Structural Design for the Stage  book cover
2nd Edition

Structural Design for the Stage

ISBN 9780240818269
Published March 17, 2015 by Routledge
628 Pages

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USD $160.00

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Book Description

The follow-up to the 2000 Golden Pen Award-winning Structural Design for the Stage, this second edition provides the theater technician with a foundation in structural design, allowing an intuitive understanding of "why sets stand up." It introduces the basics of statics and the study of the strength of materials as they apply to typical scenery, emphasizing conservative approaches to real world examples. This is an invaluable reference for any serious theatre technician throughout their career, from the initial study of the fundamental concepts, to the day-to-day use of the techniques and reference materials.

Now in hardcover, with nearly 200 new pages of content, it has been completely revised and updated to reflect the latest recommended practices of the lumber and steel industries, while also including aluminum design for the first time.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Overview




Chapter 2: Force, Stress, and Strain



Free Body Diagrams




Strain and Elasticity

Chapter 2 Lessons

Chapter 3: Stress Analysis for Beams


Analyzing the Load


Shear Diagrams

Horizontal Shear

Moment Diagrams

Overhangs and Cantilevers

Case Formulas

Chapter 3 Lessons

Chapter 4: Geometric Properties


Elastic Neutral Axis, Centroid, and "c"

Moment of Inertia

Transferring Moments of Inertia

Radius of Gyration

Elastic Section Modulus

The Flexure Formula

Plastic Analysis

Chapter 4 Lessons

Chapter 5: Sawn Lumber - Introduction and Beam Design


Sawn Lumber Beam Design Basics

Bending Test

Shear Test

Deflection Test

Steps in Beam Design

Beam Design Examples

Notching Sawn Lumber Beams

Built-Up Beams

Designing Backwards

Chapter 5 Lessons

Chapter 6: Sawn Lumber - Column Design

Introduction to Column Design

Euler’s Equation

Adjusted Compressive Design Value

Steps in Column Design

Odd-Shaped Columns

Chapter 6 Lessons

Chapter 7: Sawn Lumber - Combined Loading Design


Single Axis Bending And Axial Tension

Single Axis Bending and Axial Compression

Eccentric Loading

Biaxial Bending

Chapter 7 Lessons

Chapter 8: Steel - Introduction and Beam Design

Introduction to Steel and its Properties

Steel Shapes

Steel Structural Design Basics

Steel Beam Design

Steel Beam Design by Shape

Hollow Rectangular Shapes

Hollow Round Shapes


I-beams and Channel Bent about their Major Axis

I-beams and Channel Bent about their Minor Axis

Available Moment vs Unbraced Length Tables

Chapter 8 Lessons

Chapter 9: Steel - Column and Tension Member Design

Introduction to Column Design

Doubly Symmetric Column Design

Single Angle Column Design

Tension Member Design

Chapter 9 Lessons

Chapter 10: Steel - Combined Loading Design


Single Axis Bending and Axial Tension

Single Axis Bending and Axial Compression

Eccentric Loading

Biaxial Bending

Biaxial Bending and Axial Compression

Chapter 10 Lessons

Chapter 11: Aluminum - Introduction and Tension Design

Introduction to Aluminum Design Basics

Aluminum Alloys and Tempers

Aluminum Shapes

Aluminum Design Basics

Design of Aluminum Axial Tension Members

Chapter 11 Lessons

Chapter 12: Aluminum - Beam Design


Aluminum Beam Design by Shape

Hollow Rectangular Shapes

Hollow Round Shapes


Allowable Uniform Beam Loads Table

Chapter 12 Lessons

Chapter 13: Aluminum - Column Design


Aluminum Column Design by Shape

Hollow Round Shapes

Hollow Rectangular Shapes


Chapter 13 Lessons

Chapter 14: Plywood Design


Design Values

Grading and Selection

Designing for Uniform Loads


Stressed-Skin Panels

Chapter 14 Lessons

Chapter 15: Truss Design


Three-Member Trusses

Traditional Trusses

Method of Joints

Truss Construction

Chapter 15 Lessons

Chapter 16: Cable Design


Point Load Cable Systems

Curved Cable Systems

Chapter 16 Lessons


A Geometric Properties of Common Shapes

B Case Formulas

C Sawn Lumber Reference Values

D Steel Reference Values

E Aluminum Reference Values

F Plywood Reference Values

G Useful information

H Math Review

I Answers to Even Numbered Problems



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ALYS E. HOLDEN is a professional production manager. She is currently the Director of Production for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and has previously worked for Center Theatre Group, the Kodak Theatre, and Walt Disney Imagineering. She received her MFA from the Yale School of Drama and is the recipient of USITT Golden Pen Award for Structural Design for the Stage, 1st Edition, the USITT KM Fabrics Technical Production Award, and the Yale School of Drama Paul Carter Scholarship.

BRONISLAW J. SAMMLER is Head of Production and Chair of Yale School of Drama’s Technical Design and Production Department. In 2007 he was named the Henry McCormick Professor (Adjunct) of Technical Design and Production. He is co-editor of Technical Brief and Technical Design Solutions for Theatre, Vols. I, II & III. He co-authored Structural Design for the Stage, 1st Edition, which won the USITT Golden Pen Award. He co-founded USITT’s National Theatre Technology Exhibit, an on-going biennial event and he has served as a commissioner and a director at-large and is a lifetime Fellow of USITT. He was honored as Educator of the Year in 2006 by the New England Theatre Conference and chosen to receive USITT's Distinguished Achievement Award in Technical Production in 2009. His production management techniques and his application of structural design to scenic technology are employed in both educational and professional theatres throughout the world.

STEVEN A. SCHMIDT is a professional Production Manager and Technical Director. He has worked as the Associate Head of Production for Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre, where he guest lectured in Structural Design for the Stage, Digital Technologies, and Technical Writing. He has also worked for B Street Theatre, the Davis Joint Unified School District, and is a founding member of Barnyard Theatre. Steven received his MFA from the Yale School of Drama in Technical Design and Production, where he completed his thesis, Structural Steel Design for the Stage.

BRADLEY L. POWERS is a faculty member at the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and specializes in Technical Design and Engineering for the entertainment industry. His Technical Design work at LA Propoint Inc includes projects for Universal Studios Hollywood and Singapore, Cirque du Soleil, the Hettama Group, and numerous rigging system and tension grid installations. Brad has previously served as Production Supervisor at Pook Diemont and Ohl Inc and Technical Director for La Jolla Playhouse / UCSD. He has an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and a BA in Theatre from The Ohio State University.