Backstage roles at the Barn Theatre
Directors generally select their creative team at around the same time as auditions are held, so look our for audition notices. Here is an overview of the roles typically required for a show.
Stage Manager — responsible for everything that happens on-stage or backstage during the run of a production. They must have previous experience as Assistant Stage Manager and must be 18. Must compile own cue sheet to control operation of the show including actors’ entrances and cues for lighting, sound, special effects and scene changes.
Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) — works closely with the Stage Manager to operate the show. They need good memory, the ability to work silently and safely and obey instructions precisely. ASMs may assist in scene-shifting, handling properties, operating effects etc.
Lighting Designer — works with the Stage Designer and Director to agree the lighting effects required for a show and decides which lighting equipment should be used and where and how it should be deployed. Coordinates the construction of the lighting rig and works with the Lighting Operator to programme the control desk. Needs experience of types of units available including control equipment.
Lighting Assistant — constructs the lighting rig in accordance with the lighting design. This is a strenuous job, involving climbing ladders and moving heavy lighting equipment. It also requires a working knowledge of the safe use of ropes and of mains electrical safety.
Lighting Operator — Needs experience of computer-controlled lighting board (Strand GSX) and ability to write and read a lighting cue-sheet.
Sound Designer — acquires, combines and edits sound effects for reproducible performance. Familiarity with effects processing extremely helpful.
Sound Operator — follows cue sheet and operates mixer desks, tape, CD or Mini-disk and other sources.
Set Designer — works with Director to design set and is responsible for construction. An understanding of conventional scenic techniques is useful, and an appreciation of financial constraints essential. Artistic ability is handy.
Set Builder — constructs set to accurately realise Designer’s drawings. Practical wood-working skills essential. Knowledge of conventional scenic techniques useful.
Costume and Props
Property Master/Mistress — acquires or makes props as required for each show and keeps track of them during the run. Organizing ability essential. Good PMs can manufacture anything, from roast turkeys to rebel flags to prison manacles!
Costume Designer — Designs and acquires or makes costumes for each show. Practical skills essential, as well as knowledge of historic and regional styles. Ability to make original costumes greatly appreciated.
Wardrobe — needs understanding of care of materials to maintain quality of costumes during run of a production.
Production Secretary — take care of all non-artistic and non-technical activities connected with a production. Administrative skills and person management are needed.
Prompter — follows the script during all rehearsals (and sometimes during the show) and prompts cast where lines have been mis-remembered or forgotten. Needs commitment to attend all rehearsals, to learn acting habits of cast and must possess a strong, clear voice.