Local theatre group the Kaatza Lakeside Players’ director’s assistant Judith Quinlan

Local theatre group is seeking behind the scenes help

With their Christmas production just over a month away, the Kaatza Lakeside Players’ theatre group needs some help.

With their Christmas production just over a month away, the Kaatza Lakeside Players’ theatre group needs some help.

“The theatre’s built like an iceberg, with the actors on the top,” technical director Mike Patrick said. “ It’s a really unique chance to employ your creative skills.”

Patrick and other theatre volunteers spoke during the first-ever behind the scenes learning party.

Whereas those attending theatre productions tend to take greatest note of the actors, there are many other parts that put together a successful production.

Two under-recognized key actors are sound and lighting.

“The sound and the lighting are a part of the show,” stage manager Barbara Simkins said.

Open positions

The following positions are currently open to anyone interested in them.

• A production coordinator is the main position in need of someone.

This person is in charge of all aspects of promoting the production. They meet with assistants to plan timelines, tasks, and is ultimately responsible that they are done. A production book is available, which summarizes many details of the job.

Beneath the coordinator are production assistants, which perform various production tasks, like ticket sales, promotions, and other such things.

• Rehearsal prompter attends every rehearsal and is ready to prompt the cast when asked, until final rehearsals, when no prompting is allowed.

• Rehearsal assistants attend every rehearsal and help keep everyone focused, ready for stage calls, and help younger cast members make the best use of their time. The applicant to this position needs good leadership skills and a good rapport with the cast.

• Stage manager. Although Barbara Simkins holds the position of stage manager, she said that she could use a stage right and props people.

“You have to anticipate every type of problem that may come up, and it often does,” she said.

Stage managers are in charge of all backstage activity, including keeping track of props, changes of sets between scenes, among other things.

• Props manager compiles a list of all props, who they belong to, and makes sure everyone has them at the right place and the right time. Cast are usually expected to provide their own props. This person needs to attend final rehearsals and all performances, or delegate.

• Dressers assist in the downstairs dressing room area with costume changes and makeup. They need to know the play and attend final rehearsals and all performances.

• Videographer records selected performances. This job can be in conjunction with the photographer, who works with the Kaatza Lakeside Players’ historian to document photographically all aspects of a particular production.

• Sound technicians help assist the sound person in all aspects of the job. This person needs computer skills, and needs to be available for some rehearsals and some performances.

• Head carpenter works with the director on designing sets, and is to be available for large chunks of time close to performance dates.

Carpenter’s assistants are also required.

• Front of house coordinator is in charge of all aspects of setting up and running the front of the house – the area where the audience is. This person meets with assistants and recruits people for specific tasks.

Filled positions

Although the following positions have been filled, there is still an opportunity to learn more about them.

“On nearly all them, we can use an assistant,” Quinlan said.

In addition, the players’ are introducing a mentorships program, wherein volunteers can job shadow and assist someone as a means of learning more about their job.

• Director – Currently held  by Dena McPhee, is responsible for every aspect of staging a play, including casting, set design, sound and lighting design, costume design, and script changes.

• Director’s assistant, held by Judith Quinlan, is responsible for attending every rehearsal and taking notes for the director.

• Stage manager is in charge of all the backstage activity. This job is filled by Barbara Simkins.

• Technical director is in charge of every aspect of lighting, sound, and set machines. This job is held by Mike Patrick.

• Lighting manager works with the director to design a lighting plan for the performance. Mike Patrick holds this position.

• Sound person chooses appropriate sounds and music, acquires and edits sound, and runs the sound board. Judith Quinlan and Dena McPhee hold this position.

• Costume designer works with the director to design all costumes and accessories for the cast. This position is held by Glenda Berg.

Costume assistants are also required to work with the costume designer to adapt existing costumes, or create new ones. Some sewing skills are required.

• The set artist works with the director on designing set painting and decoration. This person also designs posters, programs, and tickets. This position is currently held by Helena Poll.

Artist’s assistants are also required to help out in all of the above-listed jobs.

For more information on any of the above-listed jobs, phone Judith Quinlan at 250-749-3728.