Get Involved Backstage

Take a tech theatre class, or work on a production. You don't have to be a theatre major or minor to get involved!

Classes | Crew Positions | Design and Management Positions | Paid Student Staff Positions

Design, Technology, and Management Classes

Design

Though numbered in the 400's, these are entry-level classes covering ways designers conceive of scenery, costumes, or lighting. There are no pre-requisites. Focus is on script interpretation and conception of ideas through graphic communication (research, drawing, painting, model building, etc)

  • THE 451 Scene Design (3 credits); Offered fall semester in odd years
  • THE 453 Costume Design (3 credits): Offered fall semester in even years
  • THE 454 Lighting Design (3 credits): Offered spring semester in odd years

Technology Series

These are entry-level theatre technology classes, covering basic shop skills needed in each area of theatre. Each includes a 3-hour hands-on studio class and a 1-hour lab during which you practice your skills on theatre department productions. See the Undergraduate Bulletin for full descriptions.

  • THE 253 Costume Construction Fundamentals (3 credits) and THE 205 Costume Lab (1 credit): Offered spring semester in even years
  • THE 254 Fundamentals of Lighting and Sound (3 credits) and THE 206 Lighting Lab (1 credit): Offered fall semester in even years
  • THE 255 Scenery and Prop Construction (3 credits) and THE 207 Scenery Lab (i credit): Offered fall semester in odd years
  • THE 258 Scene Painting Fundamentals (3 credits) and THE 208 Paint Lab (1 credit): Offered spring semester in odd years

Stage Management

  • THE 342 Stage Management (2 credits): Offered fall semester in even years

Crew Work

We offer 1 credit hour of Theatre Practicum (THE 200) to anyone interested in working on a stage crew. Credit can be earned in any of the following:

Shop (build) crews

You can work in any one of our production shops: scenery, costumes, painting, or electrics. Scenery and costume crews build the shows, and that work happens during the day. Electrics crew hangs and focuses lights. and does most of its work on weekends. If you are on a shop crew, we usually ask you to work the whole semester, on every production.

Backstage running crew

You can work on scenery running crew, props running crew, costume running crew or makeup running crew. These crews meet during the tech, dress and performances of shows and include evening and weekend hours. If you want to be on a run crew, we'd only ask you to run ONE show of the semester. Positions often include:

    • Scenery shift crew (setup, moving scenery during a show)
    • Prop run crew (setting props, preparing props for each show)
    • Wardrobe crew (setting costumes, helping actors change costumes)
    • Makeup crew (helping actors with hair and makeup)
    • Light board operator (operate light board, help with dimmer check)
    • Sound board operator (playback of sound effects, possible mixing of sound)
    • Productions sometimes call for other positions including follow spot operators, microphone wranglers, etc.

If you want to join any of these crews, the come to our "200 Fair" at the beginning of each semester and sign up, or contact our production manager Melanie Mortimore.

Design and Production Positions

For design and tech positions, a call for applications goes out each spring for the following season. These positions are also completed for practicum credit (THE 200 or THE 400). Positions are available in these areas:

Scene Design

The scene designer helps create the physical environment for the play. Process includes conceptual meetings with director and production team; analysis and research; drawing, model building, drafting all scenery for the production; providing paint elevations or color model; collaboration with the technical director, scenic artist, and scene shop to execute the design. In most cases, students who have completed THE 255 and 207 (scenery and prop construction class and lab) and THE 451 (scene design) will be given priority.

Students interested in scene design should first consider applying for a position as an assistant scene designer.

Please note that Scene Design does not involve the construction of scenery. If you love building scenery, consider a role on scenery build crew or in technical direction.

Costume Design

The costume designer envisions the costumes for the play. Process includes conceptual meetings with director and production team; analysis and research; drawing, rendering and swatching costumes for the production; collaboration with the costume shop supervisor to execute costumes. In most cases, students who have completed THE 253 and 205 (costume construction and lab), and THE 453 (Costume Design) will be given priority.

Students interested in costume design should first consider applying for a position as an assistant costume designer.

Lighting Design

The lighting designer illuminates the stage and establishes what the audience sees. Process includes conceptual meetings with director and production team; analysis and research; developing the light plot and accompanying paperwork; supervises focus; establishes cues. In most cases, students who have completed THE 254 and 206 (fundamentals of lighting and sound and lab) and THE 454 (lighting design) will be given priority.

Students interested in lighting design should first consider applying for a position as an assistant lighting designer.

Sound Design

The sound designer creates the aural environment for the play. Process includes conceptual meetings with director and production team; analysis and research; recording and/or editing sound effects; reinforcement. In most cases, students who have completed THE 254 and 206 (fundamentals of lighting and sound and lab) will be given priority.

Students interested in sound design should first consider applying for a position as an assistant sound designer.

Stage Management

The stage manager is the switchboard for all communication in the production process. The stage manager runs all production meetings; takes and distributes minutes; attends all rehearsals; serves as liaison between rehearsal and production areas; runs technical rehearsals; calls all performances. In most cases, students who have completed THE 342 (Stage Management) and who have served as assistant stage manager will be given priority.

Students interested in stage management should first consider applying for a position as an assistant stage manager.

Technical Direction

The technical director takes the scene design and determines how scenery will be built. Duties include engineering construction of scenic units; costing and ordering of materials; construction of scenery. In most cases, students who have completed THE 255 and 207 (scenery and prop construction and lab) and who have served as assistant technical director will be given priority.

Students interested in technical direction should first consider applying for a position as an assistant technical director.

Paid Student Staff Positions

The Department of Theatre hires qualified students to work in the costume shop, the electrics shop, the scene shop, and the paint shop. Please visit Miami University Jobs to search for student job openings!