Please Wait a Moment

Dance Stagecraft and Production

Two dance teachers are silhouetted in conversation on a stage with empty auditorium seats in the background.

Professor: Marty Sprague

Tuition: $310 member / $385 non-member

6 Weeks; 1.5 NDEO-Endorsed PDCs

This course introduces elementary technical theatre skills and knowledge. The content covers costumes and props, sound, lighting, scenery and sets as well as front of house and stage management. The purpose of the course is to: equip dance artists and educators with technical theater knowledge and abilities, incorporate stage production elements, and add clarity and richness to the artistic intent of their choreography. Further, information is given for the production of full concerts, recitals, and musical theater shows. The basics of sound, costumes, properties (props), lighting, sets and scenery are presented so that communications with technical designers and crews are clear and professional. Etiquette, respect, roles and responsibilities, cooperation among the departments, and order of the backstage hierarchy are presented. Some text and activities appropriate for middle or high school students will example how a teacher can incorporate stagecraft and production within a dance program. While the text, Drew Campbell’s, Technical Theater for Non-Technical People, may provide more in-depth information than some of our dance people may need, one never knows when opportunities could arise to work in full theatrical productions in state-of-the-art theaters.


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Past Student Testimonials

"This course helped me understand the proper language and terms to use in technical theater. It can be difficult to explain your wants & needs to a lighting or sound designer, but this course showed me how to bettercommunicate with all production team members. I really liked how I was able to find ways to apply my learning into my own daily classroom routine as well!"

"I gained a greater appreciation for lighting design as a choreographer. I may not be able to create or execute the effect that I want, but I am much more aware of how lighting can influence choreography. I also enjoyed the production timeline project -- it was really great to see how other teachers and educators structured their timelines. I feel confident in using a production timeline for my role in the three shows I am working on this school year."

"I feel more prepared to start my studio's first dance recital."

"As a teacher, we don't always have a role in the behind the scenes stuff that was gone over in this class. I feel like I now have a basic understanding of the theatre and how to put together a show. I look forward to putting the knowledge I gained into action to learn more."

"I really liked that a lot of the assignments gave tools to use with our students and ways to help them interact with material."

"I got very good ideas and suggestions from the professor and fellow students." 

"Helped give me curriculum ideas for my dance classes and to share with my stagecraft colleague."

"There was a great balance between content given & then being able to sculpt each unit towards our own individual needs."

"I like the material that was chosen for this course. The resources really helped."

"It is something that I can put into practice right now and this school year!"

Professor Bio

Marty Sprague  has over 45 years of experience in dance education (early childhood through higher education), holds an MA, in Dance Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BFA in Dance from Boston Conservatory. Sprague taught dance at Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex High School in Providence, Rhode Island and was an instructor and Clinical Supervisor for Roger Williams University Education Department. She has been involved in program, curriculum, professional, and policy development. She has written and reviewed standards at the district, state and national levels. Marty is co-author, with Helene Scheff and Susan McGreevy-Nichols, of six dance text and resource books (including online content for the textbook). Marty has served on the editorial board for Arts Education Policy Review and JODE. She served on the Dance Writing Team for the NCCAS Dance Standards. Currently, Marty is a course writer and an instructor for NDEO’s OPDI, a Moving For Life Certified Instructor (pending), and is President of Dance Alliance of RI. She has joined the Rhode Island Arts and Health Network Steering Committee to advance the role of Arts in the well-being of all Rhode Islanders. Marty teaches OPDI-112 Implementing the National Core Arts Standards in Dance; OPDI-115: Dance Integration: Re-envisioning the Creative Process; OPDI-M13: Modern Dance Theory and Composition; OPDI-M18: Intro to Choreography in Dance Education: A Process to Teach Students How to Create Dances, and OPDI-M19: Dance Stagecraft and Production.

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