The Theatre Department offers many opportunities for students to get involved in the theatrical process through taking part in production crew work. The production crew brings students into the community of the department and puts them in positions of responsibility where they develop new skills, solve practical problems creatively, and gain an appreciation of the work and talent that support the onstage performance. These new experiences and perspectives ultimately make students better theatre artists in their chosen fields. Pre-production crew members work with faculty and staff supervisors in a particular production area--props, paint, lighting, or sound and video--and participate in production meetings in a process modeled on professional practice. Members of the backstage run crew play an active part in the performance, managing props, running lighting, sound, and special effects equipment, and working with costumes, hair, and makeup.
Theatre majors planning on completing a Senior Thesis in Performance (acting, design, directing, dramaturgy, playwriting, solo performance) are required to complete a pre-production crew assignment and a backstage crew assignment prior to their final semester; to be in the strongest position for the thesis, ideally these assignments are completed during the junior year. Crew requirements are typically fulfilled in two different areas, e.g. one in lighting and one in wardrobe. Design and assistant design positions may also be considered for fulfillment of crew requirements if a substantial amount of production work is involved. All crew members participate in strike after the production closes. Please contact Production Manager Mike Banta with any questions.
Pre-production crew positions include:
Stage Manager (3 credits): accepts responsibility for smooth running during rehearsal and performance, coordinates actors and calls cues during performances. This position fulfills both the pre-production and backstage crew assignments. Time commitment is 5 rehearsals per week plus production meetings, tech rehearsals and performances.
Assistant Stage Manager (3 credits): manages props, runs backstage operations during rehearsals and performances, and takes on other duties as assigned by the stage manager. This position fulfills both the pre-production and backstage crew assignments. Time commitment is 5 rehearsals per week plus production meetings, tech rehearsals and performances.
Properties Master (2 credits): purchases, builds, or rents props in close collaboration with the Props Supervisor (a professional theatre artist) and the Set Designer. Time commitment is 6 weeks, about 6 hours a week for the first four weeks and 12-15 hours for the final two weeks, plus production meetings.
Lighting Technician (1 credit): implements the lighting design by acquiring, installing, and maintaining lighting equipment and supervises lighting crews. Time commitment is 5 weeks, about 4 hours a week, plus participation in light hang and focus.
Sound/Video Engineer (1 credit): implements the sound and video design by acquiring, installing, and maintaining equipment and supervises sound crews. Time commitment is 5 weeks, about 4 hours a week, plus participation in sound hang and focus. Position available depending on the needs of the production.
Scenic Painter (1 credit): takes responsibility for painting the scenery according to the Set Designer’s specifications and supervises paint crews. Time commitment is 30 hours of work over 4 to 5 weeks.
Assistant Designer (1 or 2 credits): assists a faculty member or professional designer in designing scenery, costumes, lighting, sound, or video, with duties and schedule to be determined in collaboration with the Faculty Design Adviser. Time commitment is 30 hours per credit.
Backstage crew positions include:
Light Board Operator (1 credit): assists the Lighting Designer in the recording and adjustment of lighting cues and operates the light board on cue during technical rehearsals and performances. Requires presence at all techs and performances.
Sound Board Operator (1 credit): assists the Sound Designer in the adjustment of sound cues and operates the sound computer on cue during technical rehearsals and performances. Requires presence at all techs and performances.
Backstage Run Crew (1 credit): prepares the stage for tech and performance, tracks and sets props and scenery during the performance, assists the ASM in backstage operations. Requires presence at all techs and performances.
Wardrobe Crew (1 credit): helps actors get into costume for techs and performances and tracks and maintains costumes pieces. Requires presence at all techs and performances.
Other positions available:
Assistant Director (2 credits): assists a faculty member or professional director with auditions, call-backs, and the rehearsal process. Duties include attending all rehearsals, taking director's notes and other duties as needed. Some research and dramaturgy may also be required. Time commitment is 6.5 weeks, about 20 hours a week for the first five weeks and additional hours during tech, plus design and production meetings. Does not fulfill the crew requirement.
Minor conflicts with the tech schedule can often be accommodated; please contact Mike Banta with any questions.