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Theatre

Theatre Productions, Programs and Activities

1. Callboards
• The Theatre Arts Department callboard is located online.  This should be checked daily! www.cwu.edu/~callboard  other general information boards are located in the hallway outside MC 113, 117 and 119.  On the boards you will find such information as:

  • audition times, opportunities, and requirements
  • class schedules and announcements
  • detailed rehearsal schedules
  • social information
  • summer employment opportunities
  • general announcements about the Department or University
  • personal messages

The callboards are our principal source of interdepartmental communication, so please use them!  Multiple postings should not be placed on every board. Use the callboard for the appropriate type of information in order that both students and faculty know where they will find appropriate information and reduce the clutter on each of the callboards.

  • The production callboard is located on line.  http://www.cwu.edu/~callboard  This should be checked regularly for
  • production calendars,
  • job assignments, descriptions, and opportunities,
  • cast and crew lists,
  • production-related postings,
  • minutes from production-related meetings,

During performance, the production company uses the callboard by MC 209.  Cast and crew sign in here, plus other last minute information is posted on this board

2. Auditioning, Rehearsal and Production Policies


a. Those eligible to audition: 
Anyone may audition for a Theatre Arts Department production. 

b. General considerations:

  • Be prepared.
  • Watch the callboard for audition information and requirements.
  • Show yourself at your best.
  • Don’t expect to be cast in every show.
  • Dress for the occasion

c. Rehearsals:

Rehearsal hours vary per production.  Rehearsals usually run Monday through Friday, beginning at 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. and continuing until 10:00 p.m.  Sometimes weekend rehearsals are called Plan for rehearsals on Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. many directors will use six days to prepare a show for performance. Every effort is made to schedule rehearsals no more than five days a week.  Rehearsals during the last week of production will involve the cast and crews in extensive evening and weekend rehearsals.

Cast and crew should arrive at the theatre at least 15 minutes prior to their call for warm-ups, prop checks, technical adjustments, notes or other preparations.  As the production enters technical and dress rehearsals, all persons involved with the show must sign in on the sheet posted by the Stage Manager on the upstairs callboard.

d. Theatrical Makeup:

  • All performance majors are required to own and develop personal makeup kits.
  • Makeup supplies for all department productions will be provided to cast members and any performance majors who have special makeup needs.
  • The costume shop manager shall confirm that makeup supplies are available for that production.  Generally the costume designer or designee will oversee the  makeup design and implementation

e. Other Rehearsal and Audition Items:

  • Performance majors should own at least one pair of black character shoes, for women, and black dress shoes for men; which will be used on numerous occasions. 
  • Performance majors should develop one “audition outfit” and wear it whenever auditioning.

 

f. General Cast Information:

  • Keep up with academics during the rehearsal and run of production.
  • Be on time for all scheduled calls.  Many people depend on you.  Avoid putting yourself in situations, which may cause you to be late or miss a rehearsal.  (EXAMPLE-- Taking a weekend trip to Seattle in January before a snowstorm.)
  • If you are going to be late for a rehearsal, you must notify the stage manager or director before the rehearsal.  Actors who arrive late may be replaced at the discretion of the Director.  Missing a rehearsal is absolutely prohibited.
  • Check the callboards daily.
  • Wear suitable rehearsal clothing.
  • Avoid chewing gum in rehearsals or performances.
  • Check your props each night when asked to do so by the Stage Manager.
  • Do not handle or move props, which are not yours, and avoid sitting on furniture or scenic pieces stored in the wings or backstage areas. 
  • After rehearsal, put your rehearsal props and costumes away in the prop storage cabinet or dressing rooms.
  • You may bring homework to rehearsal but listen to the intercom so that you do not miss your cues.
  • Be prompt for scheduled costume measurements and fittings.
  • NO eating, smoking or drinking of anything but water while in costume.
  • Remain quiet backstage and out of sight lines.  Remember—if you can see the audience, they can see you.
  • Don’t bring friends to rehearsals unless you have made prior arrangements with the director.
  • Avoid bringing valuables to rehearsal.  The Stage Manager will only be collecting valuables before performances and dress rehearsals
  • Fill out publicity information forms and work with the publicity director on scheduled interviews and events arranged for each production.
  • Participate in publicity photos and department archive/record photo calls.  Copies of photos may be purchased.
  • All cast members are welcome at company parties and social events.
  • Attend and participate in the STRIKE of the production following the final performance of that show.

