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Theatre and Dance Scholarships|Department of Theatre and Dance

Scholarship Responsibilities

For general information on scholarship responsibilities, please follow the links below:

THEATRE SCHOLARSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES

Each Theatre scholarship student is required to participate actively in departmental work by working in some capacity--be it running crew or serving as an actor--on a minimum of two main season productions each semester (Dance scholarship student responsibilities are listed separately below).

Scholarship assignments are definitely of a "job" nature and are made for each production at the earliest possible time and, whenever possible, before actual work begins on that production. Students will be given their preference of job assignment whenever possible. However, students should also be willing to accept a wide range of responsibilities so that they receive a variety of production experiences.

Every effort will be made by the department to keep demands on the time of scholarship students reasonable. If a student is unable to work on the required two main season productions per semester, the student may petition the scholarship director to complete a crew assignment by working 40 hours in a shop under the supervision of the shop administrators. The petition must be presented as near to the beginning of the affected semester as possible to facilitate any reassignments that are necessary. Petitions received after crew assignments are posted are not guaranteed consideration.

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DANCE SCHOLARSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES

Dance scholarship students will work on a crew or perform a role for a maximum of two non-dance productions during each year, with their remaining scholarship responsibilities being fulfilled by their participation in a dance production. The requirement will be a total of 100 units per semester. When not performing, Dance scholarship students may serve, like Theatre majors, in any crew position as described below.

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SCHOLARSHIP ASSIGNMENT CREW POSITIONS

The following is a short description of specific crew positions, with information as to duties, responsibilities and time commitments for each. ALL ASSIGNMENTS INCLUDE REQUIRED ATTENDANCE AT ALL TECHNICAL REHEARSALS, PERFORMANCES AND STRIKE.

Stage Manager

Assist production director in all aspects of rehearsal and production. Duties would include calling the show in all performances. Other duties might include typing and posting rehearsal lists, notes and contact sheets; giving lines during rehearsals, giving and correcting blocking assignments. This position requires involvement from the very beginning of the rehearsal process.

Assistant Stage Manager

Main responsibility is to provide a communication link between the stage and the control booth.

Light Board Operator
Operate computerized or manual lighting control board as assigned by lighting designer.

Sound Board Operator

Operate soundboard and execute all assigned production sound cues.

Master Carpenter

Supervise all scenery shifts and crews assigned to shifts.

Master Electrician

Supervise all production electrical needs and crews.

Properties Master

Ensure all show props are in place and functioning. Prepare food as necessary. Operate special effects.

Shift Crew

Move scenery as required by each production.

Electrician

Operate electrical equipment as required by each production. Duties might include changing bulbs, color in lighting equipment or operating telephones.

Flyman

Operate rigging necessary to shift flown scenery.

Costume Running Crew

Duties include making minor repairs to costumes during the run of the show, assisting actors with costumes as required, maintenance of the dressing rooms, and daily laundry.

Makeup Running Crew

Duties will include make-up assistance, hair-dressing, maintenance of the makeup room and the makeup cabinet, and daily maintenance of wigs (if applicable).

House Manager

The House Manager is responsible for maintaining the Box Office during the actual production. Duties include audience control, assisting in the Box Office, supervising the ushers, and working with the Stage Manager to orchestrate intermissions. House Manager's appearance when working should be professional. Time commitment may begin when the Box Office opens for ticket sales if necessary, and continue through the run of the production.

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GUIDELINES FOR STUDENT SET DESIGNERS

Designing a set for a Theater & Dance Main Stage or Studio Theater production is a large responsibility that affects all members of the production team. As set designer, you are responsible for providing all the information that will be used by the technical director, carpenters, painters, and props people as they assist you in getting your design on stage. Your design will also have a great impact on the costume and lighting designs. The sketches, models, draftings, and paint elevations that you produce are the only pieces of information that other members of the production team have to help them understand the overall look that you are trying to achieve.

As such, it is important that you start the design process early and give yourself plenty of time to produce as much information as possible. The technical director cannot adequately plan the build process if he or she has incomplete information to go on when production starts. This is also true for the props people, who should start the production with a complete props list, as well as sketches or research for unusual or special props. The lighting designer too must have as much information as possible from the very beginning. Scenery added even one or two weeks into the production process can drastically alter a light plot, and it can be even worse if the light hang has already begun.

The effect you have on other members of the production team is only part of the consideration here. It is also important to remember that it is nearly impossible to produce a strong, cohesive, pleasing design without thorough planning in advance. If you start the production process with nothing more than a ground plan and spend the next three or four weeks making random decisions about scenic elements, props, and color schemes, chances are that these random choices will adversely affect your final design. The job of the designer is to control the overall look of the final product on stage. The easiest way to do this is to produce all of the necessary drawings and paint elevations ahead of time and allow the production team to attend to the everyday details while you keep track of the big picture. This is very important for a student designer, as you are especially likely to find yourself spending long hours attending to minor, unexpected problems that will continually come up.

The purpose of having you put a design on stage is to give you practical experience; this experience will teach you many things that you will never learn with classroom projects. In order to get the most out of the experience, you need to spend a great deal of time planning the set in advance. Once you and the director have decided upon a final design, you should produce either a small, black & white model or an accurate perspective sketch. This will not only insure that you and the director have the same thing in mind and prevent future surprises, but it will also give the cast and production team a good idea of what you have in mind.

Once you’ve reached this point, you can begin drafting your set and continue to make small revisions and modifications. Again, to make certain that the technical director can adequately plan the production process, it is important that ALL DRAFTINGS SHOULD BE COMPLETED BEFORE PRODUCTION BEGINS. At the very least, you should have a ground plan, a section, and detail drawings of all platforms, walls, doors, windows, and any other items that must be built. The ground plan should show the placement of ALL scenic elements including things like offstage platforms and escape stairs. In addition, the ground plan should include lineset information for all flown scenery, as well as legs & borders (remember, one of the first things we do for each production is set the drapery). The section should also contain all lineset information and accurately show border trim heights and heights of relevant pieces of scenery. The detail drawings should contain adequate information to build and leg up all platforms and build all walls and other scenic elements. The detail drawings should also provide information about wall treatments (brick, wood panels, wall paper, etc.), special details such as stair banisters, drapery, or molding, and any special items which must be built, such as furniture, fences, trees, etc. Provide as much of this information as possible to the technical director as early as possible.

Once the set has been thoroughly drafted and these draftings have been given to the technical director (and the plan and section given to the lighting designer), you should begin planning the colors for your set. In some cases, a simple color rendering will suffice to show wall, floor, and other scenic treatments. In other cases, you may have to produce individual color elevations for walls, floors, or other scenic elements. Once you’ve drafted elevations of these items, it’s relatively easy to make copies and produce color elevations. Color is a very difficult but very crucial part of the design, and it is very important that you work out your color palette thoroughly before you begin painting your set. The lighting and costume designers will be especially interested in any color renderings you produce, and your color choices will greatly affect their designs.

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