What we do, and why:

 

How do theater technicians and designers expand their skills, network with others and build sustainable careers?

The Twin Cities theater community has a strong base of designers and technicians, but how will the next generation develop?

Tech Tools participants create and record their own foley sound effects.

Tech Tools participants create and record their own foley sound effects.

Science and art are interrelated and relevant, but how do we encourage their exploration and support?

We need more of this in the Twin Cities for youth!
— Feedback from a youth workshop

In partnership with Bedlam Theatre, Wu Chen Khoo and Laura Wilhelm have set out to bring people together to learn from each other, making our field better as a whole.

Outside of an academic setting, many local experts simply felt that they didn't have a good vehicle to pass on their knowledge and experience.

Guthrie Lead Carpenter Nate Saul explains the guts of a welder.

Guthrie Lead Carpenter Nate Saul explains the guts of a welder.

On-the-job training is expensive for employers, as well as difficult in the short time frames that characterize the industry; design and vocational workshops are expensive when done on an intimate scale; creating connections between experts willing to teach, people eager to learn, and suitable learning labs is challenging.

Tech Tools serves a wide community: from the child excited about music, to the middle or high school student exploring technical theater, to recent college graduates, all the way to working professionals in all disciplines of the theater.

Sound Designer & McKnight Fellowship Recipient C. Andrew Mayer (second from the left) teaches QLab 3.

Sound Designer & McKnight Fellowship Recipient C. Andrew Mayer (second from the left) teaches QLab 3.

Learning each others' tricks and techniques makes us all better theater professionals. Our styles are still our own, only our repertoire, our "bag of tricks" has grown more diverse.

But more than that, learning from each other broadens our perspective on the world: it gives us more tools with which to explore and understand each other and our environments.

Technical Tools of the Trade is made possible by generous funding from Minnesota State Arts Board via the Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. Technical Tools of the Trade is presented by Bedlam Theater.