Summer Technical Theatre Institute FAQ


July 29th – August 4th, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Summer Technical Theatre Institute at Wagner College?
A: The Summer Technical Theatre Institute is an exciting course that gives high school students the opportunity to experience intensive, professional technical theater training taught by working professionals within the context of a college environment. It is for the serious student who intends to pursue a career as a stagehand, stage carpenter, theatrical welder, theatrical electrician, theatrical rigger, light board programmer, or technical director.

Q: When does the Summer Technical Theatre Institute begin and end?
A: Wagner College Theatre STTI begins Sunday, July 29th and ends Saturday, August 4th. This is an intensive experience where participants will receive instruction and training every day. Students should arrive on Saturday, July 28th to move into their rooms. The Institute begins first thing Sunday morning with an orientation.


Q:Where does the Institute take place?
A: The Institute takes place on Wagner College's beautiful campus, located in Staten Island -- one of the five boroughs of New York City.

Q: What do I send in the way of application materials?
A: We require the application, a resume, your portfolio (or pictures of your past work), and a personal essay. These would help to assess a student’s interests and experiences. A portfolio is suggested, but not required, to showcase a student’s past work. Students will refine their resumes and portfolios in workshops as part of the Summer Stagecraft Intensive course. The personal essay, telling us in one single- spaced, (11 or 12-point font) page why you are interested in technical theatre and why
you want to attend Wagner's STTI.

Q: How much does the Institute cost, and what does that include?
A: Tuition is $2,500. That includes seven days of intensive classes, visits from industry/Broadway professionals, lodging and food at the college, two text books, a hands-on demonstration of over 200 tools, a hands-on demonstration of standard scenic construction, a hands-on demonstration of electrical wiring, a hand-on demonstration of MIG welding, an opportunity to design lighting for a still photograph, a resume and portfolio building workshop, and trips to Broadway shows including talk backs with cast members and backstage tours when possible. It also includes one college unit that is good at Wagner and transcript transferable to other colleges.

Q: Who will be teaching at the Institute?
A: In addition to Technical Director, Brian Sharron, the faculty of SMTI will include professionals from the Wagner faculty, alumni, and members of the professional theatre community in NYC.


Q: What if I have no prior experience?
A: Technical theatre experience is suggested but not recommended for applying students. The course is designed to educate students of different levels of experience and interests. We are looking for interested individuals who have the drive to learn more about their crafts in a focused, intensive environment.

Q: What do I get to keep at the end of the Institute?
A: All students get two text books to begin building a technical theatre library, an MIG Welding plate that each student completes, a photograph of a studio model that each student designs the lighting for, rejuvenated resume and portfolio.


Q: Are there scholarships available?
A: Not at this time.

Q: Who is eligible to apply?
A: Any high school student between the ages of 16 and 19 is eligible to apply. We are accepting 10 participants from around the world. Students are strongly urged to submit
their applications early.

Q: Do students receive college credit for participating in the Institute?
A: Yes. Students receive one TH112 unit of college credit that is good at Wagner or transferable. That is included in the cost of the Institute.

Q: Do participants have to reside on campus?
A: Yes. Due to the intensive nature of the Institute, we feel it is more professionally appropriate for students to be concentrated on campus.

Q. New York it safe?
A. Wagner College is located atop Grymes Hill in Staten Island, a neighborhood of historic turn-of- the-century estates and mansions which has a breathtaking view of Manhattan. Our 24-hour security personnel and surveillance cameras ensure protection for all students. Additionally, participants are fully supervised during classes and on trips to Manhattan. Wagner is as safe as it is beautiful.


Q: What shows in New York City will students see? 
A: Shows will be determined depending on what is playing at the time, however we have seen musicals that include Come From Away, Evita, Spiderman, Newsies, Stomp, Motown and Memphis. Wagner alumni perform in various Broadway shows and we hope to take students to those shows and behind-the- scenes tours. We may view other Broadway plays and off Broadway productions as well. Shows vary in style, and will be age appropriate. We help students analyze and evaluate the shows in order to contribute to their growth as technician.

