The Calhoun School, a progressive independent school located on Manhattan's Upper West Side, is seeking a full-time Middle and Upper School Theatre Design & Technical Director for the 2017-2018 school year. The Theatre Design & Technical Director (“TD”) supports the work of both the Middle School and Upper School Theatre faculty. The TD reports to the Director of Performing Arts (“DPA”).
The Calhoun School has two performing arts centers? Mary Lea Johnson Performing Arts Center (“MLJPAC”) at its 81st Street building; and the Steinberg Theatre (“ST”) Calhoun’s 74th Street building.
The TD will teach Upper School (“US”) classes (9th–12th grade) and Middle School (“MS”) Theater Tech classes (5th–8th grade).
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS and RESPONSIBILITIES
Theater Tech Courses
The TD teaches and supervises the MS & US courses in Theater Tech. Theater Tech is an elective course teaching the technical aspects of theatre. The TD supervises and guides his/her students, to meet the needs of the MS and the US theatrical productions.
The course educates students to understand the set and lighting design elements necessary in the conception and building of a set for a theatrical production. This includes all aspects of designing and building a show including the use of contemporary techniques by integrating scenic painting, set pieces, flats, props, lights, fabrics, projections and sound to create a tapestry of staging effects. Ideally course work:
- Builds a foundation of understanding of elements and implementation of theatre tech;
- Trains students to become part of the tech team;
- Uses tech classes to provide support for all productions;
- Is conceived of in an incremental way that strives to integrate tech classes into the school productions at multiple intersections and over multiple years.
Theater Tech - Productions
The TD supervises and meets (along with his/her tech students) the needs of the MS and US division theater directors’ full-scale theatrical productions as well as their more modest class productions and workshops. (5th grade has 1, MS has 3 and US has 2 productions annually.) The TD follows a basic design protocol:
- Read script;
- Discuss production ideas with applicable directors;
- Create set design draft (assisted by students whenever possible);
- After further production meetings, create set model (assisted by students whenever possible);
- Plan detailed production schedule that accounts for school use of space along with demands of set and set construction;
- Coordinate and build set (assisted by students);
- Coordinate and hang/focus lights (assisted by students);
- Run technical aspects of productions (assisted by students);
- Strike set and restore theatre (assisted by students).
The TD also supports non-student events in either ST or MLJPAC as determined by the DPA.
In addition (and to assist with overall tech demands of the school) TD would also:
- Create a student tech team;
- Train student tech team to use tech equipment in 81st and 74th Street theatres;
- Train select adults to use tech available in the theatre (81st Street).
MLJPAC & ST
The TD serves to support the technical needs of additional programs that are booked as part of the Calhoun Performing Arts Series (“CPAC”). This includes minimally arranging microphones; setting the “look” of an event; day-time student assembly needs; rehearsal preparation; and operations of lighting and sound systems in support of all on-campus Calhoun produced programs. Additionally, the TD oversees set and lighting design and technical theatre operations required to produce all concert and theatrical events as part of the CPAC programming calendar.
The TD position’s responsibilities frequently require his/her presence at weekend and evening programs at the school.
The TD insures the maintenance of the ST & MLJPAC technical systems; maintaining all sound, lighting and operating systems, arranging repairs & recommending replacements when necessary.
LIFE OF THE SCHOOL
As time allows due to the production schedule, the TD should participate in the life of the school. This includes attending opening and closing year meetings, staff development (tracking one or alternating between US and MS) and after-school staff meetings. Though the production schedule will limit participation during certain periods throughout the year, it is important that the TD enter into the conversation about progressive education and the life of the school whenever possible.