Introduction to Theatre Technology
In this age of new-fangled devices, items that were once perfectly
acceptable are now out of date.
Look at the simple kitchen knife. This mighty weapon was once the
only tool a person needed to whip up the evening meal. Now, in
of the “newer is better - or at least more interesting,” we have at our
- the Ginsu! A knife that cannot only slice a pot roast like
butter, but it can fell trees with a speed that would make a lumberjack
We (being the trendy people we are) cannot let ourselves be left
Like so many products on the market today, if it seems clever or looks
people will buy it. Improvement or ease of function is not
the key to a good product.
You have been hired by the firm that markets such wondrous things as
the Food Dehydromatic 2000, the Juicemaster 2000, and most of the other
items generally seen on those late night infomercials, to develop a new
and improved mousetrap. In order to become the successful
business executive that you so deeply desire to be, you must think this
idea through clearly and decide
on a clever or catchy way to present it both in physical and verbal
Your mousetrap is to be three dimensional in form. You will need
to use your mousetrap in order to demonstrate to us (the people
television at 3 in the morning) how and why your mousetrap is the best
in the world. The physical mousetrap need not actually function,
should have moving parts if possible.
The physical form of your presentation is extremely important! No
one will buy something that appears to be thrown together the night
(especially the person who is grading your projects!) Your project is
to be fully complete for the presentation. This means that it
be painted if it is composed of a variety of different building
that have no particular importance to the actual final product.
labels with writing should be in clearly printed type. A logo of
kind should be present on the project giving its title. If
are included on light weight paper, they should be mounted on matte
or foamboard so as to make for a better presentation and ease of
Graphs, charts, etc., may be used, to enhance the sale. There are
limits as to what form your mousetrap may take, as well as the selling
thereof. Be creative!!!
The verbal selling of this product is just as important as the physical
presentation. If you’re not sure how to sell someone something
they probably don’t want or need, watch TV! Shows like the home
network specialize in this type of selling. You must be confident
your presentation and really make us want your product. If this
rehearsing your presentation on some friends, then do it. Your
should be as polished as possible. Remember, if you are unsure of
yourself or what you are trying to sell us, we will not want to buy it!
If you are still confused as to what this product should resemble, just
think about the children’s game mousetrap. That’s the one that
the little steel ball that rolls through the drain of a little plastic
down a series of ramps, hits a couple of paddle wheels, flips a switch
throws a cage over the little mouse and catches it.
Also think about the various crazy schemes that Wile E. Coyote
concocted to try and catch the Road Runner (your mousetrap should be
There was also a cartoonist, by the name of Rube
Goldberg, who used to draw cartoons of crazy contraptions that
supposedly make all sorts of daily events easier.
There are some of these types of contraptions in the Wallace &
Grommit videos as well. If This still isn't enough to get you
thinking along the right track, check out this commercial, made by
Honda, called The
The key is to come up with a gimmick. To make it complex isn’t
necessarily interesting enough. For this project you have the
option of killing the mouse or merely capturing it. Catching or
killing...it makes no difference, but how you choose to do it
does! Be outrageous. Be
ridiculous. That is what makes this project not only fun to
create, but also fun for everyone to watch. Try for the truly
I will be available to help you solve problems but the design and
execution (pun intended) are up to you. Think ahead and start
early! This is not a quickie project.
At the time of the assignment this project will be discussed further
and any questions still remaining will be answered. You may ask
what this has to do with theatre. This process is exactly what
any of the key creative personnel in a theatre company must do to sell
their ideas for the production, not to mention beginning to dabble in
the realm of design.
Grading: Total value =
10% of course grade
Project grade divided:
20% for idea
50% for physical presentation
30% for oral presentation