Click HERE for previous Handbook section.

Production

Some Faculty-directed Theatre productions are presented on the mainstage of Ransburg Auditorium while others are presented in the Studio Theatre downstairs or the Dining Hall in Schwitzer Center. There are usually three or more such productions per year. Directors demonstrate, through their varied approaches, the dramatic and production synthesis that should contribute to the students' total theatre education. Each theatre is truly considered another classroom or laboratory complementing the academic course work in Theatre. Season selection is made by the Faculty with input from students, alumni, other faculty and staff.

Mainstage

The Mainstage theatre in the Ransburg Auditorium seats 790 in a traditional proscenium arch configuration and includes fly, wing, and backstage space. This theatre is used for larger scale productions, usually, but not exclusively Faculty directed.

Studio Theatre

The Studio Theatre, seating approximately 80, is a three-quarter or thrust black box-style space. It is utilized as a classroom, for Faculty directed productions, to showcase acting and directing scenes, and for student generated performances such as the Student Directed Projects and original works.

Sign-out of Space--Since the Studio Theatre is used by a great number of people, a Studio Theatre Sign-out calendar will be maintained by the Staff Production Manager/Technical Director. You may sign-out blocks of time for rehearsal or, with approval of the Director of Theatre, performances. Rehearsal times are to be limited to no more than two consecutive hours unless approved by the Director of Theatre. You are encouraged to make use of the space to produce your own projects for public performance whether connected with a class or not. Faculty directed productions and their rehearsals take precedent, but every effort will be made to accommodate anyone interested in using the space. Due to the great demand for the mainstage space, scheduling time in Ransburg Auditorium will be extremely difficult if not impossible. Anyone interested in using Ransburg should check with the Staff Production Manager/Technical Director.

Student Directed Productions

Theatre students who have successfully completed Directing I may apply to the Faculty/Staff to direct a short (30 minutes or less) one act or ten minute play, or a cutting from a longer piece for public performance as part of an evening of Student Directed Productions in the Studio Theatre.  The faculty and staff choose the productions based on the strength of the proposal, the balance of the evening (length of individual projects, comedy/drama, etc.), and appropriateness of the individual pieces for the student directors.  The Student Directed Productions are an opportunity to prepare the full production of a short play or cutting for an audience. Working closely with members of the Faculty and Staff, the student will select, cast, and direct the play and supervise the lighting, design, and construction for the production. These productions will receive minimal technical support from the Department and a budget to secure scripts, rights, royalties, costumes, props and any other production elements. Student directors are responsible for initiating the process of obtaining rights and paying royalties on their productions. There is a small play file of original scripts in the Archive Room which may be checked out through the Front of House Student Manager.

Auditions/Call for Crew Members

Auditions for Faculty directed productions will usually be held in the first weeks of each semester or as announced in the Department Calendar. These auditions are open to the University of Indianapolis community. Upperclass and second semester freshmen Theatre majors are expected to perform prepared monologues unless otherwise noted in the audition notices posted on the Callboard and listserv. Non-majors without prepared monologues will be given cuttings to read. Callback lists will be posted on the Callboard. Roles are cast to facilitate the educational growth of the performers as well as to meet production demands. Supplementary auditions throughout the semester will be held as needed.

Anyone interested in working on any crew for a production should be encouraged to stop by the auditions and fill out a Crew Call Form. Otherwise, these students should stop by the office of the Staff Production Manager/Technical Director and fill out the form.

Cast Contract

At the discretion of the director, cast members may be asked to sign a Cast Contract. This contract gives cast members guidance regarding minimal expectations. By signing this contract, cast members agree to abide by those expectations.

Cast/Crew Professional Behavior

No cast or crew allowed in Event Ticketing Center area after 7:00 p.m. on performance nights (2:00 p.m. for matinees, 5:45 p.m. for Dinner Theatre). All cast members must be out of costume and makeup before meeting family and friends in lobby areas. The only exception is the performance prior to photo call. Actors may visit with their family and friends in costume/makeup in the lobby briefly prior to the beginning of photo call. NO ONE is ever to enter the Mainstage theatre from the proscenium doors or stage wings before or after a performance--everyone must travel through the hallways to the lobby areas. In Studio Theatre productions, no crew members should be seen in the hallway leading to the Theatre suite, and especially not in the main hallway outside the Studio Theatre. Exceptions will be made for Dinner Theatre productions as necessary. The House Manager has a headset that should be used to communicate any needs to that area.

