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Job Descriptions

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The name of the production wing of the Department of Theatre Arts, Central Theatre Ensemble, was chosen to represent both our home base at Central Washington University, our location as a central guiding artistic force in center of Washington, and our commitment to theatre training through the ensemble philosophy.

In "ensemble" theatre, the emphasis is on being part of a team where all members of the team work together for the good of the whole.  There are rarely stars in the ensemble setting and all members of the team have some training and familiarity in a variety of areas in theatre. Today's leading actor might be tomorrow's stage manager or scene shifting crew.  In the ensemble setting no one position is more important than another.  Since our program puts emphasis on teamwork while students attain a well-rounded education, we thought the name was most fitting.

As faculty, staff and guest artists work hand in hand with students everyone is offered opportunities to serve and practice many phases of production from the scholarly study of drama to the execution of designs, craft of technical theatre or performance of an acting role. With professional theatre practices as our guidepost, the practicing theatre is the ultimate laboratory for growth and development. The excellence that CTE achieves in production develops the artistic lives of our ensemble while enriching our region by offering quality live theatre experiences. It is an exciting redefinition of our artistic identity.

Using This Section

No two productions would likely be the same, nor would any two-production teams operate in exactly the same way.  However, certain duties and responsibilities are a part of the protocol, which exists behind the mounting of every theatre production.  While the protocol of a university theatre production may vary greatly from that of a Broadway touring production, all well-oiled theatre machines (production teams) have a protocol that is followed.
The origins of the word protocol are interesting.  As found in The American Heritage Dictionary, the early Greeks used the word to mean the table of contents or first sheet.  More recent uses of the word give the following meanings:

1. The forms of ceremony and etiquette observed by diplomats and heads of state. 
2. A code of correct conduct:  a violation of safety protocols; academic protocol.  See synonyms at etiquette. 
3.  The first copy of a treaty or other such document before its ratification.  3.  Preliminary draft or record of a transaction.  The plan for a course of medical treatment or for a scientific experiment .Computer Science.  A standard procedure for regulating data transmission between computers.

It seems that whether we are talking about a university , an embassy, the military, or how a computer will interface with another computer, we are in the realm of several important concepts when using the word “protocol”:  Communication, form, code, a document that may be amended at a later date, and (most importantly), a plan. These ideas and meanings all fit the objective of this book which is to create a working document that outlines the various jobs and protocols students participate in while working on theatre productions at Central Washington University.

This information outlines the responsibilities and duties that are often assigned to each member of the production team.  Sometimes the duties of two or more positions are combined; sometimes even more than two jobs are combined!  Hopefully these job descriptions will aide our students in a great understanding of what will be expected of them during their careers at Central and in working life for years to come.

The job descriptions contained here are not meant to be all inclusive, exclusive or to act as a specific working contract, but have been written to help guide students in selecting production positions and familiarizing them with what might be expected of the student in those posts.  When signing up for or accepting any production position, students should always be aware of what they are agreeing to do.  Questions should be addressed to the appropriate person heading the area that the student is intending to serve.  It is important to remember that serve is also an operative word here.  We are all in the business of serving the needs of the production and this will involve executing the tasks expected of the position you are serving.  All of our efforts must be dedication to the greater good of the production.

If one can learn the teamwork necessary to put on a good production, then one can learn the teamwork needed in any field or business.  If one can learn to follow and apply the guidelines offered in a job description, then one can learn any job.  By studying the information contained in this book, you will be learning skills that will benefit you now and throughout your working life.  May you learn to love the learning process now and always.

Some Basic Requirements for Any Job in the Theatre

  • Show up on time (which means early) for every call.
  • Never, under any circumstances, come to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • If you took it out or used it, put it away.
  • There are no stars, only people who haven’t yet learned teamwork and professionalism.
  • Learn the chain of command and follow it – always.
  • “Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art in yourself.”  (Stanislavski)

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