Stagecraft mailing list

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information from the Stagecraft mailing list Welcome message

  1. What this list is for
  2. How to use the list
  3. Dos and don'ts
  4. For more information
  5. Credits


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1) What this list is for

The stagecraft mailing list is for the discussion of all aspects of stage work, including (but not limited to) design, construction, operation and maintenance of costumes, lighting, props, scenery, sound and special effects, as well as company management, hall management, hall design, and show production. Subscribers include theater professionals and vendors, teachers and students, community theater volunteers and others who are interested in the subject.

You'll find some information about what the list is not for below, under "Dos and Don'ts." Please read that section carefully.


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2) How to use the list

a) Subscribing

To subscribe, send a blank email message to:


b) Unsubscribing

To be removed from the list, send a blank email message to:


c) Digest vs. Single-Message

The list is available in two versions: one message at a time, and a digest that compiles messages as they come in and sends the resulting digests out daily, or perhaps more often if a particular digest gets large.

You can receive, or switch from one format to the other by sending mail to:

(to get the single-message version)


(to get the digest version)

You do not need to unsubscribe from one version to get the other - as long as your address remains unchanged, the server will handle the switch for you.

You can also subscribe and unsubscribe via the Web.

d) Posting

Send messages for the list to:


e) Address Changes

You can send messages to this list only from the address by which you are subscribed. Please remember that if you are using a mail program which allows you to alter the From: line on outgoing messages.

If you change addresses, please remember to unsubscribe from the old address and then subscribe from the new one. If you change accounts suddenly and are unable to unsubscribe yourself, send your request to:

or unsubscribe via the Web form.


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3) Dos and Don'ts

a) Discussion topics

Very little is considered off-topic on the stagecraft list, as long as it has something to do with technical theatre. However, we do have some general guidelines:

This is NOT a forum for discussing:

  • Specific stage productions, unless the discussion pertains to the the production's stagecraft
  • Acting or directing methods, unless you know of ways to get actors to stand in the right spots
  • Film or video production, unless the techniques can be used on the stage.

The stagecraft mailing list is not a commercial venture. Many of the participants are vendors and they are valuable members who have much to contribute. Blatant advertising is frowned upon, but useful information is welcomed.

When a discussion moves from the "I need an item to do this" and "We make three items that might do what you want" to "I'll beat his price by 10%" it is time to take the thread to private email.

b) Posting guidelines

Our subscribers use a variety of mail reading software, ranging from the primitive to the sophisticated. The features of one kind of mail reader may conflict with the features of another, or with the software used to run the list. To keep the list usable to as many of us as possible, please follow these guidelines:

  1. No longer restricted to plain text! Send all posts in plain, unadorned, 7-bit ASCII text, without special characters, formatting or attachments. MIME attachments are a particular problem for the server software, and may cause the server to reject your post.
  2. Limit your posts to 72 characters (columns) wide. Either set the margins to wrap the text, or hit "return" yourself.
  3. Don't use special formatting (rich text, HTML and the like). It may make your message difficult or impossible for others to read. If you read mail with a Web browser, learn how to set the preferences so it sends outgoing messages in plain ASCII text, not HTML. If your mail software routinely attaches "v-cards" or other items to your messages, turn that feature off when responding to mailing lists. Some Microsoft products, in particular, may attach files to your message without your knowledge. Learn about your software so you can control what it does, instead of letting it control you.
  4. English is by far the majority language on this list. If you must use another language, please provide at least a rough English translation for the rest of us.
  5. Please use your real name. While we may have differing opinions we are a friendly group, and the list has been set up with some limited privacy features (no one but a subscriber, for instance, can get the subscriber list.) Your name adds credibility to your words. If you use an automated "signature," please keep it to a minimum; long signatures can clutter up the digest and make it hard to read.
  6. Make sure your "Subject" line accurately reflects the subject of your message - especially if you are replying to an item from the digest. Many readers simply browse mail headers or the top of the digest to find items of interest to them, and "Subject: Re Digest #42" doesn't tell them much.
  7. Quote sparingly. If you are replying to someone else's post, include only as much of that post as necessary to make yours understood. In particular, avoid auto-quoting the entire digest!
  8. Avoid sending incredibly large messages - they will be blocked by the server. If you need to send someone the works of William Shakespeare, or a .jpeg of your latest lighting design, please do so privately. Please do not post binaries to the list.
  9. Finally, be civil to each other. It is possible to have differing opinions, strong feelings and even vigorous debates without being discourteous to each other. Let's not degenerate into arguments about the "right" way to do things. We've found that different solutions are "right" in different situations. "Flames" generate heat, but not much light. It's always worth assuming that the other person has good intentions.
  10. Above all let's learn from each other and have fun doing it.

The list will not be moderated unless problems arise.


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4) For more information

a) Mailing list commands

Communicate your wishes to the mailing list server by sending messags to special addresses.

b) Archives

A searchable archive of messages posted on the stagecraft list is available on the World Wide Web at:

This site also includes forms which allow you to automatically subscribe (or unsubscribe) to the list, and links to other on-line resources for the stagecraft community.

c) Trouble-shooting

If you encounter problems with the list, please contact the list administrator by sending mail to:

Describe your problem as clearly as possible, and let us know what program you are using to read mail.


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5) Credits

The stagecraft mailing list was started by Brad Davis in 1989 at and was moved to before moving to In 1996 Brad moved the list to

In June 1998 the list moved to, under the care of Steve Jones. On October 22, 2002, the list moved to its new domain,

In May 2004 the list moved to, under the care of Noah Price, who has also run the list web site and archives since 1998.

Stagecraft list subscribers are indebted to Brad Davis for starting and nurturing this valuable resource for the theater community. It has become a daily part of many of our lives providing guidance, support, ideas, encouragement, humor, and sometimes a place to vent.

1998 Ad Hoc List-Moving Working Group:

Barry Thomas, Bean, Ford Davis, Dan Faulkner, Don Guido, Michael Griffith, Steve Jones, Pat Kight, Jon Lagerquist, Scott Lewis, John Musarra, Bill Peeler, Noah Price, Charlie Richmond, Lawrence Sharp, Jason P. Winters

Last update 19-Apr-2005