THEA 262: Rigging and Automation for Theatre and Live Events

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2024
Credits: 2
Total Contact Hours: 45
Lecture Hours : 36
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 9
Outside of Class Hours: 72
Total Student Learning Hours: 117
Prerequisite: THEA 120.
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: No
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

The theory and practice of scenery automation and stage rigging with emphasis on theatre venues and the design of systems for special production events. 36 lecture hours, 9 lab hours arranged.

Course Objectives

  • analyze the artistic relationship of all aspects of theatrical production
  • coordinate the use of stage rigging with stage scenery
  • anticipate safety requirements in the construction, rigging and handling of technical theatre
  • understand the relationship of each technical position as it relates to a production
  • have an understanding of the requirements of scenic automation elements in the technical entertainment field
  • have a basic understanding of the steps needed to bring a show into production
  • have a basic understanding of the use of rigging and automation and how they are applied to scenic elements.
  • have a basic understanding of implementing a scenic design from technical drawing to final stage product.

Major Course Content

  1. Identify the relationship of the rigger with the rest of the production team.
  2. Dissect the various steps of analyzing rigging and automation challenges for theatre, television, film and concerts.
  3. Dissect, comprehend and analyze the differences and similarities of rigging and automation for theatre, television, film and concerts.
  4. Identify and analyze various rigging and automation systems.
  5. Examine and dissect a variety of tools and hardware used in rigging and automation
  6. Analyze the occupation of the rigger.
  7. Design a turntable solution for a small theatre production.
  8. Design automation for a single scene of a television car commercial.
  9. Research, design and create a rig for a musical concert.
  10. Research and design a rig for a Cirque Du Soleil type show.

Hours Arranged Content

Guided instruction in... 

Maintenance and repair of rigging systems.

Rigging a lighting plot and scenic pieces for a variety of situations and venues. 

Designing a rig for a small concert and theatrical production. 

Hanging a soft drop

Hanging a hard drop

Programming an automation control console.

The anatomy of various rigging systems

Anatomy of various automation systems.

Wiring diagrams for rigging and automation systems.

Rigging safety.

Rigging cable construction.

Control protocol signal path.

Reading stage lighting plots, scenic ground plans and automation equipment schematics. 

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Rigging Math Made Simple Delbert L. Hall (Author) Spring Knoll Press (February 4, 2013) 978-0615747798
Entertainment Rigging: A Practical Guide for Riggers and Managers Harry Donovan (Author) Rigging Seminars (2008) 978-0972338110

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

A 10 page paper on the visual scope of rigging situations is required.
A minimum ten page analysis of assigned script.
A ten page paper on the occupation of a rigger in theatre, concert, television and film.
A minimum four page critique on each theatre and music department production for that semester.

Examples of Outside Assignments

Interview of professional rigging companies and riggers.
Set up a tour of theme parks and rigging intensive shows.

Instruction Type(s)

Lab, Lecture