Props Community Gathering
Oct
27
9:30 AM09:30

Props Community Gathering

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO ALL

Snacks and coffee provided.

Special Guests:

Sue Brockman, Props Director, Children’s Theater Company

Abbee Warmboe, Props Designer & Craftsperson, Freelance

Facilitator:

Laura Wilhelm, Props Manager, Chanhassen Dinner Theaters

Props are amazing things. A good prop is absolute magic and has so much power: the power of incredible detail, storytelling, characterization and transcendence. A bad prop is so ruinous that it can destroy an entire experience - or even craft its own experience.

Yet, for all that, few folks are as unacknowledged both within and without the industry as Props folks. Simultaneously underpaid, undersupported and unrecognized (how many Props awards are there? How often is Props just thought of as an extension of either Scenery or Costumes?), Props folks are, in fact, among the greatest testaments to the ingenuity, artisanship, technical genius, collaborativeness and artistry of our industry.

This Community Gathering is for those folks: the Props Designers, Props Directors, Assistant Props Directors, Props Artisans (Hard Props and Soft Props and everything in between), Props Electricians - i.e. all the Props Magicians.

It’s also for those folks who want to MEET those folks!

So if this is you, then come by, have some brunch, meet some friends you’ve always known and some others you haven’t met yet. We will celebrate you, and hold space for you to talk about the issues and topics that are important to you, with your community. Two special guests will lead us in a short structured conversation to get the ball rolling then we’ll just let things fly as they will!

By the way, if you haven’t seen this incredible video on props by Raging Cinema, then click away!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4XDvZKntpA


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Scenic Painting Basics: Wood Grain, Weathering, and More!
Oct
20
9:00 AM09:00

Scenic Painting Basics: Wood Grain, Weathering, and More!

  • Chanhassen Dinner Theaters Scene Shop (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

One-Day Workshop

Saturday, Oct 20th, 9am - 3:45pm

Scenic painters truly are magicians. The ability to take raw wood, steel, foam, canvas and plastic and turn it into an immersive world for the imagination to run wild is truly astounding.

In this practical workshop, local professional scenic artists Sara Herman and Dee Skogen will take participants through the process of creating exactly the wood grain texture you want, on a variety of different surfaces. Additionally, Sara and Dee will also teach other texturing techniques as requested by YOU, the participants!

By the end of this workshop, you will:

  • Be familiar with wood grain: how to look at it, describe it, and the different types of wood grain out there so that you can make better decisions about what you want.

  • Become familiar and have some practice with different texturing tools for wood graining.

  • Learn how to prep a surface - whether it is wood or not - for texturing and painting.

  • Learn how to weather and age wood and other surfaces.

  • Have all the know-how to handle most wood graining projects.

You will work with 1x4 pine, hardboard (“masonite”) and curved surfaces such as armrests or knobs.

This is a basic level workshop and there are no prerequisites, though some basic familiarity with brush painting would be helpful. All materials will be provided.

How does the bonus topic section of the the day work?  When signing up, you will be given the opportunity to suggest a texture (e.g. rust, marble, granite etc.) to learn. The instructors will select up to two of the suggestions and cover those as well.

Please dress safely and appropriately for this kind of work: wear closed-toed, comfortable shoes. Your clothes will definitely get dirty and paint-stained. You will NOT be handling any materials or tools that require ANSI-rated safety gear (PPE), but safety glasses will be available for your use should you desire.


Saturday, Oct 20th, 9am - 3:45pm
Lunch will be provided.
This is a one-day workshop

Instructors: Sara Herman - Scenic Artist, Dee Skogen - Scenic Artist

Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theaters Scene Shop
7876 Park Drive, Suite 200
Chanhassen, MN 55317

Cost: $75

This workshop is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. With this support, we are able to offer this workshop for only $75 (normally $200), a $125 reduction or 62% savings. Thank you voters!

Scholarships exist! If you need a scholarship, please contact us at info@techtoolstraining.org.

In general, our scholarships offer 50% off in exchange for coming an hour early and staying an hour late to help set up and clean up.

That said, it is important to us that people are able to afford our workshops. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any concerns or questions.

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Mechanization and Electricity for Props and Puppets
Aug
25
to Aug 26

Mechanization and Electricity for Props and Puppets

  • Children's Theatre Company (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This is a TWO DAY Workshop

Saturday August 25th 9am - 2pm; snacks provided
AND
Sunday August 26th 9am - 2pm; snacks provided

Instructors:
Sue Brockman, Props Director at Children’s Theatre Company

Dave Horn, Master Electrician at Children’s Theatre Company

 

Need a cabinet to magically open and close? A mask to pop up and down? Flowers to dance?

Mechanization is the art and craft of making things move, so it is no surprise that it plays a big role in most solutions to these problems and is a major part of most modern scene and props shops.

Or maybe you need a costume to light up? A control switch for that magical cabinet? Those flowers need to glow as well?

Then you’ll need some solutions that probably involve low-voltage electricity.

Props Director Sue Brockman and Master Electrician Dave Horn, both of the nationally renowned Children’s Theater Company, join forces to teach this fantastic workshop on the core skills and ideas behind Mechanization and Electricity for Props.

