Theater Boosters provides an organized volunteer base for your program. Here's what Theater Booster can do: Rehearsal and Tech Day Dinner/Snack Use parents' expertise on technology tools that students may not be permitted or able to console ⚫ Assist in sourcing and transporting set-building materials ⚫ Procure, build, and organize costumes ⚫ Process ticket sales, front of store ⚫ Promote to your learning community
Organizing chaperones and/or transportation for field trips Decorating awards nights or senior recognition events Cooking/decorating for guest critic receptions ⚫ Creating display cases Field trip and senior scholarship fundraisers Setting up commercial ticket purchases and online ticket sales ⚫ Program coordination, t-shirts and poster printing ⚫ Photo fundraising for additional equipment (e.g. microphones, scrims, backdrops, tools, many things that cannot or cannot be purchased at the school) ⚫ Hosting cast parties ⚫ Establishing and maintaining a department website
Hang a poster on the cinder block wall of your room that requires a special drill bit that no one else in the school building could do. The degree of role a booster plays in production and promotional support often depends on the size and maturity of the department. Whenever possible, students should take advantage of opportunities to participate in production and promotional roles that they feel are necessary and appropriate for them to handle. However, adult supervision often helps ensure student success.
All of this can be good and positive for your students, your school, your community, your workload and your sanity, as long as your role as theater director is clearly defined, maintained and respected by all involved. Great booster parents are active and supportive regardless of the role their child plays. These are often executives in booster organizations who “figure it out.” This means understanding that educational theater is about the group experience, not the individual reputation of one student. This also means understanding that participation in the school theater department is a reward in itself and sets a positive example for all students involved.
activities in the community; It is about creating goodness and growth together. Find common ground on which you and your parent booster can agree. We all want every child to have a positive developmental experience in the theatre. When dedicated parents embrace this philosophy, amazing things happen. Everyone feels supported, united, less stressed, and more accomplished.
What would you do if you didn't have a theater booster? Seek advice from your school system's department chair, administrator, or other theater director. Choose your battles.
Remember: “Once a revolution, twice a tradition.”
The old $30 appearance fee, which we'd really like to get rid of, could be reduced to $20 this year, and happily abolished in two years. Especially in the first year of a new job, it's wise to assess the situation before mandating any number of changes. Select first the most important issues related to professional integrity. That is the most important battle. Time and consistency will be your best friends.
You can raise funds to help the drama department, but your school account is separate from your booster account and follows different rules. One of your most important jobs may be running errands for fabrics, lumber, props, food, etc., but if the cost is paid for through tuition, you must get approval from the school before purchasing those items, and even reimbursement must be made.
This was done in accordance with our school's financial procedures. Your most important job is to help fill the seats at our shows. So anything we can do to promote our work and give our children the wide audience their hard work deserves is beneficial. In practice, you will also need a chaperone, a chauffeur, and, if requested, help with backstage tasks such as set and costume construction. It is not the guardian's job to participate, only to supervise and keep the children safe. From water to keep singers hydrated, to snacks during rehearsals, to preparing last-minute pizza to keep work sessions going longer, to providing meals for a few long rehearsals, feeding your troops is important.
Your Department's Production Schedule First things first: Is your production season already scheduled somewhere on the school calendar? Who creates and updates such things? Where was the show published? Can you accept that decision? Do you want it? What You Can and Can't Change There are many pieces to the production scheduling puzzle. Who else uses the places around you: theaters, auditoriums, black boxes, cafetoriums, gyms, etc.? How does it work?
Does the department hold a series of pre-competition concerts on the same part of the calendar each year? Has your student council planned an event at any random time during the year? Will you be using the space for SAT testing on the day you want to host the show? Could your show conflict with other school events? Find out what's happening, where, when and by whom! In a perfect world, what would you want and when? A fall full-length play, a winter one-act, a spring musical? Are there any competitions and/or festivals you would like your students to perform in or participate in?
Choosing an actual theater education show What to produce?! And where can I find it? When searching for a show take into account numerous considerations: production, then what shows have been produced there recently? I don't want to repeat the show that the school still remembers.