Q: What is the daily schedule?
A: Most days would begin at 8:30am and end at 10:30pm, with variation around evenings where the students go to see a Broadway Show. Students would have a daily meal breaks from 8:00am until 8:30am for breakfast, 12:00pm until 1:00pm for lunch, and 6:00pm until 7:00pm for dinner; with variations based on dining hall hours. Students will have personal time from 10:30pm until 8:00am every night. At all times the students will be overseen by the Teacher’s Assistant (TA). The TA will work in the classroom to aid the instructor and live in the same housing with the students.

The daily itinerary will vary based on the student’s interests, experience, and desires. It is the intent of the Institute to offer a diverse education so each day offers a different
topic. The schedule below is subject to change based on student interests and experiences.

Day 1, Sunday

  • Student Introductions with the Instructor and TA - Class Room.
  • Orientation to the course and reading material - Class Room.
  • A demonstration on safety equipment - Class Room.
  • A tour of Wagner College’s Scene Shop and Lighting Lab
  • A tour of Wagner College’s Main Hall Theatre
  • A discussion on professional theatre staff occupations and responsibilities - Class Room.
  • A discussion on theatre architecture - Class Room.
  • A discussion on theatrical building materials - Class Room.
  • A discussion on theatrical hardware - Class Room.

Day 2, Monday

  • A demonstration of over 100 hand tools – Hands On.
  • A demonstration of over 50 power tools and accessories – Hands On.
  • A demonstration on pneumatic tools – Hands On.
  • A demonstration on stationary tools – Hands On.
  • A demonstration on special effects – Hands On.

Day 3, Tuesday

  • A discussion on reading and writing shop plans - Class Room.
  • A discussion on reading and writing lighting plots - Class Room.
  • A demonstration on how to build a Broadway flat – Hands On.
  • A demonstration on how to build a Hollywood flat – Hands On.
  • A demonstration on how to build a Platform – Hands On.
  • A trip to see a Broadway Show.

Day 4, Wednesday

  • A discussion on steel shapes and material - Class Room.
  • A demonstration on MIG welding – Hands On.

Day 5, Thursday

  • A demonstration on knot tying – Hands On.
  • A discussion on traveler track components - Class Room.
  • A discussion on rigging equipment - Class Room.
  • A discussion on hemp rigging systems - Class Room – Then Hands On.
  • A discussion on counterweight rigging systems - Class Room – Then Hands On.
  • A trip to see a Broadway Show.

Day 6, Friday

  • A demonstration on electrical wiring - Class Room – Then Hands On.
  • A demonstration on stage lighting - Class Room – Then Hands On.
  • A demonstration lighting programming - Class Room – Then Hands On.

Day 7, Saturday

  • A discussion on professional development - Class Room.
  • A portfolio building workshop - Class Room – Then Individual Meetings.
  • A resume writing workshop - Class Room – Then Individual Meetings.


Q: Does the Institute include training for students interested in a performance career?
A: Yes. Currently, the program includes professional training for both technicians and musical theater performers.

Q: How do I know that my application has been received?
A: You will receive an email confirmation from STTI once your application has been received.

Q: Tell me a little more about Wagner College.
A: Wagner College is a competitive, four-year private college founded in 1883. It is consistently highly ranked in the Princeton Review's Top 10 lists for "Best College Theatre." The college’s nationally recognized academic program, the Wagner Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts, is enhanced by a rich array of internship and other professional and cultural opportunities readily available in New York City. The campus is 105 acres of park-like hilltop that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, New York Harbor and Manhattan. It has a total of 23 buildings, including four residence halls fully equipped with both wired and wireless Internet access. 67% of our undergraduate students live on campus. The current enrollment rate is 1,750 undergraduates, 450 graduate students. Our students represent 44 states and 30 countries. The most enrolled undergraduate majors at Wagner are biological sciences, business, psychology, sociology, and theatre. 10–15% of our students enter the teaching profession. 87% of our students receive financial aid. For adult learners and children ages 6 to 17, Wagner Lifelong Learning Programs provide on-campus and online courses in professional development, personal enrichment, the arts, the sciences, and more. For more information about the campus and about Wagner College, log on to