A-Team Application

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(The positions are listed in alphabetical order.)


            The role of the Choreographer is to create dance and movement sequences for the musical determined by the Director.  The Choreographer incorporates the Director’s artistic vision for the show into the dance and closely collaborates with the Director to ensure that the dance is consistent with the style, themes, and vision of the show.

At Auditions:
            The Choreographer comes to the audition prepared with a short dance in the style of the show to teach to the auditioners, typically happening at callbacks. This should reflect the average level of difficulty required of the cast of the show. The choreographer may choose to present another dance, or multiple dances- one for males and one for females; or only a dance for a specific character, if this suits the show and the casting board feels it is necessary and beneficial to casting. In some cases the choreographer and artistic director may decide that a dance portion is not necessary at callbacks at all.
            During all portions of auditions, the Choreographer takes notes. Particularly during the dance portion, the Choreographer looks for those who are able to learn the style of dance required in the show. The Choreographer works together with the rest of the casting board to cast the show.

At Rehearsals:             The Choreographer is expected to work with the Rehearsal team prior to the start of each week to plan the rehearsal schedule, and is expected to arrive on time to each rehearsal he/she is conducting. The Choreographer is expected to prepare the dance she/he is scheduled to teach before the rehearsal. The choreographer needs to give notes to the cast after rehearsals/run-throughs about corrections and improvements. The Choreographer should lead a warm-up and stretch for the cast at the start of each dance rehearsal and prior to each run-through.The Choreographer should maintain a dialogue with the Vocal Director and be aware of the vocal requirements to choreograph accordingly. The Choreographer must communicate with the Set Designer and be aware of the set design and stage layout and arrange all dances accordingly.

Tech Week:               The Choreographer should lead a stretch and warm-up for the cast prior to each tech rehearsal which requires dancing.  They need to communicate with the Costume Designer and, if necessary, the Hair Designer to ensure the costumes and hair styles accommodate dance requirements in the production. During tech week, the Choreographer is responsible for re-staging the actors on stage if need be after seeing the performance space and set/scenic elements.
She/he should be present for each tech rehearsal to give notes to the actors and be available to other A-team members (such as Lighting Designer who may have questions about spacing, etc.).

NOTE: Depending on the choice of musical, the size of the role of Choreographer position will vary, and may not be deemed necessary for certain shows. 

Costume Designer

During Rehearsal Process:
            After meeting with the director to discuss the vision of the show, the Costume Designer develops the concepts for the costumes of each character.  She/he maintains a dialogue with the director throughout the process.  The Costume Designer then takes measurements of the actors and purchases/finds/makes the costume pieces needed for the show.  She/he receives a budget from the Treasurer at the beginning of the process and works closely with her/him to make purchases within said budget.  The Costume Designer may request actors bring in articles from their own wardrobe, though this must be asked in a timely fashion to account for the difficulty of some to go home or send for clothing from home. The Costume Designer should have all costume pieces before tech week.

During Tech Week:
            The Costume Designer needs to be present during all of tech week in order to handle any problems arising.  They also need to help backstage with quick-changes if necessary during run-throughs and performances.

Prior to auditions:
            The Director creates a vision for the production of the show.  She/he then chooses the selections for auditions (along with the Vocal Director for the musical). 

During auditions:
            The Director is a member of the casting board, specifically focusing on show benefit.  The Director works with the rest of the casting board over the course of auditions to cast the show.

During rehearsal process:
            The Director attends Artistic Team meetings regularly and communicates with A Team members to ensure the design elements are consistent with the vision throughout the process. The Director also makes the weekly schedule with the rehearsal team, prepares blocking and works with actors to stage the play, and is a constant presence at rehearsals.  The Director also writes a note for the program that offers clarification about the vision and/or provides other information she/he feels the audience should know.

During Tech week:
            The Director is present for all of tech week, giving the actors notes on the run-throughs.
The Director also continues to work with the Artistic team to ensure all elements of the production come together within the vision.


            The Dramaturg delves into the text of the play, and serves as a resource for the cast and artistic team in terms of context and interpretations of the text.

            The Dramaturg researches the historical and cultural elements of the play and organizes a presentation for the cast.  The Dramaturg also maintains a dialogue with the director, answering questions and helping to decipher the entirety of the written play.  The Dramaturg should be a regular presence at rehearsals in order to address questions arising over the course of the process.  The Dramaturg also writes a note for the program that provides the audience with the historical context and current relevance of the play.

