size, intensity, shape, and color of light for a given scene.
- Sound, which can include musical underscoring, vocal and instrument mixing as well as theatrical sound effects.
- Theatrical property, or props, which includes furnishings, set dressings, and all items large and small which cannot be classified as scenery, electrics or wardrobe. Props handled by actors are known as hand props, and props which are kept in an actor's costume are known as personal props.
- Makeup, or the application of makeup to accentuate an actor's features.
- Production comprising stage management, production management, show control, house management and company management
- "The Stagecraft Wiki" A Wiki dedicated to technical theater arts. Part of Stagecraft.com
- "The Blue Room" UK based forum for the discussion of technical theatre by its practitioners
- "Stagecraft" USA based mailing list for the discussion of technical theatre by its practitioners.
- "Ukslc.org" Uk Based Sound and Lighting Community, News, Review, Chat and more...
- Handbook on technical theatre