Also, what if your recent shows include Grease, Bye Bye Birdie, Hairspray or High School Musical, for example? Would you like to watch another hilarious show about high school, or are you looking for a new twist? drama? What type of play are you looking for? comedy? drama? Musicals sell the best, but they are also the hardest and most expensive to do.
Everyone loves a good comedy. But only if you can continue to move clearly. Dramas are the hardest to sell, especially if the title is unknown, but they can also be the greatest challenge for actors and the most memorable for actors and audiences alike. What genre do you want to do? classic? musical? Children's theater? Mystery? etc.? Mix it up. All of you will have a lot of fun.
As your theater education journey continues, it’s a good idea to vary what you offer your students. What does your available talent pool look like? Think in terms of talent. Of course, think in terms of numbers, gender divisions, and other intangibles as well. Race doesn't matter most of the time, but in some shows it might (using hairspray is difficult because it's either all white or all black). It's really depressing to pick a show for a cast of thousands and only have 10 kids show up to audition. Having 100 kids show up at the same time when you only need a cast of 10 is also a problem. Now you have trampled on the dreams of 90 children who will be going to school the next day (and the day after that...). They were disappointed, bitter, and angry.
What technical resources are available? What skills and experiences are available to you (students, colleagues, parents)? What ingredients do you already have? Consider available inventory apartments, platforms, lumber, costumes, accessories, set pieces, furniture, lamps and various prop items. Do you know if there are any children who can operate the lighting and sound equipment? Design for that? What about the set design? can you do it? Can children do it too? If not, then what?
Can I borrow set construction plans from SceneGraphics.com? Do you want your parents to build, help build, and supervise the process of building the set? Or would you rather just not participate? Do you have to be on site day and night for weeks to make sure the set is properly constructed? Do you know where I can rent costumes? Can you afford the rent? Do you have children?
Publishing Playwrights enter into a contract with a publishing company to sell their work. The publisher advertises and prints the script (or provides an electronic script), charges a fee for each copy, and also charges a royalty for each performance of that show, whether or not an admission fee is charged. All publishers have websites where you can read plot outlines, character analysis, instrument descriptions, etc. (the amount of information varies depending on the location), and order them online or by fax, email or regular mail.
The musical company will send you viewing copies of up to three performances (postage paid) over a three-week period. Others will require you to purchase a copy of the show (for less than $10), and some straight play (non-musical) companies will allow you to read most of the show online.
Are you looking for a publisher for a specific show? Try www.FindaPlay.com. It's not comprehensive, but it's pretty good. You also pay shipping costs and wait for that script to arrive unless you want to pay extra for faster shipping. For musicals, the libretto and music are usually rented rather than sold, arriving two months before the performance date unless you pay extra to purchase them earlier. Music for orchestra also assumes the presence of versatile and talented performers. So, for example, if your clarinetist can't also play the saxophone, you may need to rent additional musical parts. Orchestral music may also be presented in more than one version: full orchestra, combo, extended orchestra, and sometimes even the option of vocal parts (and accompanying instrumentalists) transposed to suit the range of vocalists or errata (correcting errors in the score) (list the details). Before doing a particular musical, go through these types of details.
You must pay attention to this clause. Most of this information will be requested with the contract, so work closely with your directors.
Ads can lead warm-ups, take rehearsal notes, rehearse one set of actors while working with another, triage questions while they're busy to minimize distractions, and act as a sounding board. Make it clear that you may overturn their artistic decisions.
Production/Business Manager Your business manager can track all income and expenses, receipts, refunds and related paperwork.
Technical Director (TD) - The TD coordinates schedules between the various technical departments, tracks and maintains work sessions, consolidates purchases from different departments in the same store, advises on safety standards, and acts as a bridge between you and the crew chief when necessary. You can mediate. In general, keep an eye on which departments are making progress and which departments are lagging or running into problems and keep them informed.
Stage Manager (SM) - Acting as the glue of any production, the SM handles the "management" of auditions, sets up and strikes the stage for rehearsals before bringing in the running crew, blocks records, records rehearsal notes, and , and ultimately calls the cue and handles anything expected (or unexpected) that arises during the performance.
Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) - These students are essential to success backstage. I'm performing. You can post one on either side of the backstage with Telex communication with the booth and stage manager calling the show. Two or three trusty assistants can help SM with errands, keep the actors quiet backstage, fetch actors, and whatever else is needed. This can be a great way for students to become apprentices to SM and learn about the entire production process.
