Theatre is an art form with many contributions from various other crafts, from makeup, sound and lights, to costume and set design, the stage is a place for more than monologues.
The SHS Theatre department is a welcoming home for any help, and is always supportive of the different elements of theatre, whether the student wants to be a stagehand, dresser, usher, light or sound technician, prop maker, costume maker, choreography planner and teacher, or an actor, just to name a few. If a student is ready and willing to help out in any way, SHS Theatre Department is ever grateful to accept the work.
Below is a list of positions in the SHS Theatre Department:
Co-Directors are responsible for helping to adapt scrips to better fit the actors, and should consort closely with the current theatre teacher and the stage manager, and should undertake responsibly that echo of the director. They should come every rehearsal and dress rehearsal, as well as shownights.
The stage manager keeps the actors and stagehands in check, and helps with the blocking of a scene. A stage manager has to be ready to criticize and point out the flaws in what they see so that the actors may improve what they're trying to convey. If a harsh stage manager sees a problem in the scene, it is better to point it out than let a hundred audience members see. They do not necessary need to be harsh, but they need to be blunt and honest in order to reap the best results.
Nothing expresses a character more visually than a costume. Matching fabrics, colors, or patterns between two characters suggests a likeness in personality or a romantic affiliation, and drab colors reflect a plain or poor character. Accessories and how they wear them also leaves clues about the character, and, as such, is a pivotal part of the visual image. Costume designers must be able to see a character in who he/she is in their entirety, and be able to hem, sew, widen clothes, thin clothes with darts, and other tailoring skills. They must have a good grasp of color and pattern, and how it reflects the scene and the character. They should come to set-aside costume/accessory-centered rehearsals/workshops or any other special appointment.
Set designers work extremely close with the director of the play, as the set is detrimental to the blocking of the characters and how the scene expresses itself without the characters on stage. Each scene may require a different or altered set, and set designers must be willing to accommodate this and sketch out designs for each required set. Set designers must work with the prop gatherers in order to let the set shine and look its full potential by acquiring the smaller pieces. Set designers must inform and keep up-to-date the prop gatherers on what pieces they must bring. They should come to set aide prop/set-centered rehearsals/workshops or any other special appointment.
Prop Gathering and Making/Altering
Props are objects used on set that apply to the scene or help it exude an certain aura, such as a fireplace or a quill; they give a physicality to the time period of the set and the personality of the characters that live or work there. Prop gatherers work closely to the set designer so that they have a better idea of what is needed on set, the color scheme, and the small décor items used to sprinkle about on set. Some objects must be altered or changed to accommodate the needs of the play, and if prop gatherers are bring in items from home, they must recognize the possibility that their item might be altered. They should come to set aside prop/set-centered rehearsals/workshops or any other special appointment.
Makeup Designing and Art
Makeup can give the illusion that some part of the face is different, from giving a young child rosy cheeks to giving an old lady bags and wrinkles. This talent can be utilized from glam makeup or SFX makeup, and the artists should be proficient or learning in these arts. A knowledge of color and how they blend, the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, and the differences between harmony, analogous, and complementary colors. They must also be proficient or learning in the brushes and materials used to apply the makeup, and the how the various materials in the makeup react together, such as alcohol based an water based. They should come to every dress rehearsal, as well as shownights.
Hair Designing and Art
Hair is an important element to theatre, and hair changes can be lengthy or very rapid, yet still maintain the same impact from the audience. (Scenes such as when the actress playing Jo March in Little Women 'cut her hair' -- also known as taking out extensions in a quick hair change) Hair usually has a setup in one of the theatre hallways, and actors know when to come for their required hair changes. It is the hair designer's job to let the character's personality or situation shine through in a visible manner, as directed by the costume designer and director. They must also be familiar with the materials and technology used to create the hairstyle. They should come to every dress rehearsal, as well as shownights
The dressers work closely with the costume designers, and utilize papers and notes describing costume changes and where those changes take place (stage right or stage left). Dressers' jobs are to help the actors get into the various costumes, petticoats, and other garments -- such as hats or cravats -- in the time allotted while making the costume look its best and most put together. If a stage hand has failed to move the costumes to the right place, the dresser should send another stage hand to retrieve the missing object(s) or go themselves. They should come to every dress rehearsal, as well as shownights.
