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Theater is a collaborative artform employing a diverse group of artists and artisans to create the world of a play. Early in the process, before rehearsals with actors begin, the director guides a team of designers towards a unified vision for the production, from costume, projection, scenery, to lighting and sound. As engineer and master artisan, the technical director (TD) collaborates with the scenic designer to help shape and realize their artistic vision by providing labor and material estimates, as well as solutions to design challenges. The ephemeral nature of live entertainment and theater designs often present unique engineering, structural, mechanical, and other challenges beyond typical residential or commercial construction that require the TD to be an active researcher, engineer, and innovator to provide solutions. Once the design process moves into production, the TD steps into a role similar to a general contractor: the TD creates construction drawings, build schedules, and manages the implementation of the scenic elements to realize the design. Additionally, the TD must have a broad knowledge of construction techniques and materials to achieve an artistic aesthetic within the constraints of time and money. 

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