Stage production jobs

Written by anne hirsh
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Stage production jobs
Costume design is one stage production job. (costume de bretagne 2 image by daniel sainthorant from Fotolia.com)

Stage productions require crews of people to work behind the scenes, helping a show run smoothly. During the run of the show, people performing these jobs may literally be behind the scenery or they may be opposite the stage, sitting behind the audience in the tech booth. Still other positions may require the crew members to be outside the theatre during the performance. Each job is important to the overall production and there are plenty of jobs available.

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Backstage production jobs

Jobs that occur backstage during productions include a variety of tasks. Properties crew members ensure that all items actors carry on and off the stage are where they are supposed to be and in working order. Hair and make-up artists prepare actors to go onstage looking their best. Assistant stage managers relay messages from the tech booth area to actors and technicians backstage as well as assisting where needed. Dressers help performers with quick costume changes, while the stage crew makes scenery changes quickly between each scene. The fly crew brings set pieces and curtains in and out of the audience's view with a counterweight system. All of these crew members attend technical and dress rehearsals to practice their jobs, and on touring productions, each crew member is responsible for seeing that his area is set up properly in each new venue.

Technical production jobs

Lighting and sound operators generally sit in a tech booth or tech deck area during a production. This location allows them to see the performers on stage as they operate the consoles that change lighting and sound elements throughout the production. The stage manager often runs the show from the tech booth, although some productions place the stage manager backstage. This job includes overall guidance of the production from start to finish once the show is open to audiences and much of the organisation that goes into preparing a show from the beginning. Follow spot operators are also a member of the technical production team. They control manually-operated lights, moving them to keep the beam of light on a moving performer in certain productions. All technical aspects are overseen by the technical director.

Artistic production jobs

Creative positions in stage production include the director, who is responsible for the vision of the play, as well as the designers. Each element of a stage play -- scenery, lighting, sound, props and costumes -- requires a designer to create the specifics of that area of the play, in line with the director's vision.

Other stage production positions

Before a stage production ever goes before an audience, carpentry teams build the set and scenic artists paint and decorate it as needed. Costumiers create and find costume elements and production electricians position each light in the theatre. Riggers make sure all hanging scenery and any other items attached above the performers' heads are secured properly and safely. Publicity personnel advertise the performance through posters, flyers and other venues. Producers perform a variety of roles, including fund-raising and securing venues, as well as contributing input to the director's vision of the play. Depending on the size and type of stage production, other jobs may be involved, including box office personnel, assistants to various production jobs and speciality production positions such as pyrotechnics (fire effects) or catering.

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