Crew Chief This position consists of one person responsible for each technical department and has the leadership skills necessary to attract, organize and support crews to complete the job in a safe, timely and cost-effective manner. The leadership skills of crew chiefs may be more important than the technical skills they supervise. Division of labor reduces the burden on everyone and reduces the risk to the show if someone doesn't succeed. Encourage each team leader to have an assistant team leader, and emphasize that a representative must be present or sent to all production staff meetings.
Set Design - You may have a student who has a passion for set design, or whose ideas are best communicated to the production team using artistic renderings or models. Students usually need help with set design. Depending on your comfort level with this aspect of technical theater, original student set designs may be developed individually or in a technical theater class. You can also rent blueprints for sets that students can build at ScenoGraphics.com. Sketchup is a very user-friendly set design program. Especially after you create a template of your performance space and save it online for next time. PowerPoint also makes it easy to create neat floor plans or other set drawings. Building a Set Building a Stage Production Team Teams can be formed mostly from technical theater classes, but plan a technical or production day where all theater students can help. Call your parents if necessary. But make sure there's plenty of instruction on safety, foundation building, and age-appropriate skills your students can develop, including cleaning!
Draft to go. Watch out for ads for products/venues you don't want to promote at your school (e.g. your local college bar), misspelled names, or missing crew members. Make it easy to thank adults or businesses who volunteer their time, money, materials, or barter program space for a discount or donation. If possible, try to stay in-house for printing, and if not, at least have the program's ads pay for the printing.
Lighting -Students who master the lighting console (and associated lighting tools) are beautiful! For these students and apprentices, the future may involve planning and recording cues, focusing on lighting tools, and even playing with moving lights if they have them.
Stage lighting suppliers are always happy to demonstrate their products. This is a great way to show your students the differences, even if you don't know them yourself. Refuse to purchase stage lighting lamps until your athletic department self-funds the cost of replacing gym light bulbs! Find out if your school system contracts with specific companies to purchase equipment at bulk discount prices, even if you only need a few items. Perhaps the school's building use account will be a funding source for lamp replacement.
Every audience has its own personality. You have to trust the script and preparation.
Defining Success as an Individual -So how do you know if your play was successful? What if the process goal was achieved? What if you sold a lot of tickets or made a lot of money? What if people talk about it the next day? How did the audience react? What if everyone stayed at the stadium and no one got hurt during the big fight scene? What if you were nominated, won an award, or received positive reviews from critics? Students will look to you to tell you whether their show was a success. Think about it. How do you know what to say?
Focus on the process -If you have a growth paradigm permeating your department, asking students how they have grown or commenting on how an actor or technician has grown is a sign of praise, or approval. Your educational play should focus on growth, not perfection of performance. This should be left to the experts. Focusing on growth also takes away focus from the lamps that burn out mid-performance, the lines that are missed, and the stage curtains that close too slowly. You have to assume that everyone is doing their best. Those expectations were communicated. Yes? If you have a student who has particular work ethics concerns, talk to them privately. Get your approval from the group and mention specific ways they have grown or made artistic discoveries. If there are any issues you notice, don't ignore them. Instead, praise and mention everyone's hard work and artistic growth, and devise quick fixes for mistakes that shouldn't be repeated. Reserve time to redo scenes, redo set changes, and improve specific issues before the next show. Of course, get feedback on how your students' ideas progressed. You might be surprised by some of their opinions!
Find Balance - Maintaining a balance between the importance of process and product will help you and your students stay focused on growth. Of course, there are minimum standards to bring to the stage, and the expectation must be communicated that everyone will do their best, redefine them, and then exceed them again. But if you engage in a systematic, disciplined, and nurturing process, your product will take care of itself. Although we cannot control what individual audiences expect or receive from a production, we can encourage students to develop characters, skills, and ensembles while working together respectfully and learning the ways of theatre. You are the one who gives them the opportunity to discover the artistry and discipline that ultimately means the most to them as they create productive gifts for their communities. This is where the invisible process and the final product come together.
Real World Theatre Education by Chip Rome: Chapter 4. Preparing for production
Myungja Anna Koh