From the large spotlight to all of the stage lights, a light tech must be comfortable playing close attention to both the play, script, and note sheet, as the light cues for any play are numerous. The show does not start until lights rise, and the small flash they give at five and one minute marks till a resumption of the play during intermission alerts the actors and other crew of the time remaining. The spotlight and the colored jellies that pair with it should be taken care of and set up early on enough that, when it is required, they can shine the light immediately where it is supposed to shine. They should come to every tech week rehearsal and dress rehearsal, as well as shownights.
From a doorbell and a clock chime to horse hooves and piano, sound is part of what makes theatre seem real. Without these effects, the actors must make them themselves, letting the audience see how it was done -- by mouth. However, a sound tech knows exactly when to play these lifelike sounds based on a copy of the script and sound notes they have at the ready in the box. A sound tech must be willing to be kept in a small room with other sound techs and light techs, and still be at the ready to utilize the garnered sounds. They also should be learning or proficient in the technology for microphones, speakers, and the sound system currently employed in the theatre. They should come to every tech week rehearsal and dress rehearsal, as well as shownights.
Ushers help people know where to sit, walk, and generally go after they enter the theatre. They should make it common knowledge among the audience that there is to be no wandering the halls, stage, backstage, or any place of the school that is blocked off. They should also instruct audience members as to where the emergency exits are and the aisles they should walk down. As a frontrunner of the play and a representative of the school, ushers should dress nice and in color-compliance with whatever the director or teacher tells them. They should come every shownight.
Concession Stand Tending
Intermission is a time for actors and stagehands to catch a break, and to allow the audience to stretch and move about, but it is the busiest time for the concession stand worker. They must be responsible about money and timely with producing snacks, drinks, and various other items. The concession stand worker should be at the stand any time the play is not in an active performance time, such as before the show starts. They should be open and ready to go as soon as the doors open, willing to help, greet, and service the audience for their concession needs. They should come every shownight.
In plays such as musicals or ones that require a dancing or singing element, choreographing is vital to the stage. From teaching actors the 1-2-3 of a waltz, to where to dance to and how to hold their hands, a choreographer is as important as the music itself. They should come to set aside choreographing rehearsals or any other special appointment.
Stage Hand Working
Stage hands are some of the most underrated yet vital part of theatre. Stage hands are responsible for moving any sort of costume, prop, or set piece into its proper location before, during, and after a performance. This includes setting things up for the next show night, if there is one. Stage hands also help to move off various items or set pieces from the stage itself, and are required to wear all black when doing so, as it allows for a more seamless transition into the next scene, where those objects will not be used. They should come every dress rehearsal, as well as shownights.
Not all plays are custom written to fit our own SHS Theatre, but any script requires reviewing and editing. Some scenes are to be removed entirely, and other times lines are to be added into the script. From grammar to continuality, it is in the best interests for any theatre to review or proof-read its scripts. On a few instances, when the script is deemed acceptable, people around the theatre such as Mrs. Page or Sadie Collins utilize their writing talents to give the theatre a wonderful show. (Mrs. Page has written the adaptation of the play Midsummer Night's Dream - A Musical, and Sadie Collins has written Dear Delirium, The Life and Mysteries of Edgar Allen Poe.)
The actors are, arguably, the most important part of a play. As such, attendance is mandatory and not forsaken. Memorizing lines, blocking, and practicing their emotional range are all parts of an actor's job. As an actor, they must be able to have a convincing manner about any character they're presented with, and should be able to convince the audience that their character is real and alive. they must have a cool disposition about being in a situation a student may or may not be uncomfortable with, such as an intimate scene or a death scene. The actors must be ready and willing to take instructions from any other department, but epically the director, co-director, stage manager, and choreographer. They should come every rehearsal and dress rehearsal, as well as shownights.