Problem 2 – Deck


Problem 2 was our first crack at a true theatrical application. We were assigned teams to be the¬†technical direction team in charge of the scenery crew at City Tech for a concert and talent show to be held in Voorhees Theatre after the closing of the Haunted Hotel. As a team,¬†we had to¬†make a plan for the construction, installation, and changeover of the scenery for the concert and talent show. Again, we were asked to prepare documents needed to communicate¬†the implementation of our plan. A designer ground plan of the “set”, a raked show deck with steps, was provided to the class.

My teammates were: Jose, Vin, and Marcelo.


Together as a team we created a list of unknowns and were given time in class to ask the production manager (Professor McCullough) for the answers:

Do we determine crew size/calls?

Crew of 8-10 people during tech production class (tues and thurs for 2 hrs 3.30 to 5.30)

You can get 20% to 40% to show up on calls outside tech production class time

How / what format will we receive the band logo?

Logo will fit in¬† a 8′ x 8′ square

Will be at least 2 colors

Do we need to crew strike?


When is the shop done with  haunted hotel?

Safe assumption when hotel is in tech week shop is free

Do we have escape stairs that would work with our design in stock?

unknown unless we look in stock

Can we use stock platforms?

Yes [Jose counted stock platforms for a stud wall and triscut construction]



From the answers to these questions we were able to come up with a team definition to the problem:

  • Will use stud wall and¬†triscut construction for deck

  • Will use Marley dance floor¬† to recover deck for talent show

  • Will paint band logo (scenic¬†call)

  • Will cover theatre floor with maso painted black

  • Will need to provide masking or skirt for platform

  • Products and materials will need to be sourced and quoted



Once we had a team definition of the problem we created a list of needed paperwork:

  • Calendar

    • Must take into account what resources and time other crews will need

  • Design drawingsBuild drawings

    • Provided in project

  • Proposal (to accompany budget)

  • BudgetInstructions to shop/construction crew head

    • Materials budget

    • Labor budget

  • Instructions to theatre crew head

After assessing what needed to be done I offered to create the Calendar and associated documents. While creating my calendar I realized that the calendar alone did not communicate all the necessary information. This calendar, Deck Project Calendar.2, only expressed how many times work would be done on the project but failed to communicate how much work would be done. I needed another document to show how many man hours were being budgeted, so I created this labor budget, Flats Project LABOR that expressed how many crew members were called for each day.

The question of how to go about building the steps in the design was the topic of a lecture class and helped all groups understand how there are many ways to achieve a designers objective and that one of the many roles of a TD is to find the solution that works for your application. To see more on that class click here.


This project presented many parameters that appear in real-world projects. There is almost always a show before your gig and a show after it. When budgets are low or time is scarce, I have encountered multiple productions/events that share scenery. We looked at man hours in this project but we are using CityTech production class as labor so there was no cost associated with labor and no work rules to follow.



Without a communication structure our team failed to perform as a group.¬† During class discussion all members of my team participated and had contributions to make, while we never identified fully what each team member’s responsibilities would be. We relied on everyone to do their part without input or collaboration from the rest of the team which lead to a waterfall effect. By assigning work that needed to be completed before the next teammate did their share we isolated and put too much pressure on the people who were laying the foundation for the work we all were doing.

 I created documentation for the project that helped me organize and communicate the plan. This document now that it is created can be used for future projects and/or be improved upon. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. When you find something that works for you add it to your arsenal!





below are the links to the different drafts of my calendar document

Deck Project Calendar

Deck Project Calendar.2

Deck Project Calendar.3