Design and Technical Positions

Tech Calls

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, 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, the Theatre Arts scene shop in 221, or the Montgomery Theatre. All of these spaces are on the Stage Level (SL) of the center. Wear appropriate clothes and footwear for painting and construction activity.

Contact Cat Johnson, the Theatre Arts Technical and Production Coordinator 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 Cat Johnson, Theatre Arts Technical and Production Coordinator, to discuss available positions and what would be of most interest.  Some of the positions available for most Theatre Arts Program productions include:

Stage Manager

Assistant Stage Manager

Costume Designer


Lighting Designer

Master Electrician


Running Crew

Scenic Designer

Props Designer/Artisan


Scene Painter

Sound Designer

Light-board Operator

Soundboard Operator


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.