Learn How NTC’s Innovative Set Design Helps Create a One-of-a-Kind In-School Program


In our latest NTC ED Talk video and whitepaper, Technical Director Nate Metcalf explains how set design is a small but important piece of a complex puzzle that can achieve an inspiring, educational in-school STEM program. (Running Time: 3:54)

The Content

NTC Technical Director Nate Metcalf designs, builds and tests all technical theatre elements of our in-school programs, including costumes, props, set design and more. He’s featured in our latest NTC ED Talk video and accompanying whitepaper, explaining how each element in our theatrical presentations contributes to an emotionally engaging experience that can get K-12 students excited about STEM.

While the whitepaper covers all technical elements of an NTC theatrical program, including scenery, props and costumes, Nate’s video focuses on set design exclusively, revealing how this creative element is more crucial than it might initially seem. Among the topics discussed in the NTC ED Talk video:

  • The importance of incorporating humor and bold, colorful design into the sets
  • The unique demands of an NTC set, including visual appeal, narrative cohesion, durability and practicality
  • The hands-on process of designing and building an NTC set
  • The ability to adapt one of our sets to a wide variety of venues in schools (gymnasiums, auditoriums, multi-purpose rooms, etc.)

Our Approach

NTC’s ED Talks are modeled after a certain well-known video series in which experts discuss the ins and outs of their field in a straightforward but engaging format. Shot in our Minneapolis studio, these videos feature our team of creative experts, most of whom have been working in the field of educational theatre for years and have learned valuable insights.

We also provide accompanying whitepapers with our ED Talk videos, repeating the basic concepts through graphic design and a printable article. Just as our in-school theatrical programs convey important information through the creative arts and supplemental curriculum, our ED Talks present vital concepts through an innovative multimedia approach.

Key Takeaways

As STEM industries become increasingly important on the global scale, with the fields of science, technology, engineering and math evolving at a rapid pace, it’s more important than ever to engage with young audiences in innovative and creative ways. In-school theatrical programs can achieve this by bringing a positive shared experience into schools on behalf of organizations who have an interest in STEM education.

By connecting to students through humor, storytelling and creativity, an entertaining STEAM program can appeal to all learners, including those “right-brained” students who respond emotionally and intuitively. The overall experience of a live NTC performance is crucial to forming this connection, meaning every aspect of our shows – all the way down to the set design – can get students excited about pursuing STEM careers.

Watch Nate’s ED Talk video and read his corresponding whitepaper to learn how every artistic decision in an NTC in-school performance can work together to create an experience that makes a real difference in students’ lives – and for your STEM organization.

For more information on NTC or NTC related programs and capabilities, contact us at [email protected].