engineering. design. live entertainment.

The Stage Machine Design Competition brings together theatre technology students from colleges and universities to share the excitement of designing and building the machines that bring stage effects to life. The competition celebrates the design journey that leads from inception to prototype and seeks to inspire the next generation of mechanical designers and engineers who will invent new experiences for live entertainment.

The 2024 Challenge: Dumbwaiter!

Learn more about this years challenge!

Congratulations to the 2023 Competition Winners!

From The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: Jesse McKenzie, Hannah Bowen, Raven Shales, Matt Grenier and their advisor Bobby Reynolds took home the top prize in the Guess Who? Challenge!


What does the 2024 challenge hold? Last year’s Clockworks Challenge saw fun, innovative, and creative designs from six teams and five universities.


See the challenges from past competitions. Explore the proposals submitted by teams and individuals from previous years. See photos and video of previous experiences.


Think you’ve got what it takes to design an amazing solution to this year’s challenge? Read the complete rules, see a list of award categories, and register for the competition!


Solving a design challenge in the Stage Machine Design Competition provides students with valuable experiences, portfolio artifacts, and video evidence of their work. Be a part of that by supporting the Competition.