Hair and Make-up Designer

During rehearsal process:
             The Hair and Make-up Designer meets with the director early in the process to discuss the Director's vision and begin to think of the hair and make-up requirements for each character.  She/he receives a budget from the Treasurer at the beginning of the process and works closely with her/him to make purchases within said budget.  All hair and make-up implements must be purchased before tech week.  The Hair and Make-up Designer should inform the cast as soon as possible of cosmetics needed and what they may/may not do with their hair in the weeks leading up to the show.

During Tech week:
             During tech week, the Hair and Make-up Designer explains to the cast the make-up application (diagrams that can be posted in dressing rooms are very helpful).  She/he helps with the hair and make-up of cast members requiring particular attention before dress rehearsals and shows.  The Hair and Make-up Designer also helps with any make-up changes backstage if necessary (for example, the aging of a character over the course of the play).  During tech week, the Hair and Make-up Designer should be watching run-throughs of the show (unless she/he is doing changes backstage) in order to make adjustments upon seeing the Hair and Make-up in stage lighting and with costumes.

Lighting Designer

            The Lighting Designer collaborates with the Director and the other visual designers to establish the setting, mood, and atmosphere of the play.  The Lighting Designer should be comfortable with all equipment related to lighting (the lights, board, booms, gels, etc.) and is responsible for the equipment during tech week and the shows.  The Lighting Designer should maintain communication with the Director and Set Designer to plan out their design ideas to be consistent with the vision and complement the set pieces.  The Lighting Designer must attend artistic team meetings and attend some rehearsals prior to tech week.

            At the beginning of tech week, the LD orchestrates the hanging and focusing of lights and should be comfortable utilizing a Fine Arts Center crew of up to seven people.  The Lighting Designer also runs the cue-to-cue with the Stage Manager, and works with the SM to establish cue placement.

            The Lighting Designer position requires a strong understanding of lighting concepts, such as warm/cool washes, side lighting, ground lighting, specials, gobos, etc.  The LD receives a budget from the Treasurer at the beginning of the process and works closely with her/him to make necessary purchases within the budget.  The LD needs to be comfortable finding any items to be purchased from outside companies if need be. 

            For alternate space shows, lighting capabilities will vary dependent upon the limitations and resources with in the space.  The Lighting Designer will need to be able to adapt and be willing to operate with alternative forms of lighting (such as trees) in the event that the show takes place in a non-theater space. Questions regarding the space may be directed to the executive board (umtheatreguild@gmail.com). 

 Master Carpenter

Prior to scene shop hours
             The Master Carpenter meets with the Set Designer, Scenic Artist, and Director to ensure that the design plans fit within the Theatre Guild's capabilities.  The Master Carpenter receives a budget from the Treasurer at the beginning of the process and works closely with her/him to make purchases within the budget.  These purchases are made before the scene shop dates.

While in scene shop
             The Master Carpenter overseas building in the scene shop, with safety taking precedence over all else.  The Master Carpenter or a capable assistant must be present at scene shop at all times.  She/he should delegate tasks to cast and crew members present when possible, teaching them the requisite skills to do so.  Like any other guild endeavor, learning is a major focus of scene shop.

During tech week
             The Master Carpenter coordinates the integration of the set pieces into the space and manages the construction of it, specifically during Load-In.  Upon completion of this, the Master Carpenter stays through the remainder of tech week to ensure safety and the stability of the set. After the last performance the Master Carpenter orchestrates the disassembly and removal of the set from the space (Load-Out) by utilizing present cast, crew, and Guild members the Tech Director delegates to assist.

Props Master/ Mistress

The Props Master is in charge of acquiring and organizing all of the props used in the show.

During rehearsal process:           
            The Props Master needs to meet with the Director early in the process to discuss the vision and ensure the props are consistent with it.  She/he also must create a list of props by reading through the script and consulting with the Director and Stage Management about what is necessary.  Props or stand-in props should be integrated at rehearsals as early as possible. She/he receives a budget from the Treasurer at the beginning of the process and works closely with her/him to make purchases within said budget.  Purchases must be made before tech week.  The Props Master must also communicate with the Set/Scenic team to be clear on whose responsibility it is to take care of all objects on stage.

During Tech week: 
            The Props Master creates an organized prop table and manages it during the run-throughs and shows.

Scenic Artist

Before Scene Shop: 
            The Scenic Artist meets with the director and set designer.  She/he then begins to take the director's vision and set designer's plans and translate them into the scenic design elements.  These include the painting of set pieces, acquiring non-constructed pieces (namely furniture), and any other visual aspects of the set requiring the Scenic Artist's skills.  The Scenic Artist also must meet with the props master to decide which objects fall under the responsibility of each.  The Scenic Artist also works closest with the set designer and master carpenter over the course of the project in order to create a satisfying artistic design in safe and educational environment.  She/he receives a budget from the Treasurer at the beginning of the process and works closely with her/him to make purchases within said budget.  Purchases must be made before the scheduled scene shop hours.

