CAD for the Theater

Professor: Tom Fusco, Technical Director           

Office: Backstage Tohill                Phone (856) 256-4036

Email:          Cell: (609) 254-6879

Face Book: RowanStagecraft      Twitter: RowanStagecraft


             Course Description   

              This course is designed to introduce you to Vectroworks and its various applications in theater. Vectorworks is an immense and complicated program. Realistically it would take a person years to become accomplished in all of the intricacies of the program. So this course is designed to do two things, jump start you on the basics of the program and teach how to find resources and best practices to self-train yourself.  

Materials Needed for Class:

  • Laptop
  • Vectorworks program which can be downloaded from the VW Website
  • Note Taking device, evernote or even pad and paper

Course Objectives
By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Understand the VW interface for drawing shapes in 2d and 3d
  • Utilize layers in organizing draftings.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of theater drafting symbols per USITT guidelines
  • CAD a 2d ground design package including ground plan, section, elevation
  • CAD a 3d set
  • Use viewports to create a complete drafting package
  • Use rendering techniques to add textures to a drafting
  • Use lighting functions to add shadows to a rendering
  • Understand file saving protocols and work flows
  • Share draftings through a variety of means including drop box, email and print


1.     Basic Tools work sheet Due Feb 5th

2.    2d drafting of a bird house Due Feb 19th

3.     2d Drafting package of Tohill with set for Dracula Due March 11

4.    3d exercises work sheet Due April 1

5.     3d drafting and rendering of a dog house Due April 15

6.    3d rendered model of 159 with a set for Sherlock Holmes Due April 29

7.     List of resources workflow statement and Revisions – May 6

A project worthy of an A must have the following:

1.        Punctuality  - each day late loses 1 full point of the grade. No extensions, no excuses, no crying. Part of life is time management, deal with it.

2.       Completed goals – in class each project will be gone over in detail with a list of specific goals, miss a goal, loose a point.

3.       Complete package – Each drafting will have a border and title block, dimensions, notes, renderings etc. Like the goals each project will have a set of specific plates or views that need to be presented. Miss one loose a point.

4.       Communication – each file must be clearly marked in the Drop Box and an email sent to me with the link by the due date. Failure to do so will mean it is late as per number 1.

5.       Effort- I will allow for revisions and the chance to make up points, on your own time.


File Protocol

              Each student will have a shared dropbox folder. All work will be kept in the folder. I have created the main folder on my account and will share it with you.

Attendance and Participation

  • Attendance and participation are mandatory to pass this class. You must sign in to each class.
  • Every class counts, each class missed takes 2 points off your grade.
  • Class starts at the designated time, if you are late it takes 1 point of your grade.
  • Excuses after the fact are subject to my approval to be eligible to be made up.
  • Miss six classes or be tardy 8 times and you automatically receive an F.


Grading Percentage

Letter Grade

Participation: 10 points
Project 1: 5
Project 2: 15
Project 3:20
Project 4:5
Project 5:15
Project 6:20
Project 7: 10
Possible Total: 100 points

A 95-100
A- 90-94
B+ 86-89
B 83-85
B- 80-82
C+ 76-79

C 73-75
C- 70-72
D+ 66-79
D 63-65
D- 60-62
F <60

Academic Dishonesty
"Academic dishonesty, in any form, will not be tolerated. Students found to have committed an act of academic dishonesty may be subject to failure in the course, suspension from the University, or both." - Rowan University’s Undergraduate Catalog

Rowan Success Network: 

“The Rowan Success Network powered by Starfish® is designed to make it easier for you to connect with the resources you need to be successful at Rowan. Throughout the term, you may receive email from the Rowan Success Network team (Starfish®) regarding your course grades or academic performance. Please pay attention to these email and consider taking the recommended actions. Utilize the scheduling tools to make appointments at your convenience and keep an eye on your reminders and flags to track your progress and get help when needed. Additional information about RSN may be found at"

Tom Fusco,
Jan 19, 2016, 5:15 PM