All electronics (cell phones, laptops, iPods, Blackberries, etc. etc. etc.) must be turned completely off backstage.  Turning cellphones to "silent" is not sufficient. These devices disrupt the sound and headset equipment and are an unnecessary distraction to cast and crew.  The Assistant Stage Manager/Deck Captain will enforce this policy.  The Assistant Stage Manager/Deck Captain may hand out the Crew Responsibilities/Expectations sheet. This sheet defines the responsibilities and expectations of Run Crew members.

Design and Stage Management Applications

Students may apply to design or stage manage for any department productions upon successful completion of THE-121: Introduction to Theatre Design. Application deadlines are announced over the department listserv and in Theatre Production class, however it is never too early to apply for a position. Applications consist of an initial Design Application and cover letter submitted by the student to the Staff Production Manager/Technical Director. Juniors and Seniors must also include a resumé. This application process will usually be followed by an interview with one or more of the following people: Staff Production Manager/Technical Director, director of the production, and/or a member of the design faculty.

Load-in

All Theatre majors are required to attend Load-in. In order to benefit from the complete theatre experience, non-major members of the cast and crew of a production are encouraged to participate in at least one shift of Load-in.  Load-ins will usually (but not always) occur on Saturdays starting at 9:00 a.m. as scheduled on the Department Calendar. The Faculty/Staff and production staff will work together coordinating tasks to facilitate a safe and smooth Load-in. Typically, load-ins are run in two shifts: morning and afternoon. Students sign up for one shift. Make sure to sign in and out on the Load-in Sign-in/Out Sheet.  Students who miss part or all of a Load-in are required to make up the hours missed.  Contact the Staff Production Manager/Technical Director in advance of the missed Load-in to make these arrangements. 

Strike

All Theatre majors are required to attend Strike. In order to benefit from the complete theatre experience, non-major members of the cast and crew of a production are encouraged to participate in at least one shift of Strike.  Strikes will usually (but not always) occur immediately following the last performance. Strike is traditionally a rather chaotic affair, so every effort must be made to insure safety and efficiency. The Faculty/Staff and production staff will work together coordinating tasks to facilitate a safe and smooth strike. You must remain alert and continue to take initiative--the more effective each individual is, the sooner everyone can go home. Make sure to sign in and out on the Strike Sign-in/Out Sheet.  Students who miss part or all of a Strike are required to make up the hours missed.  Contact the Staff Production Manager/Technical Director in advance of the missed Strike to make these arrangements. 

Postmortem

Postmortem occurs during the Theatre Production meeting immediately following the final performance of a production. It is an opportunity to review what went right and what went wrong during the preparation and implementation of that production. All cast, and crew members are encouraged to participate. All, with the exception of the Director and faculty/staff, are given two minutes to share their perspectives on the production. This is not the place for "thank you's," unproductive complaints, or personal attacks. It is intended to help make future productions more efficient.

Crew Requirements

In addition to the regular course requirements, a major in Theatre demands a significant commitment of time and energy to production work. All Theatre majors, including Theatre Teaching, are required to participate in all Load-ins and Strikes. The tentative dates for Load-ins and Strikes will be listed on the Department Calendar available online. If unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances warrant a change from the tentative Load-in and/or Strike dates, the new date(s) and time(s) will be posted on the Callboard and you will receive an email on the Theatre Student Listserv to that effect as early as possible.

Attendance at all Load-ins and Strikes is required. If you must miss due to illness, a doctor's excuse must be obtained and given to the Staff Production Manager/Technical Director as soon as possible. Other excused absences must be arranged with Staff Production Manager/Technical Director in advance.

Unexcused absences from a Load-in, Strike, or other mandatory call must be made-up at a two-for-one rate (for every hour missed, two must be made up).

Weekly Production Meetings (Theatre Production aka "Prod")

Every Monday, the Department meets for Theatre Production.  Every Theatre major is required to attend Theatre Production each week. This is especially important for anyone with a position of responsibility on the current production (designers, master carpenter, master electrician, etc.).  The only exceptions will be made for students with UNAVOIDABLE conflicts such as a class that can only be taken at that time, Crimson Express rehearsal, etc. If you have a conflict with Theatre Production, see the Department Chair at the beginning of the semester to explain. You may take Theatre Production for 1 credit per semester, if your schedule allows.