During scene shop hours:
            During scene shop, the Scenic Artist uses the time and resources (after discussion with the master carpenter) to paint the set and tend to any other scenic matters.  She/he should delegate as many tasks as possible to the cast and crew present, demonstrating and guiding them through the necessary activities.

During tech week:
            The Scenic Artist must be present for the duration of tech week in order to handle any scenic problems arising during the technical run-throughs. 

 Set Designer

At the beginning of the process: 
            The first thing the Set Designer needs to do is meet with the director and discuss the vision for the show.  She/he then translates the director's ideas into drawings/sketches.  Providing the director with options is preferable.  Upon receiving feedback (at various stages in the design process), the Set Designer finalizes the full design within the first two weeks of the rehearsal process.  She/he must work with the master carpenter to ensure all aspects of the set are within the Theatre Guild's capabilities and to discuss the means of constructing and painting it.  The Set Designer also must meet with the Treasurer to confirm the plans can be carried out within the budget.

During Scene Shop/remainder of process:
             The Set Designer should remain a resource during the process, willing and able to make adjustments as limitations arise over the course of the process.

Sound Designer

During the process:
             The Sound Designer meets with the director at the beginning of the process to learn the vision, and then begins to compile and/or create the sound clips, underscoring, or soundscape(s) for the show.  Depending on the type of show, microphones may be required.  The Sound Designer is also charged with acquiring the microphones and should have the requisite skills and knowledge to set up and operate them along with the soundboard.  For any such purchases or rentals, the Sound Designer will work with the Treasurer to stay within a budget set by the Treasurer. 

During Tech Week:
             The Sound Designer is expected to be present for the entirety of tech week.  She/he needs to organize the loading in and setting up of sound equipment.  Over the course of the week, the Sound Designer is in charge of the sound of cues, working with the Stage Manager and director (if necessary), to figure out cue placement and make adjustment to cues as needed.  The Sound Designer also should be prepared to help mitigate/organize microphone changes if body microphones need to be passed from one actor to another during the show.  The Sound Designer also must be comfortable running a mic check and setting levels before a show, as well as adjusting microphone levels during a run through or performance.

 Stage Manager

During rehearsal:
             The Stage Manager's primary responsibility is to keep things organized and the actors on task.  Early in the process, the Stage Manager makes a contact sheet with the information of everyone involved (typically the cast, rehearsal team, and possibly E-Board) and distribute it so that everyone can get in touch with each other.  She/he also makes sure everyone is at rehearsal on time, and contacts those who aren’t (additionally, keeping track of those who are habitually late and decide, with the director and producer, when it reaches the point where it is a problem that needs to be addressed).  The SM works with the Director (as well as the choreographer, music director, and vocal director if the musical) to create the rehearsal schedule each week. She/he keeps track of the actor’s conflicts and makes sure the rehearsal schedule doesn’t conflict with them.
            Once the cast is off-book, the Stage Manager is on book for them, giving them their lines when they call for them and keeping notes on lines that they miss or mess up.  She/he also keeps track of blocking once it is finalized.  The Stage Manager is also in charge of the ASMs (Assistant Stage Managers). She/he needs to be sure to find a satisfying balance between utilizing the ASMs to help get things done and ensuring they are learning the various components of the Stage Management position.

During Tech Week:
            The Stage Manager works with the Tech Director to make sure that time is used efficiently for the entirety of the week.  At the beginning of tech week, the Stage Manager decides on cue placement with the Lighting and Sound Designers and the Director (if necessary).  The SM also needs to time the rehearsals to yield an accurate run time for the show.  During run-throughs and performances, she/he is on headset with the ASMs and light/sound board operators.  The Stage Manager calls lighting/sound cues, transitions, and communicates with the ASMs to ensure the actors and stage are ready at all times.

Technical Director

            The Tech Director is responsible for overseeing Tech week, beginning the weekend prior to a performance (load-in) and lasting until the completion of load-out.  Responsibilities include working with the rehearsal team and producer to create an effective schedule for Tech Week. This usually includes a paper tech for the lighting designer, sound designer, and stage manager to run their cues before involving the entire cast. Time generally must be included for load-in, light hang and focus, cue to cue, rehearsal, dress rehearsal, etc.  It is the responsibility of the Tech Director to ensure that everyone involved knows the schedule and follows it. The TD is expected to attend all a-team meetings, production services meetings, dress rehearsals and performances. The TD is also responsible for organizing load-in and load-out. This includes assigning all guild members in attendance to specific tasks, and overseeing the loading in/out processes. The Tech Director should be comfortable working with the FAC crew.

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