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Production Team Job Descriptions

Production Team Job Descriptions

The various job descriptions listed below, though not exhaustive, will give you an idea of the people who are needed on a production team for any given play produced in the SPU Theatre Department — from student-directed one-acts to mainstage productions. Students who wish to fulfill a technical production assignment or management responsibility should contact Theatre Chair Andrew Ryder or Technical Director Jerry Collum.

Producing Director (PD) (Don Yanik): The PD coordinates all production activities throughout the production season, and is responsible for the production opening on time and within budget. The PD sets the budget of the show and makes sure all builders, designers, and electricians stay within that budget; works with the TD to establish the technical staff, running crew, and board operators; ensures build, hang, focus, and other technical schedules are set and adhered to by the various personnel; and schedules and leads production meetings to maintain communication among the director, designers, TD, and production team members.

Director (George Scranton, Andrew Ryder, guest director, or student one-act director): The director is usually the person who wants to direct a particular show. The director interprets the production and stages the play; determines the style of production and the nature of the rehearsal process; casts and rehearses the show; meets with the designers to come up with a unified artistic vision for the show and approves all major aesthetic decisions; collaborates with all designers and production team members; and attends all production meetings.

Technical Director (TD) (Jerry Collum): The TD is responsible for turning the set design and technical drawings into a completed set, while ensuring a safe acting/working space for actors onstage. The TD plans the build schedule; obtains the construction materials; supervises student labor during the preparation and build time; assigns individual and group tasks; coordinates with LDs and crew; coordinates with the SD and paint crew; determines the means by which scenic and lighting elements of a production are executed; creates working drawings from designer plans when required; supervises the operation of the scenic shop and all technical equipment; and attends all production meetings. The TD is the efficiency expert on all the technical elements of running a production; is responsible for the maintenance of the set and lighting during the run of the show; and oversees the SM, and Box Office, electrical, and sound crews.

Assistant to the Technical Director (ATD): The ATD assists the TD in all duties, including research, budget tracking, procurement of materials, schedules, and database entries.

Stage Manager (SM)/Assistant to the Director: The role of SM is a serious commitment demanding a great deal of time and dedication and bringing with it great responsibility. The SM is a liaison among the director and all departments of a production. Once the show opens, the SM has the ultimate responsibility to run the show and maintain the artistic integrity of the performances. The SM works with the director to establish and maintain the rehearsal schedule; ensures that actors are at rehearsals; attends all rehearsals; writes down line and blocking notes given by the director; is available for line cueing; calls the show during its run; prepares the rehearsal space, setting up rehearsal props, furniture, and costumes and returning rehearsal materials following each rehearsal; prepares the Master Prompt Script with written blocking and cues; and attends all production meetings. As assistant to the director, the assistant director assists the director with the tasks of scheduling, research, rehearsals, casting, and more.

Assistant Stage Manager (ASM): The ASM assists the SM in all the above duties and is often directly responsible for preparing the stage for performance. The ASM is stationed backstage to facilitate communication between the SM in the booth and actors. The ASM often helps with complex set changes and quick costume changes offstage; is responsible for props; and supervises the backstage running crews.

Scenic Designer (SD): The SD works with the director to create the physical space of the play. The SD draws up the ground plans and elevations to be executed by the TD and build crew; creates a white or color scale model of the set; creates color elevations for the paint crew; is responsible for the creation or locating of furniture, props, and set decorations; collaborates with the costume, lighting, props, and sound designers; and attends all technical rehearsals, work calls, and production meetings.

Assistant to the Designer: The assistant to the designer assists the scenic or CD with research, planning, and acquisition of all scenic or costume elements; and attends all technical rehearsals, work calls, and production meetings.

Costume Designer (CD): The CD works with the director to determine costume needs and requirements, and is then responsible for actualizing them by purchasing the materials for construction, assembling, building, renting, pulling, or borrowing them so they are ready for the first technical rehearsal. The CD also schedules measurements, fittings, and alterations sessions; collaborates with the scenic, lighting, and props designers; and attends all technical rehearsals, work calls, and production meetings.

Costume Shop Manager (CSM): The CSM directly assists the CD in actualizing the costumes for the show. The CSM assists the CD with shopping, purchasing, pulling, assembling, and building; assists with measurements and fittings, drafting of patterns, and transporting costumes to the dressing rooms; oversees mending, repairs, laundry, dry cleaning, steaming and pressing, and training costume shop crew; assists with creating work schedules and run schedules; assists the CD at rehearsals; and attends all technical rehearsals, work calls, and production meetings.

Wardrobe Manager (WM): The WM assists the CD and CSM with the above tasks and is responsible for the retrieval and replacement of costumes from stock. The WM is responsible for the maintenance of the costume storage rooms and items; responsible for replacing all costumes in designated storage areas; assists the CD and CSM at rehearsals; and attends all technical rehearsals, work calls, and production meetings.

Costume Shop Crew: Crew members assist with pulling, sewing, altering clothing and accessories for the actors; assist with quick changes; assist with show laundry, pressing, or steaming; assist with mending repairs; assist with babysitting during performances; and assist with retrieval and restocking of costumes from storage areas.

Lighting Designer (LD): The LD, in cooperation with the director, decides on exactly how a production should be lit, using natural or artificial light sources. The LD is responsible for figuring out the specifications of the particular theatre; works within the physical space and inventory; draws up the light plot and dimmer plot; supervises the focus; writes the light cues; collaborates with the scenic, costume, and props designers; and attends all technical rehearsals, work calls, and production meetings.