In this practical class, you’ll learn the core skills and ideas behind the applications of mechanization and low voltage electricity for the stage. While building a fun project that you’ll get to take home, you’ll learn about some of the tools and resources available to solve many of the most common problems in the theatre such as light-up boxes, powered costumes, jack-in-the-box type effects and remote control. You’ll start to learn how to think about the ideas and concepts so that you will be able to get a head start on the inevitable troubleshooting that all craftspeople find themselves doing.

All this will be done by learning techniques actually used by the CTC and other seasoned veteran craftpeople in making things dance, spin, wilt, bounce and move!

In this highly practical workshop you will:

  • Learn how to think about mechanization, and utilize cams, fulcrums and levers to your advantage!

  • Build and modify a shadow puppet.

  • Learn to solder.

  • Work with limit switches, motors and LEDs.

  • Learn about wireless controlled dimmers and decoders/dimmer drivers for LEDs and motors.

  • Build a fun project that brings everything you’re learning about mechanization and electricity together - then bring it home.

 

You will not work with any power source over 12 Volts. Working with low-voltage is different from working with 110V or 220V power.

For those who have taken our Mechanization workshop in the past - please note that this is not the same workshop, though a good portion of the first day will cover similar material from the first day of that workshop.

Please dress safely and appropriately for this kind of work: wear closed-toed, comfortable shoes and avoid long, loose clothing that could get snagged or burnt while you work with hand tools. Please tie up long hair. Safety gear (safety glasses, hearing protection) will be provided, but if you have ANSI-rated equipment of your own that you prefer, feel free to bring it.

 

Where:

Children’s Theatre Company Props Shop
2400 3rd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

This is a TWO DAY Workshop, 10 hours total:

Saturday August 25th 9am - 2pm; snacks provided
AND
Sunday August 26th 9am - 2pm; snacks provided

Price: $125

This workshop is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and from the generous support of the Children's Theater Company. With this support, we are able to offer this workshop for only $125 (normally $375), over a $200 reduction or 66% savings.

Scholarships exist! If you need a scholarship, please contact us at info@techtoolstraining.org.

In general, our scholarships offer 50% off in exchange for coming an hour early and staying an hour late to help set up and clean up.

That said, it is important to us that people are able to afford our workshops. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any concerns or questions.

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Wig Workshop II: Wig Sets & Styling (Intermediate)
Aug
25
9:00 AM09:00

Wig Workshop II: Wig Sets & Styling (Intermediate)

Wigs are transformative. Few tools in art are as personal, as powerful, or as demanding as wigs and facial hair. A well-made, well-maintained and properly-suited wig is a sublime character and narrative tool. Yet, very few people think about the intricate complexity, brilliant artistry and supreme craftpersonship that underlies this discipline.

In this highly practical workshop, Guthrie Theater Wig Master Laura Stearns Adams and Wig Designer Jess Rau will teach core skills and ideas that are the foundational basis of this amazing art and trade.

This intermediate level workshop will walk you through the magic of making a store-bought wig into something you can use on the stage. Participants will focus on learning how to set and comb out wigs to create period specific styles.

Participants will have plenty of hands-on time, during which they will learn:

  • The anatomy of a store-bought wig.

  • Proper blocking techniques.

  • How to attach a lace front to a store-bought wig.

  • Basic thermal and wet roller sets.

  • Comb-out techniques.

This is an intermediate level class and builds upon the Wigs I: Learning the Basics class. While participation in that workshop is not required, it will be assumed that you know the following:

  • The basics of the design process, including research.

  • How to do wig preps, before a wig is worn.

  • How to make a mold of an actor’s head.

  • Ventilating.

Not knowing the above will hinder you from truly benefitting from this workshop.

This is a One-Day Workshop.

Saturday August 25th, 9am - 3:45pm.
45 minute lunch break at approximately noon; lunch is provided.

Guthrie Theater Wig Shop
Guthrie Theater
818 South 2nd Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415

All materials will be provided.

 

This workshop is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. With this support we are able to offer this workshop for only $75, approximately 30% of typical cost.
Guthrie Staff receive 20% off. Limited Scholarship options exist.

For information on scholarships, or if you have any questions or concerns, please email info@techtoolstraining.org.

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Wig Workshop I: Learning the Basics
Aug
11
9:00 AM09:00

Wig Workshop I: Learning the Basics

Wigs are transformative. Few tools in art are as personal, as powerful, or as demanding as wigs and facial hair. A well-made, well-maintained, and properly-suited wig is a sublime character and narrative tool. Yet, very few people think about the intricate complexity, brilliant artistry and supreme craftpersonship that underlies this discipline.
In this highly practical workshop, Guthrie Theater Wig Master Laura Stearns Adams and Wig Designer Jess Rau will teach core skills and ideas that are the foundational basis of this amazing art and trade.
Participants will get an overview of the design process from concept to execution, including how to do research for designs and interpreting that research for the realities of production.
Additionally, participants will have plenty of hands-on time, during which they will learn:

  • The difference between store-bought and hand-tied wigs (and how to make store-bought wigs work for the stage and for you!).
  • How to do wig preps, before a wig is worn.
  • How to make a mold of a head.
  • How to apply facial hair.

A large portion of the time will also be devoted to learning the technique of tying the knots to attach the hair to a wig foundation, also known as ventilating. This is a tremendously important and useful skill, and skilled craftspeople are in high demand!

This is a basic level class and there are no prerequisites. This is a One-Day Workshop.

