Barnard Department of Theatre
Production rights and responsibilities
Barnard College is guided by the precept that in no aspect of its employment practices or educational programs should there be disparate treatment of persons because of improper considerations of race, color, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability.
Acting and stage performance at any level require physical contact, with other performers and sometimes with the instructor or director. As part of our effort to create a productive creative and intellectual environment, the Department expects that all such contact in classes or rehearsals will be conducted in an appropriate manner, whether between students or between students and instructors. Everyone should take care that any physical work is conducted safely. If physical contact, in general, is not something with which a student feels comfortable, he/she ought to consult the Department Chair, the instructor of an acting class, or the director prior to auditions.
The success of any stage production depends on the commitment of all involved. Once a cast, design team, and crew have been selected, the absence of any member of that team is detrimental to the project. Such absences are unprofessional and unacceptable.
1. The Director will adhere to schedules for auditions, rehearsals and performances as determined by the Department Production Manager. Rehearsals are scheduled M-Th 6.30-10:30pm or 7-11pm; F and S rehearsals may be scheduled at other times. Saturday rehearsals are usually 1-5 or 2-6 pm. There are no rehearsals on Sunday.
2. All students involved in a Departmental production must be registered for the section of Practicum Performance relevant to their duties. Supervision of the cast is assigned to a PP course led by the Director; of the design team by a faculty Design supervisor; and of the stage management and crew by the Production Manager, the Technical Director, or the Costume Shop Manager; of the dramaturges by the Dramaturg. Students who do not register for credit will not be permitted to continue with the production; students who are paid to do production work, whether or not through work study, are not required to register.
Rehearsal and performance schedules will be available at auditions. Be informed about the production schedule: All productions require a five to six week rehearsal period. Can you make the necessary time commitment? Do you have schedule conflicts? It should be understood that all potential scheduling conflicts for the rehearsal periods must be noted during auditions, and reconfirmed with the Director upon casting. It is assumed that performers will accept any role or assignment offered. Be sure you are clear about your availability and any conditions you are placing upon your audition. Students who are cast, and then decline the role may not be considered for future casting, to be determined by the Chair.
- It is understood that auditioning for a role in a Department production confirms availability for the rehearsal period, and participation in all scheduled rehearsals, technical rehearsals, performances, and strike.
- Students cast in a production are required to enroll in the relevant Practicum Performance course.
- It is assumed that directors who cast a student with declared conflicts are willing to work with those conflicts; conflicts must be declared as part of audition, callbacks, and casting. Cast members are expected to adhere to conflicts negotiated with the director during the callback/casting process.
- A student who drops out of a production after having been cast, or is dismissed from the production, may be ineligible for further casting for a period of at least one semester, to be determined by the Chair.
- Students are responsible for negotiating all class conflicts with regard to tech and performance schedule. Tech is not an automatic excuse for late submission of required work or absence from other classes.
- Photographs will be taken during the photo call prior to each show’s opening, and may be used by the department or college for academic purposes. Students will be asked to sign a release form before accepting a role in any production.
GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL:
1. A performer may be dismissed from a production for unexcused absence or tardiness from any rehearsal or performance; inappropriate behavior during rehearsal or performance; failure to meet appointments with directors, designers, or other members of the production staff; failure to register for appropriate credit.
2. Without prior agreement, the only excusable absences from rehearsal or performance are serious illness or accident, death in the family, natural disaster.
Any student who has shown cause may be dismissed from the show. In some cases, particularly those involving unexcused absence, the relevant supervisor (Director, Production Manager) may recommend immediate dismissal; in other cases the supervisor may give a warning, with the understanding that a second occurrence will result in a dismissal recommendation. In all cases, the Chair of the Department will be notified immediately in writing. The Chair reserves the right to dismiss a cast or crew member from a production upon written recommendation from the Director or Production Manager. Students dismissed from a production will receive a failing grade on the relevant course and may not be eligible for casting in a department production for that semester and/or subsequent semester(s) as determined by the Chair.
It is also understood that students auditioning for acting classes agree to accept the class to which they are assigned; students may be assigned to any class listed on preference sheet. Students who drop an acting class or refuse an assigned class have in effect denied another student the opportunity to take that assignment; for this reason, students who drop or refuse an assigned may be denied eligibility to audition for an acting class the following semester, as determined by the Chair.
The Barnard College Department of Theatre has the following policy regarding all activities, whether in the classroom or in the production season, that may require physical touch:
Classes in theatre and rehearsal for stage productions sometimes involve physical touch: either for the instructor /director to help with movement or posture, or between students in developing physical exercises or scene work. While this is an acknowledged part of theatre, we recognize that it is important for anyone involved to be comfortable alerting others—instructor, other students; director, other cast members—that they would not be comfortable with physical touch or a specific placement of touch or movement. While it’s up to the instructor/director to make the protocol for stepping back from physical contact visible, available, and consensual on every occasion, it’s up to the students in the class or cast to bring any concerns they may have to the instructor/director ahead of time, or to take advantage of the opportunity to make an alternative when invited to consent.
This policy applies to all mainstage production rehearsals, all rehearsals for senior thesis productions, and all rehearsal for classroom assignments, such as scene work. This policy explicitly applies to all students leading rehearsal or participating in student-run rehearsal as part of a Theatre Department class.
When material is being rehearsed that may involve any kind of physical intimacy or physical violence, that material should be discussed with the cast/class in advance of rehearsal. The Department encourages all productions to request a professional intimacy coordinator and/or fight choreographer as part of the production team; this request would come from the director to the Director of Production, but may also be initiated by a member or members of the cast. During rehearsal, actors should be given ample opportunity to define their physical boundaries, and may at any time request that the scene work “hold,” or pause. Any physical touch that was consensual, but then takes an unanticipated direction or becomes uncomfortable may be halted at the request of the performer, and then would require further consent.
Stage work involving nudity must be cleared with the Department Chair well in advance; for scenes with significant levels of physical contact or undress, the director, stage manager, and actors will discuss procedures for rehearsal, including the possibility of closed rehearsal. Faculty instructors and students are strongly and specifically discouraged from undertaking such work for classwork scenes; for senior thesis rehearsal, such work should be cleared in advance with the faculty advisor; faculty directors of productions in the departmental season should be aware of their responsibilities as instructors and feel free to discuss in advance with the Chair.
While it is the performer’s responsibility to make concerns about safety and personal boundaries known to the director/instructor, it is the director/instructor’s responsibility to create a safe working and learning environment (student-led rehearsal for class is also a learning environment): material is presented to the class/cast in advance, all scenes of physical touch require unambiguous affirmative consent to continue, and consultation with appropriate professional staff (intimacy coordinator, fight choreographer) or departmental staff (Director of Production, Chair) where advisable.