Weekly Design Meetings 

Regular Design Meetings will be scheduled for each production.  The day and time of the meetings will be determined based on schedules.  In general, the director, assistant director, staff producton manager/technical director, stage manager, scenic designer, lighting designer, costume designer, props, hair/makeup designer, sound designer, and any assistant designers are expected to attend these meetings.  There may be exceptions and/or additions to this list. 

Rehearsal/Performance Etiquette

Two cardinal rules of the theatre are to be on time and to be prepared. If you are not at least ten minutes early for rehearsal or a work call, you are late. Chronic tardiness is grounds for removal from a production or crew. Although the assumption is that everyone will be on time and ready to work, there may be isolated instances when a cast or crew member is late. During Technical Rehearsals, Dress Rehearsals, and performances, Stage Managers will require that the tardy cast or crew member remain after rehearsal/performance until the Stage Manager leaves for the evening. Tardiness in such cases is defined as not being signed in by the announced deadline whether or not the person is actually present.

Not only must you be present at every rehearsal and work call for which you are called, but you are also expected to be prepared. In performance, this is particularly applicable to the memorization of lines. One of the basic requirements of acting is to have your lines down cold--no real work can happen in rehearsal until this is accomplished. Preparation for work calls includes wearing appropriate clothing for the task at hand.

If you move seats out of the audience area in the Studio Theatre, make sure you replace them in the exact spot from whence they came.

As a common courtesy, any rehearsal furniture or props set up or brought into a theatre space must be struck and the room returned to its original condition (or better). You are expected to clean up after yourself--do not leave furniture or a mess for the next person to remove. A cluttered environment leads to an atmosphere of disarray and unprofessionalism.

There will be no extraneous talking, eating, or drinking during rehearsal. It is rude and distracting to those working onstage. After checking with the Stage Manager, go elsewhere to review lines or talk during rehearsal. However, you are expected to be aware of when your scene is coming up and to be attentive and prepared when called. Crew members present during rehearsal must abide by these same policies.

During Technical Rehearsals, Dress Rehearsals, and performances, headset chatter should be kept to a minimum. The purpose of headsets is to facilitate communication. Excessive talking about nonessential topics interferes with the communication process and must be avoided. Stage Managers may set their own individual policies regarding penalties for continued excessive headset chatter. See Headset Etiquette below

Always bring your scripts and a pencil to rehearsal. You are expected to review blocking, character work, and any changes that occur during rehearsal prior to the next rehearsal of that scene. You are encouraged to go over the work done in rehearsal immediately following that rehearsal to set it in your mind and again immediately prior to rehearsing the material the next time so it is fresh.

Do not give other actors "coaching" nor should you seek such advice from your friends. If you have a suggestion or feel strongly about an issue in rehearsal, bring it to the Director's (or Assistant Director's) attention. It is unprofessional to "direct" others in the cast, or to change your blocking or performance based on advice from friends, relatives, or critics.

During production, NO ONE is to tamper with any production elements without express Faculty or Staff approval. During performance, do not disturb any prop or costume that is not your responsibility.

Any production costume pieces that require laundering must be hung up on the designated rack in the Dressing Room, Hallway, or Costume Shop immediately following rehearsal or performance. Any production costume pieces that require mending must be brought to the attention of a member of the Costume Construction Crew as soon as possible using the Costume Grief Sheet.

Makeup will be provided for non-Theatre major cast members of Department productions, but majors are required to obtain their own makeup kits. This should include personal brushes, sponges, pencils, etc. To maintain good hygiene, do not share pencils, makeup brushes, sponges, etc., and wash out all brushes and sponges after each use. Make up kits are available from local costume shops, theatrical supply houses, and the UIndy Bookstore.

Do not leave valuables in Dressing Rooms during performance--the Stage Manager will collect them. To ease this responsibility, please leave all unessential valuables at home during performance.

All cast and crew members are to sign-in at each Dress Rehearsal and performance. You are only to sign yourself in. The Stage Manager or Student Directed Productions Production Manager may establish a policy of penalties for tardiness.

