Stage Chemistry, Goodman Theatre’s STEM-based Education Initiative

How does learning the production process of theater change your perception and experience of the world? How does the narrative power of story come to life in theater? How can you replicate a multi-million dollar theater in your backyard, school, or anywhere else that you choose?

Your journey begins behind the stage, learning about scale, proportions, and models through light, sound, and space. Then you descend below the stage, only to soar above, interacting with pulleys, flys, traps, and turntables. You’ll learn about safety, balance, and movement. Course closure is achieved on stage by bringing to life theatrical form and function, concepts and designs. Mastery is demonstrated through understanding, adaptation, and transformation.

Course Units

Why are Scale, Proportion, and Modeling essential for the creation of a theatrical production?

The purpose of Unit 1, BEHIND Stage, is to explore the measurements, proportions, and models which serve as the foundation for every piece, part, and person in the production. Unit sub-questions:

  • I: How is space optimized to create a theatrical experience from the moment you arrive?
  • E: What would Goodman do (WWGD?)?
  • A: What are the limitations and opportunities of your theater space?

How do both the set and players move?

The purpose of Below & Above is to examine, experience, and build with the physics concepts of rate, work, force, speed, gravity, and mass. This begins with a fundamental appreciation for Safety — the one character who never takes a day off. The movement is then to Balance, an essential yet ethereal thing. Lastly, this Unit explores movement — where, when, and how. You will pursue the following questions:

  • I: How does STEAM make the magic happen?
  • E: WWGD? What would Goodman do?
  • A: Does your model bridge the worlds of reality and make-believe?

Why are Scale, Proportion, and Model essential for the creation of a theatrical production?

The purpose of ON Stage is to adapt what you have learned about theater production at Goodman to a space in which you may produce live theater. You will explore the parts of a production that occur from the first moment when it is written all the way up until the production itself. You will pursue the following questions:

  • How do you adapt A Christmas Carol (or any show) to your stage and community?
  • What Would Goodman Do?
  • How can I represent the symbolic concepts of a play in physical objects?

  • Science: .25
  • Math: .25
  • Arts: .25