(All run crew positions are a 3-4 week commitment, requiring attendance at all technical rehearsals and all performances). The following crew positions are “operators.” Sometimes one individual may be asked to operate multiple items, and sometimes we will need multiples of a particular type of operator; particularly follow Spot operators.
Light Board Operator
This person is responsible for operating our computerized lighting console during the run of a show. He or she will also be asked to do some basic programming during the course of the technical rehearsals. Also, the light board operator may be called upon to do simple maintenance on lighting fixtures, such as replacing a burned out lamp. A good operator will have facility with computers and be attentive in following the stage manager’s instructions.
Sound Board Operator
This person is responsible for operating all sound playback devices during a show (CD’s, Computer, etc.) as well as operating the mixing console. If the show uses live microphones, the sound operator will be responsible for checking them each show for proper functionality, and establishing good audio levels during the run of the show itself. Again, ability with computers is a plus, as is a good ear. Similar to the light board operator, the sound operator must also listen attentively to the stage manager’s instructions.
Follow Spot Operator
This crew member is responsible for the operation of one of our follow spots. This involves following a cue sheet that contains information about which actor to pick up, what beam size, what color, etc., and executing those cues either independently or upon stage manager instruction. Good follow spot operators have some dexterity to be able to smoothly follow an actor on stage 60 feet away while adjusting settings on the equipment, a good memory so that the spot movements can become consistent from show to show, and be extremely attentive to both the stage manager’s instructions and the action on stage.
Occasionally we will have projected images as an element of a show, and in this case a crew member is needed to make sure the images appear at the right moments in the show. In general, we will be using a computerized playback system, but any given show may use different technology. Like all other operators, the video operator must be able to follow the stage manager’s instructions. Also, general facility with computers is a plus.
The following crew positions are all “Backstage Crew.” In most gallery players shows, individual backstage crew members take on multiple roles during a show, sometimes doing all three over the course of each performance. Most shows require at least one backstage crew member, and some shows we have done required 6 or more.
A costume run crew member is expected to help keep all costumes organized back stage, make minor repairs to costumes if necessary, assist actors with getting into and/or out of costumes, especially during quick changes.
Props run crew members keep all props organized back stage, make minor repairs to props if necessary, assist actors by handing them their props or taking them away, and they also take care of the movement of props during scene changes.
Scenery Run Crew
Scenery run crew are responsible for the movement of scenic items during the show such as furniture, wagons, curtains, and drops. We do not have much of a fly system in our theatre, but if a particular show includes some sort of flying scenery it would fall upon the scenery run crew to make sure it comes in and out at appropriate times, usually following instructions from the stage manager.
PRE-RUN SHOW HELP
The following are all positions to assist in the process of putting together a show but not in the running of the show itself. Time commitment it extremely flexible for these positions.
Scenery Construction Crew
Scenic volunteers help with the construction and decoration of scenery. This may involve a lot of power tool usage, lifting of heavy objects, paint fumes, pneumatic staplers, and a host of other things that can get easily destroy one’s clothing. Volunteers for this position must be safety conscious and have some interest in building things.
Any given show may use over 100 individual light fixtures to establish all of the lighting looks needed. Lighting volunteers will help to hang, focus, and maintain all of those fixtures. This may also involve some basic wiring of ‘practical’ lights (such as wall sconces or rope-light) and usually means some climbing on ladders and catwalks. Again, safety consciousness is important, as the fixtures themselves are often heavy, hot, and 25 feet in the air.
Occasionally a show may have a complicated sound setup, and a sound volunteer would then assist in setting up microphones, speakers, amplifiers, signal processors, and other items to make a complete system.
If needed, a costumer may ask for assistance in building and maintaining costume pieces for a show. We do not have our own costume shop at the JCC, so having one’s own equipment is a major asset. Also, some ability to sew is rather useful!
The following are all more assistant type positions. These positions are generally not required, but if there are willing volunteers then we will likely be interested in making use of them. Time commitments will vary.
Light Board Programmer
In some cases a show will have such complex lighting that the lighting designer needs a person to take care of programming the light console during cue writing sessions and technical rehearsals. The JCC Technical director will teach the programmer how to use our lighting console. Ability with computers is an asset, and experience programming lighting consoles would be a big plus. Time commitment would involve a training session, a few programming sessions before and during Tech week, and possibly attendance at the first few technical rehearsals.
Assistant Master Electrician
This person would assist in making sure all lighting and electrical equipment is hung and powered properly. He or she would work with the lighting designer to ensure that the design is feasible. Also, he or she would assist in the maintenance of the lighting equipment during the run of the show, repairing broken fixtures and replacing burned out lamps as needed. Time commitment would involve at least attendance to light hang and focus calls, and possibly attendance before performances to perform channel checks.
Assistant Stage Manager
This volunteer would be responsible for helping the stage manager in running rehearsals, maintaining calendars and other paperwork, and possibly assist in the running of the show as well. This position could involve a very large time commitment, ranging from occasionally helping the stage manager with some paperwork to attending all rehearsals and performances.
With all of the following assistant design positions, time commitments can vary between having a few meetings with the designer and a bit of outside research up to attending all technical and dress rehearsals, designer runs, appropriate calls, and having numerous outside meetings and hours of research. In other words, there will probably be enough to do if a volunteer is interested in doing it!
Assistant Lighting Designer
This person would assist the lighting designer in coming up with a design for a show. This may involve doing research, maintaining paperwork, updating plots, assisting with hang and focus calls, taking notes during technical rehearsals, and other tasks as required.
Assistant Sound Designer
Similar to the assistant lighting designer, an assistant sound designer helps in coming up with a sound design for a show. It may involve research, hunting for specific songs or sound effects through various resources, helping develop and maintain paperwork, taking notes during technical rehearsals, programming sound effects into the playback computer, doing basic sound editing, and other tasks as needed.
Assistant Set Designer
An assistant set designer will assist the set designer with putting together the scenic design for a show. This does not necessarily involve any construction- rather, it involves help with research, drafting, budgeting, paperwork, and possibly taking a supervisory role over volunteers constructing or loading in the set.
An assistant costumer will help the costumer in designing and procuring the costumes for a show. This could involve doing research, hunting down items at thrift stores, helping with laundry, assisting in construction of built costumes, assisting with paperwork, or various other tasks.
Assistant Props Master
This person would assist the props master in finding and/or building the necessary props for a show. These could include hand props, furniture, set dressing, or possibly costume props as the show requires.
Assistant Projection Designer
In shows that have a projection element, an assistant projection designer would help the designer in creating or obtaining the necessary still or moving images for the show. He or she would also help with the implementation of a playback system for the show, and help generate and maintain any necessary paperwork.
Every performance needs several ushers to hand out programs, take tickets, and show people to their seats. An individual can sign up to usher multiple performances or a single performance, and the time commitment is only a couple hours. Also, you get to see the show for free!
Gallery Players has been in existence for a very long time, and in that time we have accumulated a lot of paper. Any help we can get with sorting and cataloging all of it is very much appreciated. Time commitment will be based on how long it takes to accomplish a particular goal, and could vary widely.
Gallery Players Committee
Be a part of the main decision making body of the Gallery Players. Committee members assist general theatre operations, and set the direction of Gallery Players. Committee positions range from play selection, to marketing assistance, to general fund-raising.
General Shop Help
We can always use help in the shop with keeping everything tidy, taking inventory, maintaining equipment, doing projects around the JCC, and all the other things that go on between shows. Anyone with interest in just helping out with keeping the theatre in good working order could help out with this.