The Costume Shop is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art facility, incorporating the vast variety of costume technology instruction and production work needs of the Academy. The main workshop area, filled with natural light via skylights, features thirteen cutting tables, sixteen industrial sewing machines, fifteen home sewing machines, ten serger/overlock machines, four industrial steam presses, specialty fusing presses, an eyelet/button cover machine, and a commercial grade keyhole button machine. Costume Shop has an extensive selection of female and male mannequins available for student and production use.
In addition to the main workshop area, there is a separate, spacious fitting room, wig room, makeup room and millinery room. The separate laundry room and running wardrobe space house a variety of industrial washers and dryers. Costume Shop also accommodates an in-house fabric and haberdashery store, and dye and craft facility. The dedicated dye facility is fully equipped with two large industrial dye vats, stainless steel sinks, and granite workspaces.
Within the Costume Shop we house a small library of reference material for student use ranging from costume history, pattern drafting, to all related aspects of costume technology.
The onsite organized and inventoried costume stores house a collection of drama, dance, and western and Chinese opera costumes spanning three decades, dedicated for use in Academy productions.
Scenic Art Workshop
The Scenic Art Workshop is one of the largest and most sophisticated workspaces for scenic art in Asia. It comprises of a 23m x 16m floor space with a 3.8m floor recess that accommodates a purpose built paint frame measuring 22m x 10m. It was originally designed by renowned engineer Mike Barnett and is virtually identical to the London’s National Theatre Scenic Art Workshop, possibly the best in Europe. The paint frame can be remotely moved up or down from controls either on ground level or higher up. Like the National Theatre, the Academy’s paint frame also has two integrated paint towers that allow the operators to paint from any height or location they wish.
The painting platforms measure 3m x 1.9m each and can be combined to create one synchronized platform for larger teams of up to 8 painters to work together. The facility can accommodate cloths to be painted of up to 21m x 10m or several cloths of smaller sizes painted at the same time. There are also 3 bar hoists spanned across the workshop, each rated to 500kg. One of these contains 8 lighting positions with connected dimmers to allow scenic artists to test under various lighting states before the work goes on stage.
The Scenic Art Workshop also houses a painted backdrop store with over 100 cloths or drops from various productions and class projects, some of which are available for hire through the Production Office to the general public.
Property Making Workshops
The Property Making Workshops consist of three workshops on three levels, with access to a fume extraction facility. All areas function as teaching spaces and production/project facilities. The main props workshop is a general-purpose area, above ground level, equipped primarily with tools and equipment for woodwork, moulding and casting. There are three heavy benches and other tables, plus storage for materials, handheld power tools, and hand tools. Materials or finished props can be transported to and from the area by a chain hoist if required.
For woodwork, fixed equipment includes a table saw, cross bench saws, pillar drill, a lathe, two large band-saws and one smaller one, a disc/belt sanding machine and two compressors. In the Molding and Casting area we have a ‘roto-caster’, two pug mills, an industrial oven, and a vacuum de-gasser, plus two large sinks with plaster traps. In addition there is dust/fume extraction equipment fitted to most machines.
Above the main workshop, a second area is the mezzanine level with an acrylic wall overlooking the main workshop, fitted with sliding doors and another chain hoist. This area is a dust free area housing two vacuum-form machines and a laser cutter.
The third area is below the main workshop and again approximately half the size. This area is dedicated to metal work, and contains two MIG welding machines, three arc welders, one Oxy-Acetylene porta-pack, a disc/belt sander, cut-off saw, plasma cutter, and a pillar drill. Handheld power tools include grinders, drills, pop-riveters and a sheet cutter. There are wall-and-floor-mounted fume extraction machines, plus a metal storage rack, metal welding tables and a heavy wood bench.
Scenic Construction Workshops
The Scenic Construction Workshop consists of an area of approximately 580 square meters. This encompasses a “working” area of approximately 500 square meters, complete with motorized hoists for the construction and assembly of scenic elements, a storeroom and a fume extraction room. Additional to the main construction workshop area there is a dedicated teaching area for formal construction technique lessons. The workshop is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, which gives students the opportunity to work with all associated scenery construction materials such as wood, metal and GRP. The modern machinery and equipment in the workshop allows for all associated techniques and disciplines to be carried out, whilst meeting the highest standards of health and safety. These include woodworking machinery and metal working/welding equipment. The recent addition of a computer numeric control router brings the workshop up to international industrial standards, which is not usually found in a teaching establishment.
Fume Extraction Room
This facility is designated as an area where work involving toxic fumes can be carried out safely, without affecting other staff and students. The space consists of a small room with fume extraction equipment installed that can be sealed off from a slightly larger space that is more general purpose. The space permits the use of fiberglass resins and other chemical based materials, such as polyurethanes, spray paints and any materials that could create harmful odours.
Stage Technology Laboratory
The Stage Technology Laboratory is where the Technical Direction students refine their artistry, craftsmanship, leadership, creativity and the skills of management and problem solving. It is often referred as the “Tech Lab”. It functions as a teaching space, storage as well as a production/project facility where trails and experiments of various kinds of stage effects, rigging, mechanical configurations and installations take place.
Due to the nature of jobs that TD students would face in the theatre as well as the entertainment industry, a wide range of hardware, tools, materials, equipment and machineries can be discovered in the Tech Lab. Tools include cordless impact drills, grinders, Fein, Dremel, circular saw, jigsaw, reciprocal saw, hammer drills, band saw, chop saw, belt & disk sander, drill press, scroll saw, and etc.
The Fireproof cabinet allows the storage of flammable goods that are used in the creation as well as the applications of specified special effects on stage. The grid and the pin rail are designed for experiencing different types of rigging projects with the assist of the access platform and the option of using motorized hoists. The garage door allows item which is large in size to be brought in to the lab for experiments and/or alternations.
The Tech Lab also contains a mezzanine level. It was designed to be a place where brainstorming, planning, meetings take place in addition to the execution of production/project related documents and plans.
Almost every item in the Tech Lab is portable. It was intended for the potentials of different projects where specific setups are required. Proper footwear and personal protective equipment are required during the happening of any projects in the Tech Lab.