The following was adapted from talking points of our annual intro meeting, so if it sounds like spoken words, that's why.
Every student must fill out an application, even if they filled it out last year.
Until we receive a complete application, which includes emergency contact information, we can't allow you to work with us.
There's a bunch of people you'll be getting to know over the school year.
In addition, each production will have its own staff.
A brief word about chain of command:
If you need direction, get it from your crew team lead. If they don’t know, go to an advisor. Same goes for problems. If it’s a problem with your team lead, go straight to an advisor. Our directors, teachers, and administrators are busy people, so we try to deal with issues ourselves before escalating up.
If a student/adult director gives you feedback or makes a request, write it down and provide to your student lead. The same goes for the school business manager or school employees. Student leads will forward information back to the advisors. Please get the name of the person who made the suggestion.
We keep an attendance log. Be on time, ready to work! We will have a lunch break on Sunday work days.
You must sign in on the attendance log as soon as you arrive. There’s a binder, folder, or notebook that will be on the stage or in the shop (wherever we're working that day). Please print legibly.
We use the attendance log to gauge your level of interest which in part determines what you’ll be doing for the show itself. More importantly, in the event of emergencies we must account for everyone. Do not have someone else sign you in. If someone else signs you in, you put our first responders at risk; they’ll keep searching until they find you. In the event of an emergency, our meeting place is the senior lot in front of the building.
If you know you cannot attend, will be late, or need to leave early, email [email protected] as early as possible. No texts. We'll make notes in the attendance log, kinda like excused absences. Advance notice is extremely helpful for the advisors to plan projects, work days, and surprise snacks.
Work days are posted in many places:
Other information along with changes in work days or times will be sent out via email, so it's important for all students to check their email daily.
School work comes first. Period.
From the AACPS policy on Extracurricular Programs Academic Eligibility (PDF), officially:
The Anne Arundel County Board of Education recognizes for a student to be eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics or extracurricular activities, grades 9 through 12, he/she must maintain a "C" average (a 2.0 grade point average or greater) as determined by existing county grading procedures in the courses taken in a given eligibility period. A student may receive a maximum of one "E" grade in courses taken during that eligibility period.
Occasionally we'll have downtime in between projects, waiting for paint to dry, or waiting on another team to finish work that your task depends on; bring your homework along, odds are good someone else has the same assignment or has taken the class before. Yay tutoring!
We provide production support for events within the auditorium and occasionally around the school.
We support two major productions each year:
We support many other events: concerts, recitals, meetings, auditions, you name it. Some of these are during the school day. Some are during the evening. Some are on weekends. Most need to be staffed by student crew; you'll be getting plenty of emails about those opportunities in the coming months.
We are entrusted with the care and operation of many of the auditorium's audio, lighting, media, and staging systems. If things aren't working the way they're supposed to, we're the ones that find out and file reports with the office to get things fixed.
We do not provide production labor outside of the school.
Our current building was constructed in 2016. It's shiny and new, but not without its peculiarities.
Most of our time is spent in the Set Shop and Auditorium, although we also work in the Projection Room and various rooms throughout the music wing.
We typically meet in the Shop, accessible via the shop door (facing Benfield) or band door (facing the traffic light at Robinson). We will not check the doors near the lobby, so please do not congregate there or ring the doorbell and hope that someone lets you in.
Safety is our #1 priority. If you have any question or concern about safety, stop and ask. No fault. No blame. Interrupt if you have to.
If someone yells HOLD, stop what you’re doing. The advisors won’t raise their voices unless someone’s about to get hurt.
We use tools, equipment, electrical things, and chemicals that can be hazardous. Outside of the auditorium and set shop, possession of these things can result in suspension (e.g. knifes, razors, spray paint). Keep these things within our spaces. Don’t bring tools from home.
We always require long pants (no shorts, skirts, dresses, leggings, or yoga pants) and closed-toed shoes (no sandals, heels, flip flops, or bare feet). We will provide work gloves, safety glasses, and other safety gear as necessary. Please make sure you are wearing clothes/shoes that can get dusty, dirty, torn, or covered in paint. Most students end up with several pairs of "crew pants" by the end of a season; how messed up they are becomes a point of pride.
The auditorium catwalks are off-limits without explicit direction and supervision of an adult advisor as well as the proper safety gear. The same goes for the rest of the building; if we aren't working in a particular space, you shouldn't be wandering around.
Per AACPS guidelines, students are not allowed to work atop scaffolding.
Power tools. If an adult advisor hasn’t seen you use a particular power tool before, we’ll show you how to use it the first time. The second time we’ll supervise you. After that you’re on your own unless you have questions. We’ve always got time to provide instruction.
AACPS mandates that all students be immunized, including tetanus. So we should be all good there. You may have mentioned allergies to food and drug in your crew application, but it never hurts to remind us.
IF you're injured while at tech you need to notify an advisor immediately. No fault. No blame. Interrupt if you have to. Concealing an injury puts yourself and others at risk. We have first aid supplies on hand for minor cuts and scrapes. We keep emergency contact information for all students and will notify your parents if you're seriously injured.
We treat the auditorium and shop like they're our rooms. Keep them clean.
If you don’t know where something goes, ask.
The reason we’re allowed to eat/drink is because we clean up after ourselves. If that changes, we’ll lose that privilege. Drinks spill and create more work for our custodians. Food attracts rodents. Use the trash cans provided. You'll notice that there aren't any trash cans in the auditorium; there's reason for that, think about it.
Construction debris goes into the trash cans and needs to be emptied by us before we leave.
Paint cleanup should be limited with use of drop cloths. Talk to your team leader about cleaning paint brushes. Suffice to say all brushes need to be properly cleaned. When throwing away paint rollers, please make sure there is a liner in the trash can. If paint gets on the floor, please clean it right away!
Every event we support is a production, whether it's an hour-long evening meeting or whether it's a multi-week engagement.
A bit about what to expect, in chronological order:
Each production may vary a little bit, but most follow this pattern. For example, some one-night events might not have any set construction or separate rehearsals, but will still have sound and lighting equipment that needs to be loaded in and set up (and removed after).
You're not expected to be at every event, particularly for the smaller events. Most events only require 1-2 students, but there's ample opportunity to learn new things by shadowing others. We'll reach out to everyone when it comes time to staff these events.
Professionalism counts and our appearance counts. When working events, we require:
We require black clothing so that our movements backstage aren't as noticeable to the audience. Even if you weren't scheduled to be working backstage, a student's illness may result in shuffling people around. Wearing black clothes is like our uniform, it makes it clear to performers and staff who's supposed to be backstage.
For in-school events we may relax the dress code on a case by case basis.
Clothes can be purchased at Walmart, Target, Old Navy, or most anywhere else that has school uniforms; basic black Hanes t-shirts are $2-3 at Walmart, $7 for slightly nicer stuff at Old Navy, $11 at Kohl's. Inexpensive black T-shirts are also available in 4-packs on Amazon, although not always in women's cuts. We've assembled an Amazon list of "tech threads" that are suitable for working events that your parents can use to purchase or for comparison.
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No spoilers, please.
Also, pictures of works-in-progress end up coming back to us as if it were finished product.
Last Modified: 2021-08-26