 

g. Stage Management:
Students wishing to stage manage should begin by studying the job description found in this manual.  Also, it is strongly suggested that interested students take the class in stage management, which is offered at least once a year.  A first assignment might include stage managing one-acts or classroom projects, then becoming an assistant manager on full productions.  Stage managers of major productions are selected by the Production Manager from applications made by students in consultation with the director. 

3. Working on Crews/Crew position sign-up

a. Background information:
Anyone may apply for a crew position in a production.  Before signing up for a crew position, students should be aware of the responsibilities of that position by:

  • Reviewing the job description in this manual.
  • Consulting with the faculty supervisor for each area.

 

b. Signing up for crews:
Check the technical callboard to see what positions are available for each show.  The official “signing up” happens several ways:

  • Apply personally to the Production Manager and request to be put on a crew or serve as a crew head. 
  • The Production Manager may approach a student with a request that he/she take on a designated production position.
  • Sign up for production positions as part of your class production laboratory requirements.  Many department courses carry laboratory production hours, and serving on a production crew or as a crew head may satisfy this requirement.  Consult with your instructor or the Production Manager.
  • After crew assignment, contact the Production Manager to arrange a work schedule and define the job responsibilities.  Get a production schedule and write down all dates and times pertinent to the crew on your calendar.
  • After accepting a production position, students should register for a production application course or Rehearsal and Performance unless the position is being used to satisfy the requirements of different class.
  • Students are expected to work their way up to the highest levels of production positions during their careers

 

c. General Crew information: 

  • Keep up with academics during the rehearsal period and run of the production.
  • Be on time for all scheduled calls.  Many people depend on you.  Avoid putting yourself in situations, which will cause you to be late or miss a crew call.  (EXAMPLE—taking a weekend trip to Seattle in January before a snowstorm.) 
  • If you are going to be late to a work call, notify your crew head or technical director before the scheduled call.
  • Check the Technical Callboard on a daily basis.
  • Wear clothing suitable to the type of work you are performing.  Avoid wearing loose clothing, floppy footwear or jewelry in the shops or on elevated platforms or ladders.  Proper footwear is mandatory at all times.
  • Wear clothing suited to low visibility and dark soft-soled shoes for silent running.  In most instances clothing should be black and cover entire arms and legs.
  • Sign-in on the backstage callboard as requested by the Stage Manager. 
  • You’re welcome to bring homework but listen to the intercom so that you don’t miss your cues. 
  • Check with the Stage Manager after each performance to be sure you know when your next call is.
  • Write down everything you do and then review cue sheets carefully and execute each cue as it was originally scored.  If you “help” someone one night, write it down and assist them every night thereafter.  Leave all cue sheets in the building with the Stage Manager.
  • Spike marks on the floor mark the location of something, usually indicating the upstage corner of a unit or piece of furniture.
  • Maintain quiet backstage and stay out of sight lines.  Remember – if you can see the audience, they can see you.
  • Do not handle or move props unless assigned and avoid sitting on furniture or scenic pieces stored in the wings or backstage areas.
  • Try to avoid pushing or bumping the stage curtains during scene or properties shifts.
  • Call for running crews is one hour before the show.  By ½ hour before the show, all crews must be finished with their pre-show checks and set ups.
  • If you have apprehensions about any job assigned to you on a crew, talk to the crew head or technical director when signing up for crew work.
  • If you are interested in developing a particular skill associated with your crew, tell the crew head of the technical director.  Crew work is an extension of the classroom learning experience, so don’t be reluctant to ask questions and build your skills.
  • Keep track of your hours on the cards provided, and have the crew head initial the card after each work call.  Falsification of hours is grounds for serious administrative sanction, so keep your card accurate and up-to-date. 
  • Empty pockets and attach tools to your body while working in overhead positions.
  • Don’t bring friends to rehearsal unless you have made prior arrangements with the director.  There are to be no visitors backstage until after rehearsals or performances.
  • Avoid bringing valuables to rehearsals.  The Stage Manager will only be collecting valuables before performances.
  • Fill out publicity information forms, work with the publicity director on scheduled interviews and events arranged for each production, and. participate in publicity photo and department archive/record photo calls.
  • Attend and participate in the STRIKE of the production following the final performance of that show.

