There are many opportunities during the course of the semester to work backstage as a carpenter, electrician, painter, or with costume construction. Each production has its own needs and roles backstage will vary from show to show. However, it is assumed that students who participate backstage are with us to learn, so no experience is necessary--just the desire to work hard and learn!
PLEASE NOTE: Any Penn student can volunteer for tech calls and no experience is necesary. Time spent at tech calls can be used for the practicum requirement for the major (15hours=practicum), THAR130 project credit (15 hours) or you can simply come in to learn and help with the production. All Theatre Arts work calls take place in the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts--usually in the Annenberg Center scene shop or the Montgomery Theatre. Both of these spaces are on the Stage Level (SL) of the center. Wear appropriate clothes and footwear for painting and construction activity.
Contact the Theatre Arts technical director for more information.
Design and Technical Positions
The Theatre Arts Program mounts several productions every academic year and offers students the opportunity to take on a wide range of roles in theatre production. During the production process, students will work with professionally-trained faculty directors and designers, as well as visiting outside theatre professionals. Our production process is modeled on professional theatre practice, and students who work with us will gain experience not only in the technical crafts of theatre production, but will also develop a sound understanding of the collaborative process involved in the creation of theatre. We view theatre production as a laboratory for student growth—artistically, intellectually, and personally. As much as anything else, it is the personal growth of student practitioners which determines the ultimate success of our productions.
Many Theatre Arts Program production positions require no backstage experience while others, particularly in the areas of design, may require technical training or experience. All students interested in joining the production team of a Theatre Arts production should contact the Theatre Arts technical director, or Cat Johnson, Production Manager, to discuss available positions and what would be of most interest. Some of the positions available for most Theatre Arts Program productions include:
Assistant Stage Manager
Other Production Positions
All Theatre Arts majors will need to complete at least one practicum project to fulfill the graduation requirements for the major. However, students are encouraged to participate in more than the one project required for the practicum requirement.
Wear clothes in which you can paint and get dusty. Wear sturdy footwear.