Headset Etiquette

* There should be no talking over the headsets during Technical Rehearsals, Dress Rehearsals, previews, or performances with the following exception: when the Stage Manager gives a stand-by cue, all crew members on headset should reply with "standing" or "standing by."
* There should be NO talking when a cue is in standby
* Cues should not be taken until the Stage Manager's "go" command.
* If requested, crew members may notify the Stage Manager when a cue has completed by saying "cue X complete" or similar.
* There should be no discussion about a cue until after the cue has been taken.
* Everyone on headsets should be aware that they can be heard by anyone else picking up a headset or even walking near an unused headset with the volume turned up. Crew members should take into consideration this public nature and should refrain from derogatory comments, profanity, etc.

Technical Rehearsal Definitions/Who is Called

There are a number of different kinds of rehearsals that are (or may be) scheduled during the final phase of a production's rehearsal process. Please refer to the following chart to determine which rehearsals you are required to attend.

Staggerthrough/Stumblethrough/First Runthrough--the first rehearsal in which the cast runs through the entire show, usually mid-way through the rehearsal process. Desginers and crew members are encouraged to attend

Runthrough/Crew View--Just prior to Tech Weekend, most directors will hold one or more runthrough rehearsals in which the cast performs long sections (acts or the entire play), without interruption. This is an opportunity for those working backstage, front of house, designers, faculty, staff, et al., to see the show in its entirety prior to the beginning of technical rehearsals.

Paper Tech--a meeting in which the Stage Manager and director meet with various designers to go over cues without actors or crew members. It is an opportunity to talk through the cues and for the Stage Manager to pencil cues into her/his prompt book. Paper tech should be scheduled several days before the first Technical Rehearsal (Dry Tech, Cue to Cue, Tech/Run) in order to give the Stage Manager time to prepare her/his prompt book.

Dry Tech--a technical rehearsal without actors. It is an opportunity to set and rehearse cues and other technical elements without the actors. Not every production will include a dry tech.

Cue to Cue (Q2Q)--a technical rehearsal with actors, but not costumes or makeup. The entire production company works through the play one cue at a time, skipping portions of the dialogue in which there are no technical cues or events.

Shift Rehearsal/Scene Shift Rehearsal--a rehearsal for the stage management team and the Run Crew to rehearse scene changes.

Tech/Run--a rehearsal putting together all of the technical elements except costumes and hair/makeup. The cast performs all the dialogue and blocking, not just that surrounding cues.

Dress/Tech (Dress Rehearsal)--the final rehearsals prior to Preview(s) in which all technical elements including costumes and hair/makeup are included. Usually, these rehearsals are run without interruption as if an audience were present.

Preview(s)--the final rehearsal(s) just prior to opening night which includes an audience for the first time. This may be an invited audience of family and friends, or a public performance free of charge or at a reduced rate.

The following are called:

  Staggerthrough Runthrough
Crew View
Paper Tech Dry Tech Q2Q Shift Rehearsal Tech/Run Dress/Tech
Performances
Scenic Designer
X
X

If extensive
scenery changes,
fly cues, etc.

If extensive
scenery changes,
fly cues, etc.
If requested
X
X
Lighting Designer
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Sound Designer
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Costume Designer
X
X
If quick changes
If quick changes
If quick changes
X
Props Designer*
X
X
If requested
If requested
X
X
Assistant Designers
X
X
X
X
X
If requested
X
X
 
Master
Carpenter
If requested
If requested
If requested
If requested
If requested
If requested
Master Electrician
If requested
If requested
If requested
If requested
If requested
If requested
Stage Manager
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
ASM/Deck Captain
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Hair/Makeup Designer*
X
X
If requested
X
Hair/Makeup Coordinator*
X
If requested
X
X
Costume Supervisor *
X
If quick changes
If quick changes
X
Wardrobe Crew
X
If quick changes
If quick changes
X
X
Hair/Makeup Crew  
X
       
If requested
X
X
Run Crew
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Props Crew  
X
 
If requested
X
X
X
X
X
Sound Board Operator
X
X
X
X
X
X
Light Board Operator
X
X
X
X
X
X
Front of House
X
X
Production Manager (SDP's)
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X

*If the area under this position needs extra help during tech and performances, these positions may be called upon to attend.

Job Descriptions...