Technical Theatre Course

As part of GAMPA’s development programme, the Academy organised a two-day workshop held at the Magazine Studio Theatre, aimed at introducing our students to the basic elements involved in Technical Theatre.

Light and sound technician Mark Cortes led the workshop. The students who attended were introduced to the role that lighting plays in any production. The importance of using lighting to focus the audience attention, reflect the mood of a scene and use the lighting to enhance the performances, As well as, pulling all the elements of the stage together and helping the director convey the story.

Students were then introduced to different kind of lights found in a theatre, their functions and how they are operated. Mark demonstrated how the lights are controlled and managed through the lighting desk. Teaching the students how a basic DMX lighting system works. This was followed by a practical session in which the students were given a chance to try out managing the lights, creating combination of different colours and controlling the channels on the lighting desk.

The Saturday afternoon was dedicated to learning the many applications of sound for the stage. Mark emphasized that when it comes to sound the “most important skill you can have is a solid understanding of signal flow”. By the end of the afternoon the students had learnt how the signal flow works and how the pieces of a PA system work together.

It was then time to put into practice the skills learned. Divided into three groups, each group had to create their own light and sound design and programme, for a scene performed by some of our actors. The challenge included creating a technical cue script, finding sound effects as required by the script, using sound cue software and providing lighting that enhanced the scene.

This exercise provided them with invaluable hands-on experience. Some feedback from those involved included comments such as “ It looks a lot easier than what it is”. Another project in which they worked on was setting up a PA system, providing sound and controlling it for a live singing performance.

This workshop provided GAMPA students with a deeper understanding on the technical aspects of theatre, the very important role of the sound and light technicians and the career opportunities available in this field. Keeping with GAMPA’s commitment to the personal growth and development of all our students, we will follow this workshop with training opportunities for those wishing to pursue further knowledge and experience in this area of production.

These students will now put into practice the skills acquired and act as technical assistants in our forthcoming productions at the Magazine Studio Theatre.

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