Master Electrician: The master electrician is responsible for taking the light plot and making sure all lighting instruments on the plot are hung in the correct locations and are in working condition. The master electrician coordinates the number of instruments and circuits and allocates cabling, gels, and other accessories required in the plot; assists with organizing the lighting crew to complete the hang and focus on time; works with the LD to fix notes and make changes during the tech rehearsals; runs the dimmer checks and effects repairs after the opening; collaborates with the scenic, costume, and props designers; and attends all technical rehearsals, work calls, and production meetings.

Light Board Operator (LBO): The LBO operates the light board during the performances and runs cues in the board when signaled by the SM. The LBO assists with the light check and adjustments of all lights before the show; and sets up and strikes specialized equipment each night.

Sound Designer (SD): The SD works with the director to establish a soundscape for the production. The SD works with the TD to create, find, and modify all of the sound effects and music; records the shows on the appropriate media; prepares the cues for the sound operator; works with a composer or sound technician to mix or create particular effects or songs; implements any mic’ing or reinforcement for the show; collaborates with the scenic, costume, lighting, and props designers; and attends all technical rehearsals, work calls, and production meetings.

Sound Board Operator: The SBO operates the sound board during the performances; adjusts levels and playback based on cues from the SM; and sets up and strikes mics, headsets, and other sound-related equipment each night.

Property Master (PM): The PM works with the SD, SM, and PD on shopping, finding, borrowing, pulling, altering, and creating all props used in the play; prepares the props table and storage; maintains or repairs props during the run of the show; works with the assistant SM to set props prior to performance; collaborates with the scenic, costume, and props designers; and attends all technical rehearsals, work calls, and production meetings.

Master Carpenter: The master carpenter assists the TD in the building all scenic elements; assists with daily task assignments; assists with backstage cleanup and replacement of tools and materials; and assists with the maintenance of scenic elements.

Shop Carpenter: The shop carpenter is in charge of the shop and tool areas; and assists in the building of all scenic elements under the direction of the TD.

Paint Charge: The paint charge works directly with the SD/scenic artist to order materials; prepares materials and surfaces for paint; prepares color samples; and assists with the painting and finishing of scenic all elements, furniture, and props.

House Manager: The house manager is responsible for the smooth operation of the audience areas for all performances; is responsible for the comfort and safety of the audience; distributes programs to ushers and/or patrons; coordinates performance timing with the production SM; is responsible for getting and training ushers for the audience; prepares the coffee and tea refreshment counter during intermission; oversees cleanup of the lobby and theatre; and secures doors to lobby and theatre following performances.

Box Office Manager: The box office manager is responsible for the efficient operation of ticket and reservations sales for theatre productions; maintains accurate records of daily sales; balances daily cash, credit card, and check accounts; prepares nightly deposits; schedules box office staff; distributes will-call and reserved tickets; and coordinates all box office operations with the TD.

Box Office Staff: The box office staff assists the box office manager with the daily operations of the box office.

Promotion Director (Kim Gilnett): The promotion director is in charge of disseminating information to the university community and general public concerning upcoming and ongoing productions and events representing the arts at SPU.

Promotion and Publicity Assistants: The promotion and publicity assistants work directly with the promotion director in disseminating information, mailings, posters, etc., concerning productions and arts events held at SPU.

Production Assistants: Production assistants are the students who volunteer or receive practicum credits associated with course work to bring a production to life, including carpenters, welders, painters, dressers, ushers, props, box office, grips, deck hands, deck electricians, follow sport operators, fly persons, etc.

Choreographer: Choreographers design the dance and/or movement in productions, working with the director; attends selected rehearsals; and attends all technical rehearsals, and production meetings.

Music Director: The music director is the coordinator of all musical elements of a production; involved in the development and rehearsal of the orchestra or music ensemble; attends selected rehearsals; and attends all technical rehearsals, and production meetings.

Vocal Coach: The vocal coach teaches performers songs and/or offers performers vocal training; attends selected rehearsals; and attends all technical rehearsals, and production meetings.

Projections Assistant: The projections assistant works with the director, SD and TD to find, modify and create all of the images and other projections used in the production; is responsible for the preparation the final projection materials, installing and adjusting projection equipment; attends selected rehearsals; and attends all technical rehearsals, work calls, and production meetings.

Dramaturg: The dramaturg researches all productions for information useful in the rehearsal process and development of the program notes; works directly with the director or designer; presents research and background information at plenary sessions; and attends selected rehearsals and all production meetings.

Why Study Theatre?

Why Study Theatre?

Studying theatre, performing theatre, and otherwise engaging in the world and work of theatre will enrich your life and offer you many career and life opportunities.

Jerry Collum - Why I Teach

Why I Teach at SPU

Jerry Collum, Assistant Professor of Theatre; Technical Director

“Theatre at its core is a collaborative art form. This is the primary reason I have joined the academic ranks — in order to help young people discover the joy of working together in creating productions for the stage. At SPU I have found students who embrace this collaborative idea in their hearts, which is extremely rewarding to me as a teacher.”

“Theatre’s roots lie in religion, community, celebration, myth making, and delight. Its sociological and philosophical complexity is overwhelming. As a human study it is eminently worthy of academic focus.”
James Chapman
1937–2002, SPU Theatre
Department Founder
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