The Carpenters who Set the Scene
Working In Theatre
Center Theatre Group Carpenter Kate Harrow builds, loads in, repairs, and strikes scenery for shows at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Downtown Culver City. Watch her review plans, work with wood, and handle a pretty big saw in our latest Working in Theatre video. She also talks about her education at USC, her big break in summer stock, and what it’s like to be a woman in an industry that’s traditionally seen as male-dominated.
If you want to learn more about creating scenery and making incredible things out of wood, check out these set construction and woodworking resources:
- The Art of Theatre blog offers information and resources for high school theatre people on theatre and set design.
- Kate recommends checking these books out of the library: The Backstage Handbook (nicknamed the “Backstage Bible”), Technical Theater for Nontechnical People, Structural Design for the Stage (by former Center Theatre Group Production Manager Alys Holden), Stock Scenery Construction Handbook, and The Stagecraft Handbook.
- Volunteer for the stage crew at your school or reach out to local theatres and ask about apprentice programs.
- Browse cool woodworking projects, new techniques, innovative tools, and the amazing work other carpenters are doing on Pinterest and Instagram.
- YouTube is an amazing resource for learning about carpentry—and even if you aren’t doing a project yourself, watching other carpenters work and seeing their techniques is a great way to learn. Kate recommends the Woodworking Masterclass, Make Something, and Woodworking for Mere Mortals channels.
- The magazine Fine Woodworking has a comprehensive website with many interesting articles and photos (some of which are behind a paywall but a number of feature are free).
- FixThisBuildthat.com and MrFixItDIY.com have a wide range of projects, plans, tips, and more.
- Popular Woodworking Magazine has videos, articles, blog posts, and more.
- View beautiful photos of projects created by Los Angeles-based furniture maker Laura Zahn at Off the Saw.
Curious about careers in theatre? Our Working in Theatre video series offers a glimpse into many different jobs in the field—in the words of the people who do them.Learn More