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Illustrated Theatre Production Guide 2nd Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0240812045
ISBN-10: 0240812042
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From the Back Cover

This new and fully updated edition of the Illustrated Theatre Production Guide takes a step-by-step approach to the most common and popular theatre production practices, covering important issues related to the construction of wooden, fabric, plastic, and metal scenery used on the stage. This book examines theatres and their equipment, tools and materials, and scenery construction, as well as the principles of electricity and implementation of a lighting design. New additions include:

* Hundreds of unique hand-drawings that illustrate lessons, giving detailed, dimensional instruction * New chapters on stage management and electrical theory as it relates specifically to stage lighting * Completely revamped chapters on metal frame construction and the practice of entertainment lighting covering DMX signals, dimmer mechanics, power distribution, digital lighting * Eco-friendly tips on how to reuse and recycle props and set material * Multiple do-it-yourself projects and practice problems *Companion website with a solutions manual and how-to videos that give an exclusive visual on crucial backstage tasks such as properly tying knots, building a chandelier, and constructing an outdoor stage

Illustrated Theatre Production Guide, Second Edition offers techniques and best-practice methods from an experienced industry expert, creating a foundation on which to build a successful and resourceful career behind the scenes in theatre production.

About the Author

John Holloway is a Full Professor in the Theatre Department of the University of Kentucky where he has taught for 27 years. Professor Holloway is an ongoing freelancer involved in designing, engineering, and constructing stage scenery for television and theatre. He worked as stage mechanic and Technical Director for over 30 years, and has built scenery for over 200 plays, television shows, commercials, operas, and trade shows. Professor Holloway is a longstanding member of the professional stagehand's union, IATSE and served as the president of Local 346 for many years. He toured with the national touring companies of Grand Hotel (Tony Award winner, 1989), The Will Rogers Follies, and Camelot.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 2 edition (February 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240812042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240812045
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #809,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this book for my stagecraft class (building theatrical scenery) but I am sure I will use it as a reference for lighting, rigging, and soft goods in the future. The text itself is fairly comprehensive. The digital version of the book is fairly easy to navigate (I read it on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4).

The only problem I have seen with the digital version of the book is that there are HUGE chunks pertaining to the building of flats in which almost every instance of "flat" is misspelled as "fat". It is extremely annoying and can make it difficult to use the search function.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While I'm sure that experienced theater professionals could pick up a few helpful tips from John Holloway's 2nd Edition "Illustrated Theater Production Guide," this book is really aimed at the theater-beginner or theater student. If it's not being used as a text in high school and university-level theater classes, it should be. It includes all the practical knowledge one needs to know for setting up a theater. Think of it as Theater Production 101 in a book.

Holloway knows his stuff. He's worked as a stage mechanic and technical director for more than 30 years and has built scenery for more than 200 plays, TV shows, commercials, operas and trade shows.

The book includes the basics of theater types, rigging, ropes and knots, electricity, power distribution, dimmers and lighting, photometrics, spot lights, sound, computer programs, stage management, hardware, welding, lumber, hand tools, constructing flats, building stairs, frame construction, patterns, working with foam, and much, much, (did I say much?), much more.

In addition to the conversational style of Halloway's writing, there are hundreds of helpful diagrams, drawings, pictures (such as the parts of a fader section on a ETC board, common lamp types, how a scrim works, curtain types), and much, much, much more.

In some ways, the information is for the beginner - such as drawings of basic tools necessary for set design - but in other ways, the book offers helpful information and tips for those who are looking for new ideas or ways of doing things. I cannot begin to describe the vast amount of information that Halloway offers in this book. Suffice it to say that this book alone would give any reader a rudimentary enough knowledge of theater to design a simple, working set.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This all-inclusive production guide can replace an entire shelf of lesser texts. Not only is it an "everything you need to know" extravaganza, but there are little suggestions in here that you may never have considered. Let's get specific:

Oversized, this text provides large, generous illustrations. And, don't be "put-off" by the "old-school" cover: nothing in here feels out-dated. (I think it's supposed to be cool/ironic ... LOL!)

Need to teach your students about rigging? (Or want to learn on your own?) There are a plethora of both basic and advanced techniques -- explicitly explained, heavily illustrated. Nothing is left unsaid. Want to discover computer programs for theater? It's there! Seriously, whatever you need, it's there.

What I found to be a pleasant surprise was the applicable, responsible asides. There are boxes which address safety concerns (like "safely loading and unloading stage weights") (page 25). This is especially helpful to those who are new to this field (and, again, this emphasizes why Illustrated Theater Production Guide would be a fantastic text for any professor's classroom). Of equal but different importance, the author included boxes which offer "green" tips. Considering the "waste" that this art can potentially generate, this is a most welcome touch. For instance, the abundance of pine makes yellow pine plywood a more responsible choice than less sustainable woods (page 233). Many of these "green" suggestions may be new to the reader (no matter what her/his level of theater-experience) ... and, in that sense, this author makes theater that much more compatible with nature. (And dulls some of the personal guilt we occasionally feel). Such a kind touch!

Bottom-line: this is the ideal text for any classroom! Every professor involved in theater should have a copy on her/his shelf (it's perfect for quick reference). Just fantastic!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Illustrated Theatre Production Guide, Second Edition provides a solid overview of Theater Production. It would make a great Introduction to Theatre textbook for an intro level course, either High-School, College or Adult Education.

The wide breadth of information covered in the book results in most topics getting just a brief treatment. You won't find a great amount of indepth detail about most things but you will walk away with a very good understanding of the "big picture." This, of course, opens up the doors to further specialization in areas that have the most interest to the reader.

What really sets this book apart from others however is the accompanying website. The power of video can not be understated in the way that it shows you how to do things and explains the mechanics of operations in a way that text simply cannot. The videos on the website add immeasurably to the value this books brings to the reader.

I was a bit surprised that the emerging technology of LED lighting wasn't discussed except in a passing sentence or two. But then again, I'm just assuming that LED lighting will become more widely adopted in theatre as it is in many other areas of performance arts and architectural lighting.

My other reservation with the book has to do with many of the photographs which seem dated and dark.

Reservations aside, this is a great book for the student or theater enthusiast. It will explain a lot of the fundamentals as to how things work behind the scenes (no pun intended) and provide fodder for further exploration.
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