All browser-based. No installation, ready to use.

  • The Improv Machine
    The Improv Machine The Improv Machine will be open for anyone to use through mid-August of 2020. Full Transcript: This is the Improv Machine. The Improv Machine generates improvisational acting conditions. It is designed to support online acting sessions and classroom activities equally. Begin by entering names for the participants. Just type them in, one per line, or with commas, or semicolons, or copy-paste. The machine will cycle through them in randomly chosen pairs without repeating names. Just click “Pick Two Actors.” The machine will create a secret rotation of names and display the first two. At any time, you can tell it to display the next two actors. You can also “rotate” the actors, keeping one in play, and bringing in one new one. The machine generates all kinds of scene parameters, too. Set up these parameters before or after actors are chosen. Random scenarios launch creativity. A special category exists for online scenarios. Randomly chosen locations. Hypothetical props can inspire an entire scene. Genres inform the style and intention of a scene. The scene timer is an hourglass. Visual timing is more casual. Set it for any time up to twenty minutes. The lower buttons have one for each actor. Actor & Character traits, emotions, and accents can be applied to either actor. 100 different opening lines are available. You can ...

  • Cue Builder
    Cue Builder

    Completely browser-based, no installation required. Launch Cue Builder This light lab emulates the experience of building cues on a lighting console. It combines the experiential lessons from the other light labs on this site, and then raises the bar. In addition to a huge range of controls, the lab allows cues to be recorded and delivered by email to multiple recipients. This lab requires extra upkeep and back-end resources. It is not available through a creative commons license, but is being kept very affordable and easy to subscribe to. Mentor subscriptions allow up to 21 individuals at once to be registered. Registration can be found here. A sample set of exercises based on this lab is available here. The new light lab includes five acting/focus areas on the stage. Each one is controlled independently by the virtual console. This video demonstration covers much of the same content as this article. The channels on the console are arranged in washes. Individual channels are placed like they would be on a magic sheet. The exploration of this lab promotes literacy in the creation of lighting cues and in applying light to a stage. There are a total of forty-seven different channels controlling ...

  • Color Lab
    Color Lab

    The Color Lab is an online virtual space to experiment with colored light on the human body and on a white floor.   Three instruments intersect from three directions with complete control of brightness and color.  This is a an excellent tool for classroom demonstration or simple demonstration of lighting hues and mixing.  Tested on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, & Edge.

  • Light Lab for Dance
    Light Lab for Dance

    Create lighting for dance on a digital proscenium stage.  Top light, side light, gobos, footlights, and more.  Complete control of color and brightness.    Tested on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, & Edge.

  • Gobo Lab
    Gobo Lab

    The Gobo Lab is a browser-based virtual light lab. It lets you experiment with gobos and textures and lighting direction. There are nine different lighting positions available. Each can hold one of ten different gobo templates. Each can be set at a different brightness. Two actors stand on a small stage surrounded by simple scenery. This is an excellent tool for demonstrating the principles of direction and texture for light either for an individual, or in a classroom.  Test on Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.   Sorry, it will not run on Internet Edge/Explorer.

  • The Drama Machine
    The Drama Machine

    Prepare yourself  for THE DRAMA MACHINE.  This is an interactive application that randomly combines the variables that we deal with in production: Script, Director’s Concept, Venue, Budget, and Time. It churns out the circumstances for a hypothetical production with gaudy special effects and noises. Have students come up to the machine, one at a time, and generate a new set of circumstances.    This turns your class into a game show for the day, and inspires extraordinary discussion about how designing is always problem solving.In my classroom, we use this on a Smart Board.  Students come up to the machine in turns and create a new set of circumstances.   Embarrassing goggles or eye-ware are especially helpful for anyone operating the machine.    This machine makes some great noises, so TURN UP YOUR SOUND!   ;)If you do not have a smart board, you can still use this. It could be used with a projector or other type of screen.  I would suggest coming up with some way to make a big deal out of pushing the next button each time.   Maybe a drum-roll. Students can operate this on their own, either in class, or as an assignment. Students can operate this on their ...

  • Virtual Swatch Book
    Virtual Swatch Book

    For the classroom: a simplified color-filter swatch book with a little extra help included. This is a slightly abbreviated Roscolux catalog.

  • Vintage Lighting Instruments
    Vintage Lighting Instruments

    Some of the instruments shown here are hard to find today. Some of them are being phased out. I originally built this resource in 2003. Lighting technology has evolved quite a bit since then. Choose an instrument, and move the mouse over images that appear. Many of them will animate when you hover over them with more information.

  • Old-School Classroom Tools
    Old-School Classroom Tools

    PRODUCTION BEATING A role-playing card game Shut up and take my money! (this takes you to the store on another website) We like to think we all just want the show to be the best it can be, but we all bring our own character traits and flaws into the process. How do you train artists to look past their internal agendas and work together for the good of the show? And if not, how do you just have a lot of fun along the way? With PRODUCTION BEATING, students role-play a production meeting. Assign the jobs – director, set designer, lighting designer, costume designer, stage manager, technical director, sound designer, even a dramaturg. You only need a few of these to have a meeting! The blue cards are people and personalities. Each person then receives a random personality and name. Everyone must stay in character, without telling anyone else what their special personality quirks are. The red cards are circumstances. Once everyone has a job and a character, you deal out the production variables. Plot, time, budget, venue, and production style are provided by the luck of the draw. 52 Cards + Directions There are four potential ...