Saturday August 11th, 9am - 3:45pm.
45 minute lunch break at approximately noon; lunch is provided.

Guthrie Theater Wig Shop
Guthrie Theater
818 South 2nd Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415

All materials will be provided.


This workshopis made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. With this support we are able to offer this workshop for only $75, approximately 30% of typical cost.
Guthrie Staff receive 20% off. Limited Scholarship options exist.
For information on scholarships, or if you have any questions or concerns, please email info@techtoolstraining.org.

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Basic Counterweight Rigging for the Theatre
Aug
10
to Aug 11

Basic Counterweight Rigging for the Theatre

  • Children's Theatre Company (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

A TWO DAY WORKSHOP: Friday, August 10th, 3pm - 7pm and Saturday, August 11th, 8:30am - 12:30pm

Stage Rigging. From the smallest of the pop-up storefront theatres to the largest arenas in the world, people in the arts are always hanging things, making things fly or just generally lifting and lowering things.

However spectacular rigging can make things looks, improperly done rigging can result in catastrophe: you are, after all, lifting heavy objects above people’s heads!

Fortunately, the core knowledge behind basic theatrical stage rigging are fairly easy to learn, and in this workshop our experienced instructors will aim to help you do just that!

This specific rigging workshop is aimed at people who have a some prior exposure to stagecraft and want to gain some detailed and practical knowledge on working with a counterweight system.

The use of counterweight systems are extremely common, and these skills form the core basis of what a stage rigger working in theatre would need to know and do. Thus, they are in high demand.

This practical workshop will walk you through:

  • The parts of a counterweight system.

  • How to calculate loads and forces.

  • How to select materials for rigging.

  • How to troubleshoot common rigging problems.

  • How to prepare for, and rig, some frequently rigged things.

  • How to operate a counterweight system.

  • How to be safe throughout all of it.

Above all else, the emphasis of this workshop is to equip you to be able to work with a counterweight system safely, and to know when you should be asking questions or when something isn’t safe - even if you yourself don’t know the correct approach.

This is a basic level class, but we are assuming you already know the following:

  1. Basic stage directions (Upstage, Downstage, Stage Left, Stage Right) and how to follow them.

  2. How to tie a clove hitch. Link to a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aivw44lTRL8

  3. How to tie a bowline. Link to a video here: https://www.cmcpro.com/learn-how-to-tie-a-bowline-knot/

Additionally, you will need to be comfortable working at heights (up to 60’) and climbing and working on an A-frame ladder.

Please dress safely and appropriately for this kind of work: wear closed-toed, comfortable shoes or work boots. Your clothes will likely get dirty, and you will spend some time kneeling while you work. Safety gear (safety glasses, hearing protection, work gloves, knee pads) will be provided, but if you have ANSI-rated equipment of your own that you prefer, feel free to bring it.

Location:

Children’s Theatre Company Scene Shop and Mainstage
2400 3rd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

This is a TWO DAY Workshop:
Friday August 10th 3pm - 7pm; light snacks provided
AND
Saturday August 11th 8:30am - 12:30pm; light snacks provided

Instructors:
Adriane Heflin, Technical Director at Children’s Theatre Company
Nate Saul, Stage Rigger and Scenic Carpenter

Price: $100

Normally approximately a $300 cost, we are able to offer this at a $200 reduction or 66% savings thanks to the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council,from the legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, and from the generous support of the Children’s Theatre Company.

Scholarships exist! If you need a scholarship, please contact us at info@techtoolstraining.org.

In general, our scholarships offer 50% off in exchange for coming an hour early and staying an hour late to help set up and clean up.

That said, it is important to us that people are able to afford our workshops. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any concerns or questions.

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Jul
21
10:30 AM10:30

Discrimination and Harassment Law (an Educational Presentation and Q&A)

Each and every one of us has the right to just and favourable work conditions, to equal pay for equal work, and a high quality of life.

But the reality is that these rights, ratified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are not part of the daily existence of many people. Among the many struggles and obstacles faced in our working lives, discrimination and harassment hold a place of particular distinction. With the advent of the social media movements, such as #MeToo, and a highly polarized political climate, how to address harassment and discrimination are at the forefront of many of our minds. However, few workplace hazards are rife with such misinformation, dangerous assumptions, and poor access to resources for resolution as discrimination and harassment.

In this seminar, practicing attorney and employment and labour law expert Justin Cummins brings his considerable experience, depth of knowledge, and approachability to help us understand just what are our rights and legal resources are when it comes to discrimination and harassment. Along with his long history as an advocate for human rights, justice, and worker’s rights, Justin is well versed in the arts and entertainment industry. Among his many clients, he counts the local stagehand’s union, IATSE Local 13, and will be able to speak to the unique challenges we face when dealing with harassment and discrimination in the theatrical world.

Join us as Justin navigates harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in the workplace with us.

This event is FREE and OPEN TO ALL.

Light refreshments will be available; gluten-free options will be available.

Saturday July 21st
10:30am - 12:30pm

Mixed Blood Theater
1501 S 4th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55454

About Justin Cummins:
Justin prosecutes cases of retaliation, harassment, and discrimination in employment, housing, and other areas. He also litigates labor law, wage, non-compete, consumer, and constitutional claims. In addition, Justin provides strategic advice to individuals and labor organizations in non-litigation as well as contractual matters.
Justin has taught courses on employment law and civil rights litigation at the University of Minnesota Law School and Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and he spearheaded the development of the Workers' Rights Clinic at the University of Minnesota. He is also past Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Labor & Employment Law Section and a past Officer of the National Employment Lawyers Association's Eighth Circuit and Minnesota Boards. Justin is fluent in Spanish.