 

4. Production Attendance Policy
According to Department policy, all theatre majors should have the opportunity to see any Theatre Arts Department production free of charge.  In order to facilitate this, the department offers the following options.

a. Major Preview:
The final dress rehearsal of all productions (usually the Wednesday prior to opening night) will be open and free for all theatre majors.  These are non-ticketed performances and are closed to guests and visitors.


b. Tickets with Major IDs:
Majors and non-major student employees of the Theatre Arts Department can gain admission with their Major ID Card, upon receiving a ticket during the day prior to the performance.  A ticket is necessary for admittance.  Only one ticket may be secured with each major card. NO majors will be admitted without a ticket, which is non-transferable.  Photo ID may be requested.  Majors can see any given production every night it plays if they desire.  However, ticket privileges are non-transferable.  Majors may purchase tickets for friends according to the prevailing ticket pricing at assure they have tickets for the same performance.

c. Students who want to ensure seating at a particular performance should purchase tickets in advance at the student rate.
 

d. Complimentary tickets are not available to members of the cast and crew.

5. Theatre Etiquette:
This class includes theatre-going experiences. It is expected that you will be attentive and engaged as well as demonstrate appropriate audience behavior during all live performances or films. Unlike movies, the actors in live theatre can hear and see disturbances in the audience and can give their best performances only when they feel the positive involvement of the audience members. Audience members should strive to understand what the performance is saying about the condition of today's society as much as seek to be entertained.

The appropriate way of showing appreciation for the actor's performances is through quiet contemplation, laughter at theatrical wit, and applause at the conclusion of the performance. The audience must be quiet (Talking, Whispering, Rustling of Materials, Eating, Drinking, Intoxication, Smoking, Chewing, Feet on the Seats, Using Cell Phones or Other Electronic Equipment for any reason, are not appropriate during performances and will NOT be tolerated) during the performance so others do not lose their immersion in the "world of the play".
Leaving during a performance is considered inconsiderate behavior to instructors, actors and fellow audience members.  Leaving during a performance should be avoided and if, after discussion with an instructor, deemed unwarranted it will be considered a violation of the theatre etiquette policy. If reasons for leaving are approved by the instructor, arrangements for an alternate assignment are at the discretion of your instructor.

For the enjoyment of all, people who disturb the audience or actors in any manner will be identified and removed from the performance and will receive a zero for any associated assignment. A make-up assignment will not be available.

Any violation of proper theatre etiquette as defined above (including disrespectful behavior toward instructors, actors, or other audience members) is considered harassment. Any offense may be reported to the Dean of Student Success, result in failure from the course, and when appropriate legal action may be taken.

All cell phones and any other electronic devices must be turned off at the door!

6. Company Parties and Social Events
The Theatre Arts Department has very clear protocol regarding parties held to celebrate a production:
a. Any party associated with a production, which is announced publicly, is open to ALL members of our department.
b. If students want to have a private party, then they must make arrangements outside of the department or the rehearsal/production environment.

7. Guest Artist Policy
In Theatre Arts, our primary production goal is to provide students with new and challenging production experiences.  Occasionally, we find that the use of a guest artist enhances the overall production experience in important ways.

Guest Artists are special theatre artists who are engaged to work on a Theatre Arts Department production in order to enhance the quality of the show or learning experience, or to facilitate a special need in the production.   Guest artists may be paid or unpaid and are most often members of the larger theatre community locally, regionally, or nationally.  Often they are artists with advanced professional experience or training.
If a director, designer, or shop head wishes to use a guest artist, he or she must make a request to the Production Committee and provide a rationale for stepping outside the student casting/hiring pool.  The Chair will make the hiring decisions in consultation with the Production Manager.
Guest artists are not required to register for production classes, since they are considered to be offering a certain kind of instruction through example.  Guest artists may be employed in any area of production.

8. Student Productions Policy
Student projects should follow the policy set out in the Studio section of the handbook.

9. THEATRE APPLICATION COURSE REQUIREMENTS
Purpose:  To provide a laboratory for students and faculty in which they can acquire and experiment with practical artistic skills and precepts, creating a cohesive theatrical production, which culminates in a public presentation.
Course Objectives:  The objectives of this course include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. To provide a forum in which to integrate curriculum with a theatrical production.
2. To provide an environment where students can explore the collaborative process.
3. To provide a venue where students can acquire practical theatre-related skills.
4. To provide an experience where students can participate in a theatrical production from conception to culmination.
Detailed information is including in the course syllabus provided at the first class meeting.

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