Setting the scene as part of the stage crew
Students build the sets for our shows.
Co-Sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
and the Brothers of the Christian Schools
The CDH Theater Department is in constant motion, from curricular classes and showcases, to production stage crew, rehearsals, and performances. Theater is truly the sum of its parts. We believe it takes much more than great actors to make a great production. Everyone is welcome to be a part of stage crew.
For each production produced in a season, students volunteer take on the responsibilities of the various crew specialties. We believe students become stronger actors by participating in stage crew, which is the reason why we require every actor to participate in a minimum of three hours of set construction.
Stage Crew Heads work directly with the director in order to research, design, and manifest costumes, props, sound, publicity, archives, hair and make-up for an entire production. Crew head positions are as coveted as acting leads.
Select an area of crew to sign up for participation as a Head. If you want to work on a specific part of a show, but not necessarily be in charge of that area, use the "General Crew Interest" sign-up. If you have questions about what that position entails, click on the tan box below the sign-ups.
If you want to work on a specific part of a show, but not necessarily be in charge of that area, use the "General Crew Interest" sign-up.
If you have questions about what a specific position entails, click on the tan box below the sign-ups.
Crew Work Hours are decided on at the beginning of each show’s rehearsal process. Some crews work after school hours, while others work in the evenings and on weekends. The director, each crew head, and the production staff will have this information for you – do not be afraid to ask. Crew Hours will also be listed on the Current Production’s Rehearsal Page.
If you miss signing up on the day of auditions, you can pick-up a form from the director (Mrs. Kreitzer or AFG). The student crew head should contact you within a week from signing up. If after a week you have not been called, please let the director know and she will put you in touch with you crew right away.
The student Stage Manager will contact you the following week regarding work sessions. Students will typically meet in the evenings from 6 – 9 p.m., as well as on weekends between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Work sessions are announced via email, afternoon announcements, text messages, and/or the CDH Theater Rehearsal Page.
What you will be doing: You will be building and painting the set for productions. A typical crew session might include: building a platform out of wood, painting a backdrop, cutting wood, or hanging lights. You do not need previous experience with power tools prior to coming to crew, but any experience is welcome and appreciated.
What you will be doing: The Assistant Director is responsible for helping the director in a variety of ways. The AD will attend all rehearsals and write down the blocking for every scene. The AD will help to warm up actors prior to rehearsal and help the cast to focus on the work of the rehearsal. The AD acts as a liaison between crew and cast. The AD will also be involved in several “errand” jobs such as: photocopying, calling actors who are late, running to get props, etc.
Prerequisite for AD positions are Acting I class as well as previous stage experience. Typically AD positions will be reserved for upper classmen, but there are some exceptions.
The Stage Manager is responsible for overseeing all the technical elements of the show. They will technically “run” the show for every performance by calling out cues in the booth, or by managing scene changes and cast backstage. The Stage Manager should attend every set construction work session and is responsible for advertising those work sessions via the message board, text messages, and posters.
It is recommended, but is not necessary, that the Stage Manager be familiar with the light board and the soundboard.
What will you be doing: The student crew head should be contacting crewmembers within a week from signing up. The Make-up/Hair student crew head will invite workers to make-up/hair work sessions, which will typically be after school. These sessions will be to inform workers of the plot, the characters, and the general look for each of the characters. Each crewmember will be assigned two or three actors. Each worker will practice make-up and hair ideas on other crewmembers and then on the actors. Each make-up/hair crewmember will be in charge of their assigned actors’ make-up and hair for dress rehearsals and shows.
What will you be doing: The student crew head, should be contacting crewmembers within a week from signing up. The archives crew is responsible for photographing the process and the product of each show. The final result of the archives crew is to create a well-designed and documented scrapbook.
Archives crew will attend several rehearsals to photograph the actors, choreography, set construction, directing, crew work etc. This crew is exciting to students who have an interest in photography or moviemaking, as well as to students who enjoy scrap booking. The archives crew should work together to create a digital scrapbook, which will be saved in a hard copy in the Theater Department library. A video can be made as another form of archiving, but the first priority of this crew is to make a scrapbook.
What will you be doing: Sound crew is responsible for all the sound effects in a production. Sound crew also creates any music that is used prior to a show or during a show’s run. During a musical, sound crew will be responsible for running and monitoring actors’ microphones. No previous experience with sound is necessary to be on sound crew. The Sound crew head will call workers to inform them of work sessions’ days and times, typically one day after school and one evening or Saturday. Sound crew is asked to attend Stage Crew work hours because sound work will overlap their crew time.
What will you be doing: The House Management team runs the ‘front of house,’ or ticket sales and intermission concessions before and during a play’s performances. House crewmembers and their crew head will design and paint the ticket booth, and create a look for the lobby based on the nature and content of the current show. The House Management team also works with the Archives crew in order to take head shots of cast and crew members, and the pit orchestra if the show is a musical, to create a display in the lobby of everyone involved in each production. House Manager crew heads will contact their crewmembers regarding work hours, typically after school. However, during performance weekends, House Management will work before and during each performance.
What will you be doing: The Scenic Painters are responsible for overseeing all of the painted elements in a show. The scenic painting crew head and crewmembers will work with a professional scenic painter to paint backdrops, furniture, set pieces, walls, floors, signage, specific hand props, etc. Crewmembers will learn a variety of painting techniques, depending on the design style of each show. The Scenic Paint crew head will contact crewmembers regarding work hours, which will typically be in the evening or on Saturdays.
What will you be doing: The student crew head, should be contacting crewmembers within a week from signing up. The Props crew head will invite workers to props work sessions, which will typically be after school. These sessions will be to inform workers of the props necessary for the show. Workers will then assist the student crew head in making, building, painting, and finding props. You may have to visit thrift stores or call various places to order props. This crew does not include set props such as furniture, but does include characters’ hand props and some set decorations such as a vase of flowers.
What will you be doing: Publicity crew is in charge of advertising the play. The Publicity crew head and crew members will be responsible for designing the poster as well as painting the advertising banner that hangs over the theater entrance. Publicity crew will also help send an invitational mailing out to all Catholic grade schools and high schools to inform them of our play. Publicity is also welcome to give ideas for new methods to advertise the show. Publicity crew usually works after school.
What will you be doing: The costume crew is responsible for borrowing, finding and making (or finding someone to make) the costumes for the CDH theater productions. The costume crew heads should assign crewmembers work each time costume crew is called (usually after school). Workers might be responsible for pulling out certain costumes from the costume rooms and to give them to actors for fittings, or workers might be asked to adjust a costume with hot melt glue or simple sewing techniques. Crew members do not need to be a skilled sewer to be on costume crew. Costume crew is a great crew to join, if you have an interest in design, textiles, color design, or fashion.
What will you be doing: Lighting crew is responsible for hanging and focusing lights for productions. Crew members may also be asked to run spot lights if you are available during productions. The lights crew head will call workers to inform them of work sessions’ days and times, which typically will be in the evenings from 6-9 p.m., or on Saturdays. No previous experience with lighting is required to be on lights crew. Sometimes the lights crew will be asked to come to Stage Crew work sessions because some of the lighting work overlaps with other technical work.