For more information or to apply for a position email Executive and Artistic Director Frank McClain at email@example.com
To direct a production at the Grand a college major or minor in theater or a substantial resume of successful productions where you were the primary director is essential. Our patrons and contributors expect a level of quality that is generally achieved only under the leadership of experienced and highly qualified direction. A director must have great communication, organization and leadership skills. The director must keep everyone involved informed about what to do and when to do it. Theatre is a team project and the director is the project leader.
A director is the brain that starts everything and keeps it going. Organizing auditions, rehearsals, set design, costume and prop design, along with about a thousand other tasks in a very finite schedule leading up to opening night and the closing night takes a lot of work, planning, and organization.
The complex nature of musical direction likewise requires a person with a major or minor degree in music or a substantial resume of successful productions. The music director teaches the singers their parts, and then coaches them in the phrasing, pacing and intent of each song. The Music Director hires and rehearses the orchestra musicians and very often plays in the pit. In some productions the Musical Director accompanies during the rehearsals of a production, but many times a dedicated rehearsal accompanist is hired for that purpose. The Music Director must work closely with the Director, Choreographer, and Producer.
The choreographer creates and arranges the dances in a musical production and works closely with the Director and Musical Director to form an artistic whole. The choreographer auditions performers and teaches them a dance at rehearsals. A good choreographer works in all forms of dance, including classical ballet, modern, tap, jazz, folk, ethnic, and ballroom. They must be knowledgeable not only about dance techniques but also about music, costumes, lighting, and drama. This is a highly skilled position. Choreographers are usually former dancers with years of experience working in the theater or with dance companies. A college degree in dance is preferred, but not required. It is very important for choreographers to help the actors/dancers develop their sense of rhythm and their understanding of the music. A good choreographer has self-discipline, patience, commitment, and perseverance and the ability to train persons with varying levels of talent. The choreographer must remember that this is community theater, but we expect it to be very good community theater.
The role of the stage manager is especially important to the director in rehearsals. Here the director and the stage manager work side by side, with the stage manager recording the director’s decisions about blocking and notes for the actors, keeping track of logistical and scheduling details and communicating what goes on in rehearsals to the rest of the team. This enables the director to concentrate his or her full attention on directing.
Stage managers have several key responsibilities and tasks to perform in each phase of a production, including:
– scheduling and running rehearsals
– communicating the director’s wishes to designers and crafts people
– coordinating the work of the stage crew
– calling cues and possibly actors’ entrances during performance
– overseeing the entire show each time it is performed
In conjunction with the director, the stage manager determines the scheduling of all rehearsals and makes sure everyone involved is notified of rehearsal times, meetings, costume/wig fittings and coaching sessions. During the rehearsal phase, stage managers also:
– mark out the dimensions of the set on the floor of the rehearsal hall
– make sure rehearsal props and furnishings are available for the actors
– attend all rehearsals
– notify the designers and crafts people of changes made in rehearsal
In rehearsals the stage manager also records all blocking, plus all the light, sound and set change cues, in a master copy of the script called the prompt book. The information in the prompt book also allows the stage manager to run the technical rehearsals, calling each technical cue in turn to determine precisely how it needs to be timed to coordinate with the onstage action.
The stage manager and the technical director also work out a smooth and efficient plan for the stage crew to follow during set changes. Furniture and prop plans for complicated sets are drawn up by the stage manager and technical designer to show exactly where the furniture and props are to be positioned on stage at the beginning of each scene and sometimes in the wings.
Once the show opens, the director’s work is essentially complete. Now it’s the stage manager’s job to make sure that every aspect of the production runs just as the director intended time after time, until the production closes.
The Grand Opera House offers a limited number of paid summer internships that provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students, ages 18-24, interested in various careers in theatre. This 12 week intensive program will begin May 23, 2016 and end on August 21, 2016.
Interns are supervised by professionals in their fields and will have the opportunity to experience all facets of theatre production including:
- Stage Management
- Set construction and painting
- Costume construction
- Lighting Hang and Focus
- Marketing and Public Relations
- Arts administration
- Box Office and Front of House
Compensation is $1,800 for the 12-week internship.
Deadline to apply is April 1, 2016.
For more information, contact
Executive and Artistic Director
The Grand Opera House
135 8th Street
Dubuque, IA 52001
2015 Grand Opera House Summer Interns
Luke Kelly, Anna carpenter, Stephanie Benic and Austin Cousins