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Syllabus: Stagecraft


Bill Roche, Undergraduate Program in Theatre Arts and Studies

Course Description:

A hands-on approach to the technical and theoretical elements of production.

Students learn to use the tools and materials involved in stage design. They study how all theater personnel—actors, director, stage manager, and those in charge of costumes, sets, lights, and sound—interact and influence one another.

“The easiest way to snafu theater is for communication to not happen as clearly as possible,” says Roche. Former students often tell Roche they hadn’t realized how highly organized theater must be, and describe how they now apply the tactics of theater to other groups they work with.

Maybe I won’t necessarily pursue a career in theater or stagecraft, but just having those tools and having those skills—how to use basic hand tools—could be really important.”

Brian Zhu ’26, economics and applied math major

Bill Roche's assistant Daniel Lopez ’14 instructs a student.
Assistant course instructor Daniel Lopez ’14 guides a student.

Working as Roche’s assistant in the Stagecraft course is a homecoming of sorts for Daniel Lopez ’14, who assisted Roche for three years as a work-study student. Today Lopez serves as technical production coordinator in Student Affairs’ Arts and Innovation office, a role he inherited from Roche in 2022.

Along with teaching him the real-world skills of tools, lumber, and construction, Lopez credits Roche with helping him find a sense of belonging after a rocky start at Hopkins: “I want to be to students currently what Bill Roche was to me. I’m really honored to be following in his footsteps.”