Combining engineering, design, and 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.

May 7, 2022, in person at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana and online for those who cannot get to Indiana!

Registration for the 2022 Stage Machine Design Competition is now open. Learn more about this years challenge, Clockworks, and start putting together your team!

We are thrilled to announce the results for the 2021 Competition!


2021’s Pop-up Dart Launcher Challenge saw fun, innovative, and creative designs from five teams and four universities. What does this year’s challenge hold?


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.