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The Technical Director (TD) is in charge of building the set, with the help of the set designer and a build crew. Before a show moves into the space, the TD should meet with the set designer and figure out what materials will be needed to build the set–wood, fabric, paint, etc. The shop has a decent stock of 2×4, as well as some masonite and luan, but most TDs will have to order some wood and other items(see below for suggestions for obtaining materials). Typical set budgets range from $200-$300, which is not enough for extravagant sets, but is more than enough to build some amazing, realistic sets nonetheless. You may have to get creative, but that's usually a good thing.

The TD sets his or her own schedule (often shows will have two or three coTDs, which can make things a lot easier). While the middle of the night is a viable time for building, it is important to pick times that build crews will be able to come and help. The deadline for the completion of the set is usually the day the LD has to focus lights, though if necessary some small projects and details can be completed afterwards. This gives the TD approximately two and a half weeks to complete the set. It is common practice to ask in an early production meeting for a paint day, during which the TD will be able to paint and have time for the paint to dry without others being in the space. If the TD is having trouble pulling together a build crew, the following should be contacted:

  • The Production Manager should help contact people
  • The cast and crew are often extremely helpful
  • The PW board is more than happy to help
  • Friends are often a TD's best resource, and the most fun to flirt with (a TD responsibility)

The TD primarily pays for purchases with purchase orders, which he or she can obtain through the production manager, who will explain all monetary issues in an early production meeting. Purchase Orders take a day or two to get from the SAO, so plan ahead to figure out what you'll need and how much it will cost. Be sure to give all receipts for purchases that can not be bought with purchase orders to the production manager.

The TD is also responsible for the safety of the set. This means keeping the space clean and hazard free, as well as testing the stability of platforms and other structures and making sure they are safe before being used by actors. Safety must always come first. The TD is also responsible for keeping the shop clean and hazard-free.

TDing is a lot of work, but can be immensely fun. The key part of the job is whenever possible building with other people–great relationships can form, and you'll produce something exciting that you will be proud of. If you find yourself being overwhelmed please talk to your production manager and the board–they will do everything in their power to help you.


TD links and resources

  • The Shop–has information about our Scene Shop.
  • Riverhead Building Supply 1-800-688-2840. They deliver and take purchase orders, a wonderful combination.
  • Adler's Hardware, 401-421-5157. Located at 173 Wickenden Street, this hardware store is a quick walk down the hill and a great resource for paint and paint supplies. They also have a supply of reject paint that was not bought for one reason or another. Despite the name, it can be mixed with other colors to produce exactly what you want for significantly cheaper prices. They take purchase orders.
  • Utrecht, 401-331-3780. Located at 200 Wickenden Street (directly across the street from Adler's), Utrecht offers mostly art supplies, but if you're looking for canvas this is a good place to go.
  • Home Depot should be used as a last resort. They are generally more expensive than other places, but they have a very large stock. (They also are a major contributor to the Republican Party) Home Depot does not take purchase orders.

Want to be contacted to TD a show? Email pw@brown.edu expressing your interest and list your name in the greenbook!


If would like to know more about TDing or have any questions, email Drew.

technical_director.txt · Last modified: 2013/12/21 02:00 (external edit)
 
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