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Jul
7
8:30 AM08:30

Steel Working and Welding Workshop

Steelworking-tt-62.jpg


Children’s Theatre Company Scene Shop
Saturday July 7th 8:30am - 5pm; 30 minute lunch provided at 12:30pm
This is a one day workshop

Register here!

Instructors:
Scenic Carpenter Kristin Larsen
Scenic Carpenter Molly Diers

Working with steel is quickly becoming virtually a prerequisite for employment at most scene shops around the country. The techniques of this incredibly versatile and useful skill also transfer easily to industries and activities besides technical theatre, and its applications are widespread indeed.

Guided by our highly experienced instructors, who pack a solid 4 decades of practical experience between them, in all manner of shops, including commercial shops, large regional theatres and small out-of-your-garage operations, this extremely practical and hands-on workshop will teach you:

  • How to prepare for welding, including laying out a work area and jigging out a project.

  • Different types of steel by gauge and shape, and what that means for a welding project.

  • Practical experience in working with the most common types of steel in theatrical and film applications, including but not limited to 16ga and 18ga box steel and schedule 40 pipe.

  • How to set up a welder.

  • Basic welder troubleshooting and maintenance.

  • The basics of making a strong weld.

  • How to assess a weld that’s already been laid down.

And it will give you plenty of practice time with these experienced instructors right there to give immediate feedback!

Please note that we will NOT be covering the cutting of steel!

This workshop does not assume any prior knowledge of steelworking. However, given the fact that steelworking is easy to learn but impossible to improve without real-world practice time, this workshop is also tremendously useful for those who have some basic knowledge but wish to hone their skills. Our experienced instructors will provide instruction, suggestions and technique rooted in years of actual practice.

All work will be done with gas wire-feed MIG welders. All materials, tools and safety equipment will be provided.

Please dress safely and appropriately for this kind of work: wear closed-toed shoes, long hair should be tied up. Your clothes will likely get dirty. You will be wearing a full-face welding hood and a heavy leather or canvas jacket or sleeves, and heavy gauntlets, at any time you are welding (which is most of the time). All the aforementioned safety wear will be provided.

Price: $100

Normally a $300 cost, we are able to offer this at a $200 reduction or 66% savings thanks to generous funding from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council via the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment and the generous support of the Children’s Theatre Company.

Scholarships exist! If you need a scholarship, please contact us at info@techtoolstraining.org.

In general, our scholarships offer 50% off in exchange for coming an hour early and staying an hour late to help set up and clean up.

That said, it is important to us that people are able to afford our workshops. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any concerns or questions.

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Jun
30
9:30 AM09:30

Scenic Production Community Gathering

Scenery. The first thing anyone sees on stage.

Whether as audience or folks working in the industry, we spend so much time and energy thinking about, working with and being influenced by the scenery yet we spend comparatively little time thinking about and celebrating the folks that actually put that stuff on the stage.

This community gathering is for those people: the technical directors who plan and budget, advise and cajole; the drafters and assistant technical directors who create the specifics; the carpenters who actually make the scenery and, of course, the painters who actually turn it all into pure magic. This is for all those folk, whether at your workplace they’re different people or all the same person.

If you’re in Scenic Production, or you’re interested in it and the especially the folks in it, come by, have some brunch, meet some friends you’ve always known and some others you haven’t met yet. Two special guests will lead us in a short structured conversation to get the ball rolling then we’ll just let things fly as they will!

This event is FREE and OPEN TO ALL.

Light refreshments will be served; gluten-free options will be available.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at info@techtoolstraining.org

 

Jungle Theater
2951 Lyndale Avenue S,
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Saturday, June 30th, 9:30am - 11:30am

Special Guests: TBA

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QLab 3 Video Fundamentals Workshop
Oct
28
9:00 AM09:00

QLab 3 Video Fundamentals Workshop

In this practical workshop, Media and Lighting Designer Kathy Maxwell and award-winning Sound and Media Designer C. Andrew Mayer will cover the fundamentals of working with Qlab 3 for video.

Learners will work in pairs at fully functional and licensed QLab 3 stations. The goal is to teach participants the core skills they will need to start working with QLab Video systems on A/V calls as technicians, as programmers in theatres and to get them started with the skills they need if they want to be designers.

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Oct
16
7:00 PM19:00

Production Managers' Meet Up

Phoenix Theater
2605 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis

We know that one of the biggest factors we continue to hear from both employers and prospective employees is that it is hard to for each to meet the other. So we’ll be continuing our Production Managers Meet-Up series from last year, bringing production managers and those looking to expand their networks together to learn more about each other and the industry.

We’ll be bringing in Sara Shives of the Jungle Theater (and many other gigs across the globe!) and Karen Quisenberry of the Minnesota Opera to speak briefly about their work, their careers and their organizations. Q&As will follow all sessions, with open mingling in the relaxed environment of the Phoenix Theater lobby! Come meet and learn from your fellow arts workers and employers!

