The Production Staff
Are you a natural leader? Do you have a vision for a show that the LTC is producing that you want to see come to life? With positions varying from Director to Choreographer and a plethora of design positions available, these people bring a show to life. A show's production staff is directly responsible for the artistic integrity of the company. Production staffs are chosen on a per show basis. The director is chosen by the input of the Executive Board based on their vision for the show, and each of the other positions are chosen with the directors input. The following positions are available for each show.
The director is in charge of all the creative items on the stage. He/she is responsible for working with the producers to carry out the vision through the different creative aspects. He/she casts the show along with the choreographer and musical director. The director is in charge of running the rehearsals, "blocking" the scenes, and coaching the actors in their performance. He/she must also have a good understanding on how to work the technical aspects to facilitate the creative vision of the show. The director in an LTC show cannot perform in a show that semester due to the time commitment.
"The key to good choreography is creating the right dances for the level of your performers and making them look good performing it" (Gary P. Cohen, The Community Theater Handbook p 26). The choreographer is essential to a musical whether it is a "heavy" dance show or not. The choreographer is responsible for both creating the dances and ensuring that the show flows like a musical should. The choreographer in an LTC show cannot perform in a show that semester due to the time commitment.
A musical theater necessity. In short, the musical director (MD) is responsible for everything musical. The MD must be present for casting, teach the music to the cast, act as a vocal coach, compile and teach an orchestra, and conduct the show. Proficiency with the piano is almost necessary. It is great to have one person fulfill all these responsibilities, but due to the large assortment of skills required, it is understood that multiple persons might take on this role. Often the role is split into Vocal Director (responsible for working with the actors) and the Orchestral Director (responsible for organizing the pit orchestra). If you are interested in either of these roles, please apply for musical director and write in the notes which of these roles, or both, you are able to fulfill. The musical director of an LTC show may not perform in a show that semester due to the time commitment.
The stage manager is responsible for a great many things; most notable of these is keeping the production going. The stage manager is responsible for facilitating rehearsals and attending each as well. The SM must take extensive notes on blocking, props, set changes, and the like for the prompt book. The SM also acts as the liaison between the cast and the creative staff, and answers to the producers on the state of the production. The SM is critical for tech rehearsals and performances. The SM sits backstage or in the wings to "call" the show (giving instructions to stage crew, lighting, and sound). The SM in an LTC show cannot perform in a show that semester due to the time commitment.
The lighting designer must be knowledgeable of basic theatrical lighting fixtures and how to use them in creating various moods and effects. He/she is responsible for coming up with a lighting plot that lights the stage while conveying the vision agreed upon by the director and producers. The lighting designer must closely read the script and attend rehearsals to understand the blocking of the actors. The lighting designer must be available for tech week of the show, where the lights implemented and focused. A board operator may be provided if there is interest, but it is not uncommon for the designer to run the board. The designer is expected to take notes and make changes to the cues as necessary. The lighting designer may not perform in the same show they are designer for.
The set designer is responsible for doing just that - designing the set. The set designer studies the script to understand the technical demands of the show and then meets with the producers and director to understand the vision. The set designer determines what scenery will be used (flats, drops, etc), and what materials it will be made of made of (e.g.. luaun facing vs. muslin facing), if those details are important to fulfilling your vision. The set designer should have some aptitude in creating scaled drawings and 3D models for the creative staff to discuss and to use. The set designer in the LTC may also perform or take on additional production roles within the same semester, but it is not advised to perform and design the set for the same show.
The costume designer is responsible for everything that the actors wear in the show. He/she must be able to work with the director/producers to understand the vision and make it happen in conjunction with the set, the lighting, the blocking, and the specific actors. Costumes are acquired either through designing and building, renting or borrowing. Ability to sew is a plus, but not always necessary. The costume designer in the LTC may also perform or take on additional production roles within the same semester.
The Properties Designer is responsible for determining all props needed for a production, and then renting, building or otherwise acquiring them. Different productions hold different demands for the PD. He/She must be able to work with the director and the producers to find appropriate props to be both useful and anesthetically correct for the production. The PD should have crafts skills to fashion some props, and also the ability to find uncommon items.
Anyone interested in sound design should contact email@example.com directly for more information, as our requirements for a sound designer vary from show to show.
The makeup designer is in charge of applying and often designing the makeup for a given show. This position varies per show and is not necessary in some cases. Makeup Designers should have a good understanding of makeup, both everyday and theatrical, and must be able to work with the director and the actors to create a look that fits with the show. Certain shows may call for special skills such as fantasy, animal, aging, or horror.
Assistant to a Production Staff Position
Multiple positions available. Assistants work directly with their production staff counterpart. This is not a "hold the coffee" kind of job, but is instead meant for responsible, well rounded people who are willing to take on responsibility and may even wish to eventually take on a production staff position. Assistants will be expected to keep in close contact with their production staff counterpart.
If any of these positions interests you, you should consider applying for the position in a show that interests you. Each of the LTC's main stage shows, and even several smaller events, requires some form of a production staff. Consistently check the website about announcements of due dates for applications.