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Educating & Empowering Individuals on Theater Health and Safety
Oct
7
3:30 PM15:30

Educating & Empowering Individuals on Theater Health and Safety

How do we stay informed and empowered to create safe and humane working conditions for everyone in our creative processes, with the resources at hand?
Please join us as we examine this critical question, and hear from leading national theater health and safety experts about what we can do, as individuals and in our organizations to improve health and safety for all theater-makers.
 

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Electrical Basics Workshop
Aug
25
to Aug 26

Electrical Basics Workshop

  • Children's Theatre Company (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The fundamental principles of electricity are important to grasp for everyone who works with it. Electricity and electrical devices are an integral part of modern life, and technicians who understand power and wiring are in demand in theater, film, museums, outdoor live concerts, and more. Whether building a drop box with solenoids, building practicals, working with automation, or doing almost any lighting project, the ideas and basic skills at work build upon a common base of knowledge.

In this workshop, Lighting Technician Paul Epton and Guthrie Staff Lighting Programmer Angelina Vyushkova teach the core skills and concepts of working with electricity and electrical equipment for the stage.

Basic info

THIS IS A TWO-DAY WORKSHOP
Friday, August 25 / 1:30–5:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 26 / 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Children’s Theatre Company
2400 3rd Avenue South,
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Tickets are $100. Materials are included.

This price is approximately 35% of the standard rate for a workshop of this type. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Limited scholarship options exist; inquire about scholarships by emailing info@techtoolstraining.org.

CTC staff are elegible for a 20% discount on tickets. Contact Cody Chen for details.

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Low Voltage Power Workshop
Jul
28
to Jul 29

Low Voltage Power Workshop

  • Children's Theater Company (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Have a costume that needs to light up? A prop that needs a little automation? Some remote control action? Then you’ve probably wound up using something that runs on low-voltage power! In this practical two-day workshop, you’ll learn the basic skills and ideas of working with low voltage power and components.

This is a TWO DAY WORKSHOP
Friday, July 28 / 1:00–5:30 pm
Saturday, July 29 / 9:30 am–1:30 pm

Instructors: Angelina Vyushkova, Guthrie Theater Staff Electrician and Lighting Programmer, and Logan Jambik, Chanhassen Dinner Theaters Technical Director

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Jul
17
7:00 PM19:00

Aging in the Performing Arts

Intergenerational experience is invaluable in the arts, getting people of multiple ages working together to pass down knowledge. How are legacies defined and secured? How do those people who work in the arts transmit their expertise and wisdom to others? How can we assure that intergenerational work can be a true collaborative, mentoring experience? And how does the scope and purpose of work change as we get older? Our panel discusses these questions, followed by a Q&A period.

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Jun
19
to Jun 20

Arena Ground Rigging

  • O’Shaughnessy Theater (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

By popular demand, our Arena Ground Rigging workshop is back! Local riggers Kerry Korman and Roger Rosvold will again lead this important class; now improved based on our analysis and your feedback!

Are you flying truss? Hoisting speaker stacks? Prepping motors? Lifting scenery? It’s all rigging and there’s always a demand for competent riggers!

Every rigging project has a ground rigging element: a team of folk who prepare the gear and provide critical support to the folks who are up high. Even though their feet never leave the floor, these folks are still riggers, and their expertise and skill can and do make all the difference in the world between a good, easy rigging experience and a lot of frustration for other stagehands and needless expense for clients.

This class is specifically designed for arena or convention center ground rigging, but all the techniques covered apply to theatrical rigging. Whether you’re new to this kind of work, or you’ve been doing it for a few years, our instructors will draw on their training and extensive personal work experience to teach you the must-knows of ground rigging, as well as many tips and tricks that make a job easier and better for everyone.

By the time you’re done, you’re going to be able to:

  • identify common rigging gear and hardware
  • set up "rig world” safely and effectively
  • read floor marks and communicate information clearly with the other riggers
  • assemble bridles and tie work ropes into them
  • know how to support upriggers in your collaboration
  • prep, check and run motors

Whether you work at a production company or plan to take event, arena and rock-and-roll calls as a hand, you’re going to find a lot of demand for these highly desired skills!

PLEASE NOTE that we require all participants to be able to reliably tie a bowline. When you arrive at the venue, one of the instructors will hand you a length of rope. You will have 60 seconds to tie a bowline any way you like. At the end of that time, or when you hand the rope back to the instructor, there must be a bowline successfully tied in it. We will send you home without a refund if you are not able to do so.

Please dress appropriately: closed-toe work shoes or boots are required. People wearing open-toes shoes or sandals will not be allowed to participate in the practicals (and most of this class is practical!).

THIS IS A TWO DAY, 10-HOUR WORKSHOP
Monday, June 19 / 12:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 20 / 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (lunch break from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.)

O’Shaughnessy Theater
2004 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul

Tickets are $80. Registration will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 24.
GET TICKETS HERE

Sponsored by IATSE Local 13.

Scholarships are available! Contact info@techtoolstraining.org for details.

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May
27
9:00 AM09:00

Wig Basics Workshop

Wigs are transformative. Few tools in art are as personal, as powerful, or as demanding as wigs and facial hair. A well-made, well-maintained and properly suited wig is a sublime character and narrative tool. Yet few people think about the intricate complexity, brilliant artistry and supreme craftpersonship that underlies this discipline.

In this highly practical workshop, Guthrie Theater Wig Master Laura Adams and Wig Designer Tricia Stogsdill will teach core skills and ideas that are the foundational basis of this amazing art and trade.

Participants will get an overview of the design process from concept to execution, including how to do research for designs and interpreting that research for the realities of production. Additionally, participants will have plenty of hands-on time, during which they will learn:

  • The difference between store-bought and hand-tied wigs (and how to make store-bought wigs work for the stage and for you!).
  • How to do wig preps, before a wig is worn.
  • How to make a mold of a head.
  • How to apply facial hair

A large portion of the time will also be devoted to learning the technique of tying the knots to attach the hair to a wig foundation (also known as ventilating). This is a tremendously important and useful skill and skilled craftspeople are in high demand!

This is a basic-level, one-day workshop and there are no prerequisites. All materials will be provided.

Get your ticket at Eventbrite now!

Saturday, May 27 / 9 a.m.–3:45 p.m.
45 minute lunch break at approximately noon; lunch is provided.

Guthrie Theater Wig Shop
Guthrie Theater
818 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis

Thanks to generous support from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, the cost for this workshop is only $75, approximately 30% of typical cost. Guthrie Staff receive 20% off. Limited scholarship options exist; inquire about scholarships by emailing info@techtoolstraining.org.

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May
22
7:00 PM19:00

Stage Managers' Meet Up

Phoenix Theater
2605 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Are you a Stage Manager? Do you want to know more about stage management? Do you just want to hang out with some of the brilliant people that really keep the shows running? Well, here’s a chance for just that!

Stage Managers rarely get a chance to work with one another. Most shows employ only one Stage Manager, and they’re the only member of the production team that stay with a show all the way from beginning to end. Often the first to arrive and last to leave, veterans of the industry know them as the heart, soul and head of the show. For our first Community Meet-Up of 2017, we again are celebrating Stage Managers by bring them together for a powerhouse gathering!

We’ll kick things off with a short formal discussion, followed by casual socializing in the relaxed environment of the Phoenix Theater!

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May
5
to May 6

Puppet, Prop and Scenic Mechanization Workshop

Need a cabinet to magically open and close? A mask to pop up and down? Flowers to dance?

Mechanization is the art and craft of making things move. No surprise that it plays a big role in most solutions to these problems and is a major part of most modern scene and props shops.

Technical Director Adriane Heflin and Props Director Sue Brockman, both of the nationally renowned Children’s Theater Company, join forces to teach this fantastic workshop on the core skills and ideas behind Mechanization.

Participants will spend one session in the Props Shop and the other in the Scene Shop, learning techniques actually used by the CTC and other seasoned veteran craftpeople in making things dance, spin, wilt, bounce and move!

Participants will put all this knowledge to use in making their own project in this hands-on practical workshop.

THIS IS A TWO-DAY WORKSHOP
Friday, May 5 / 1:30–5:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 6 / 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Children's Theatre Company
2400 3rd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Come to the Stage Door. Be sure to dress in practical and safe work clothes: Closed-toed, comfortable shoes. No loose clothing that might get snagged in tools and on construction materials. Please tie up long hair.

Tickets are $100. Spots are limited, so get yours now! Scholarships are available—email us to ask. CTC Staff receive a 20% discount. Use code CTC2016

This price, approximately 30% of the usual price for this type of workshop, is made possible by the generous support of MRAC, and the Legacy Funding, and covers instruction, materials, venue and refreshments.

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Apr
24
7:00 PM19:00

Politics and Production

Pillsbury House Theatre
3501 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407

On the production side of things, our jobs rarely involve making decisions about the overall message, goals or politics of the art work we contribute to. From production managers to stagehands, our positions have varying degrees of influence over these kinds of decisions. So how do we think about our own politics? How do political messages manifest in the decisions we make as professionals? What does “activism” or “advocacy” mean in a production context? And what happens if our responsibilities lead us to service messages we find troubling?

Conventional wisdom says that for every production, political messages are the domain of artistic departments—production departments are just the hands. Does this define a lucky few at the top of this hierarchy as the “visionaries” and “leaders” while the rest of us simply show up to use our skills to support that vision without question? Or is it a matter of simple necessity to get the work done quickly and efficiently? And either way, what does it mean for larger questions of art and advocacy?

Please join us for a Panel Discussion on this important topic!

 

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Apr
21
to Apr 22

Costume Basics

In this practical workshop, celebrated local costumes professionals Rich Hamson and Kathy Kohl will call on their decades of knowledge and experience as designers, shop supervisors and craftspersons to teach core basic techniques, as well as tips and tricks that they’ve learned over the years.

In this workshop participants will step through one specific (and especially instructive) process for creating a costume. Participants will:

  • Learn how to conduct a fitting session
  • Make a sloper, the basic building block of all pattern-making
  • Learn core craft techniques for measuring, sewing and construction
  • Learn key hand stitching skills called for in many costume shops
  • Learn proper operation and maintenance for sewing machines
  • Learn how to think about costumes and crafting, avoiding common pitfalls
  • Create a corrected custom pattern fit to themselves to take home for future reference

This is a two day workshop. Participants are required to attend both days.
Friday, April 21 / 1:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 22 / 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

Collective Spaces Costume Space
2500 University Avenue W, Suite C-2
St. Paul, MN 55114
For location details and parking: https://cspaces.org/location/

All materials provided. In order to ensure sufficient and correct materials are available, participants will be asked to provide chest measurement at registration (shirt size or bra measurement will do).

Tickets are $100. Spots are limited, so get yours now. Scholarships are available—email us to ask.

This price, approximately 30% of the usual price for this type of workshop, is made possible by the generous support of MRAC, and the Legacy Funding, and covers instruction, materials, venue and refreshments.

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Apr
10
7:00 PM19:00

Let's Talk: Health & Safety Rights for Individual Artists

Phoenix Theater
2605 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis

While the Performing Arts industry is overall quite safe, that doesn't mean it isn't without some serious health, safety, and wellness risks. Long hours, late hours, infrastructure that creates dangerous working conditions, chemical and poor air quality exposure, and even harassment in the workplace are more commonplace than we would like to admit. Many of these issues are deeply ingrained in our culture, our working traditions, and policies. We all have rights and responsibilities around these issues, and all of us--from the managers and decision-makers, to employees, contractors, and volunteers on the ground--begin by having the right and the responsibility to be informed on those rights. Join us for this incredible gathering with employment lawyers and a representative from OSHA, as we discuss our well-being as individuals, as organizations and as an industry.

Presented by the Minnesota Theater Alliance

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Nov
14
to Nov 15

Arts Community Game Night

  • 2500 University Avenue W Suite B8 St. Paul, MN 55114 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Throw off some of the stress of the Holiday Show Season and warm yourself with fun and games amongst great company and cheer!

Technical Tools of the Trade is hosting a board game night, hopefully the first of many this winter.

Monday November 14th
5:30pm - midnight

2500 University Avenue W
Saint Paul, MN 55114
Suite B8 (ground floor, just past the stairs!)

The Green Line stops at Raymond Avenue, 2 blocks away.

Bus Routes 16 and 63 stop directly outside the building; Bus Routes 67 and 87 stop by the Raymond Avenue light rail stop, 2 blocks away.

Free and open to all; some light snacks provided.

All games provided. (A list of the games coming soon!)

Come and go as you need.

Note that this is at the intersection of Highway 280 and University Avenue. This is NOT next to the TCF Stadium.

Street parking is free south of the building, or metered on University Avenue itself.

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Oct
20
7:00 PM19:00

Working in the Performing Arts

  • Tjornhom-Nelson Theater, Foss Center, Augsburg College (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Working in the Performing Arts is exciting, challenging and dynamic. However, it can also be as confusing, uncertain and varied as the industry itself. Where does one begin? How does one keep going? How does one make a living?

Our panel of top, local, working professionals will address exactly this important topic. Hailing from a variety of fields of expertise and at different points in their careers, their combined years of experience will be brought to bear in a fascinating and educational discussion.

Light refreshments will be served.

Admission is Free & Open to all.

Thursday, October 20th
7pm - 9pm

Tjornhom-Nelson Theater
Foss Center
Augsburg College
625 22nd Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55454

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Oct
17
7:00 PM19:00

What Happens After Opening?

While we talk a lot about what goes into getting a show to opening, that’s hardly the end of the matter. But what happens after a show opens? Whether it’s a music concert, dance or theatre, there’s a whole host of responsibilities and people carrying them out to ensure everything runs safely and effectively.

These running crews and stage managers are, deliberately invisible: if their presence is noticed, it usually means something has gone wrong. However, the work requires great expertise, intuition and trust. It’s also some of the most reliable and stable work in the industry.

Our panel of seasoned, local running crews will discuss what goes into what they do, how they got where they are and the challenges and brilliancies of their profession.

Join us for a rare and riveting look at a very important, very large yet often ignored sector of our industry.

This Event is Free & Open to All.

Monday October 17th
7:00pm - 9:00pm

Pillsbury House + Theater
3501 Chicago Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407

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Oct
7
to Oct 8

Prop, Puppet, & Scenic Mechanization Workshop

  • Children's Theatre Company (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Need a cabinet to magically open and close? A mask to pop up and down? Flowers to dance?

Mechanization is the art and craft of making things move. No surprise that it plays a big role in most solutions to these problems and is a major part of most modern scene and props shops.

Technical Director Adriane Heflin and Props Director Sue Brockman, both of the nationally renowned Children’s Theater Company, join forces to teach this fantastic workshop on the core skills and ideas behind Mechanization.

Participants will spend one session in the Props Shop and the other in the Scene Shop, learning techniques actually used by the CTC and other seasoned veteran craftpeople in making things dance, spin, wilt, bounce and move!

Participants will put all this knowledge to use in making their own project in this hands-on practical workshop.

THIS IS A TWO-DAY WORKSHOP

Friday October 7th 1:30pm - 5:30pm
Saturday October 8th 9:30am - 1:30pm

Tickets are $80. Spots are limited, so get yours now!

Scholarships are available, if needed.
CTC Staff receive a 20% discount with code CTC2016.

Children’s Theater Company
2400 3rd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Come to the Stage Door.

Be sure to dress in practical and safe work clothes: closed toed comfortable shoes, no loose clothing that might get snagged in tools and on construction materials. Please tie up long hair.

View Event →
Oct
3
7:00 PM19:00

Community Meet-up: Stage Managers

Are you a Stage Manager? Do you want to know more about Stage Management? Do you just want to hang out with some of the brilliant people that really keep the shows running? Well, here’s a chance for just that!

Stage Managers rarely get a chance to work with one another. Most shows employ only one Stage Manager, and they’re the only member of the Production Team that stay with a show all the way from beginning to end. Often the first to arrive and last to leave, veterans of the industry know them as the heart, soul and head of the show. So for our last Community Meet-Up of 2016 we want to celebrate Stage Managers, bring them together for a powerhouse gathering!

With Special Guests Tree O’Halloran (Guthrie Theater), Elizabeth MacNally (Pillsbury House + Theater), Jenny Friend (Children’s Theater Company) and Sarah Salisbury (Illusion Theater).

We’ll kick things off with a short formal discussion, followed by casual socializing with food and drinks!

Monday, October 3rd
7pm - 9pm

Pillsbury House + Theater
3501 Chicago Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407

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Aug
26
to Aug 27

Arena Ground Rigging Basics RETURNS!

  • O'Shaugnessy Auditorium (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

By popular demand, our Arena Ground Rigging workshop is back! Local riggers Kerry Korman and Roger Rosvold will again lead this important class.

Are you flying truss? Hoisting speaker stacks? Prepping motors? Lifting scenery? It’s all rigging and there’s always a demand for competent riggers!

Every rigging project has a ground rigging element: a team of folk who prepare the gear and provide critical support to the folks who are up high. Even though their feet never leave the floor, these folks are still riggers, and their expertise and skill can and do make all the difference in the world between a good, easy rigging experience and a lot of frustration for other stagehands and needless expense for clients.

This class is specifically designed for arena or convention center ground rigging, but all the techniques covered apply to theatrical rigging. Whether you’re new to this kind of work, or you’ve been doing it for a few years, our instructors will draw on their training and extensive personal work experience to teach you the must-knows of ground rigging, as well as many tips and tricks that make a job easier and better for everyone.

By the time you’re done, you’re going to be able to:

  • identify common rigging gear and hardware

  • set up "rig world” safely and effectively

  • read floor marks and communicate information clearly with the other riggers

  • assemble bridles and tie work ropes into them

  • know how to support upriggers in your collaboration

  • prep, check and run motors

Whether you work at a production company or plan to take event, arena and rock-and-roll calls as a hand, you’re going to find a lot of demand for these highly desired skills!

We are requiring the following as prerequisites for this workshop. If you are unable to do any of the following, please DO NOT take this workshop, but instead stay tuned for our Basic Rigging workshop, coming up soon!

-Reliably tie a bowline.

-Reliably tie a clove hitch.

Please dress appropriately: closed-toe work shoes or boots are required. People wearing open-toes shoes or sandals will not be allowed to participate in the practicals (and most of this class is practical!).

This is a TWO DAY WORKSHOP:

Friday August 26th 1:30pm - 5:30pm
Saturday August 27th 9:30am - 1:30pm

O’Shaughnessy Theater
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

Sponsored by IATSE Local 13.
IATSE Local 13 Referral List members get 50% off!

Scholarships are available! Contact info@techtoolstraining.org for details.

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Aug
22
7:00 PM19:00

Meet-Up: Meet the Production Managers, Round 3

One of the biggest factors we keep hearing from both employers and prospective employees is that it is hard to for each to meet the other. This year, we will be hosting a series of events to bring hiring production managers, experienced stagehands and designers, and those looking to expand their networks together.

We’ll be bringing in two production managers to speak briefly about getting work at their organizations. Q&As will follow all sessions, with open mingling, with food and drink as well! Come meet and learn from your fellow arts workers and employers!

The third (and last for 2016) session is:

Monday, August 22nd
7pm – 9pm

SteppingStone Theater
55 Victoria St. N
St. Paul, MN 55104

Please note that the Production Managers panel will begin at 7:05pm!

For our third session we are joined by Ellen Baker of the Children’s Theater Company and Allen Weeks, until recently of Penumbra Theater and now the new PM at Theatre Latte Da.

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Aug
19
to Aug 20

Costume Crafts 2-Day Workshop

  • Collective Spaces Costume Space (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Making, altering and repairing costumes is a highly skilled discipline that is always in demand and with applications far beyond the performing arts.

In this practical workshop, celebrated local costumes professionals Rich Hamson and Kathy Kohl will call on their decades of knowledge and experience as designers, shop supervisors and craftspersons to teach core basic techniques, as well as tips and tricks that they’ve learned over the years.

In this workshop participants will step through one specific (and especially instructive) process for creating a costume. Participants will:

  • Learn how to conduct a fitting session

  • Make a sloper, the basic building block of all pattern-making

  • Learn core craft techniques for measuring, sewing and construction

  • Learn key hand stitching skills called for in many costume shops

  • Learn proper operation and maintenance for sewing machines

  • Learn how to think about costumes and crafting, avoiding common pitfalls

  • Create a corrected custom pattern fit to themselves to take home for future reference

This is a two day workshop. Participants are required to attend both days.

Friday August 19th 1:30pm - 5:30pm
Saturday August 20th 9am - 1pm

Collective Spaces Costume Space
2500 University Avenue W, Suite C-2 (Top Floor)
St Paul, MN 55114

All materials provided. In order to ensure sufficient and correct materials are available, participants will be asked to provide chest measurement at registration (shirt size or bra measurement will do).


Thanks to generous support from MRAC the cost for this workshop is only $80. Limited scholarships are available. Email info@techtoolstraining.org to inquire.

View Event →