Volunteer

Why Volunteer?

Town & Gown operates solely through the effort of volunteers. The most visible are the actors on stage, but the shows could not happen without the efforts of countless other people, from set builders, costumers, light and sound techs, and prop masters, to box office attendants and ushers.




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Volunteer Opportunities

Front of House

Volunteers are needed to help our patrons with ticketing, concessions, and seating before and during the show. These volunteers are the face of our theatre to our patrons and must exude a warm, interested, and helpful demeanor. Front of House requires a four person team for every performance. In return for their effort, each Front of House volunteer receives a voucher good for one free show ticket. Training and instruction sheets are provided for all volunteers. We recommend you start out ushering, then see if you have an interest in taking on box office duties after you learn a little more about our operation.

Box Office

One Box Office Manager is needed for every performance to sell tickets to walk-up patrons. Tickets may be purchased with cash, check, or credit card and the sale is managed through an internet app using an easy to learn point-of-sale system. Volunteers should be outgoing, welcoming, and be comfortable with basic math. This volunteer is responsible for reconciling all money with tickets sold, securing funds, and preparing the box office for the next performance.

Concessions

One Assistant Box Office Manager/Concessions volunteer is needed for every performance to distribute will call tickets (tickets pre-sold from online sales) and sell concessions. Volunteers should be outgoing and welcoming and be comfortable with basic math and making change. Volunteers should be able to bend and stoop and will be responsible for restocking concessions as needed for the next performance. This volunteer is responsible for reconciling all concession money at the end of the show.

Ushering

Two Ushers are needed for every show. Ushers are responsible for pre-show tidying of the lobby and house, greeting patrons, checking tickets, answering directional questions, and helping people find their seats. Volunteers should be outgoing and helpful, know the physical layout of the theatre, be able to stand and walk for an hour before the show, and be able to read and decipher information on a paper ticket.

Acting

Actors make up the most visible part of the Town & Gown community. Town & Gown's shows are made up of two series: Mainstage and Second Stage. All Mainstage shows hold auditions, and Second Stage shows tend to do the same. Auditions typically consist of cold readings, with a singing component for musicals. Auditions are open to all experience levels. Different shows may have different needs, so please contact the director of the show you're interested in to learn more.

Backstage

The theater is like an iceberg - 90 percent of it goes on underneath the surface. Every show involves a tech team and backstage crew who interact daily with the show and its staff. This can be anything from helping organize and run auditions to helping the actors quickly change costume during the show. There's something for everyone and it's a great way to meet people and get involved at Town & Gown without setting foot on stage.

Stage Managing

Stage Managers are the core organizers of each production. They interact with every person involved in the show and are responsible for communicating with all of these parties. Stage Manager duties may include taking blocking and line notes, contacting cast members, and other organizational tasks the current director may need carried out. Once the show opens, the stage manager is responsible for ensuring that the entire process (acting, technical, and set elements) runs smoothly. Stage managers must possess excellent organizational skills and have internet and e-mail access. For more information, contact vicepresident@townandgownplayers.org.

Set Crew

Sets for every show at Town & Gown are built by the current cast and crew. They always welcome help from other volunteers! Set call generally occurs each Saturday from 10AM-5PM and each Sunday from 12PM-4PM in the 5 weeks leading up to each Main Stage show, but you should contact each director to learn their specific schedule. No experience or expertise is required, and you can feel free to drop in.

Light/Sound Board Operator(s)

Board Operators typically operate the light and/or sound board during tech week and during the run of the production. This typically involves very precise timing and attention to detail, even some good hand/eye coordination. Light and sound designers will work with the director to train you on cues in the week preceding the show. Board operators will need to be at the theatre weeknights during tech week and during every performance. No technical experience is necessary for these positions. For more information, contact vicepresident@townandgownplayers.org.

Hair/Make-up

The Hair/Make-up volunteer instructs cast members on how to do time/location appropriate hair and make-up for their characters. The Hair/Make-up volunteer attends the show a few times during tech week. This volunteer must be familiar with hair and make-up tools, and must be able to instruct others on these skills. For more information, contact vicepresident@townandgownplayers.org.

Wardrobe Crew

Wardrobe Crew works during tech week and the run of the production to assist actors with their costumes. These positions typically include assisting in any quick changes actors must do, checking to make sure actors have all of their costume pieces, and making any small costume repairs that may be needed during the run of the show. Wardrobe Crew must be able to work quickly and under pressure. For more information, contact vicepresident@townandgownplayers.org.

Show Designers

Designers work with the show's director, the rest of the design team, and other show crew to establish a look for the production. These processes begin well before auditions and end sometime in the week before the show opens. Designers must have a vision for their design, but also be willing to adapt based on the needs of the director, the space, and the show.

Poster Design

The poster is one of the most visible and lasting parts of a show's publicity. Each poster design is put on T&G's website, Facebook page, and printed to be hung up around town. A poster designer must be able to interpret the feel of a show into a work of art while adhering to the director's and Publicity Chair's requirements for the design. Poster Designers need to have strong design skills in an electronic format. For more information, contact vicepresident@townandgownplayers.org.

Set Design

The set includes everything that is constructed on stage to establish the look of the production. Depending on the play and the intricacy required of the design, sets can be stationary or can move and transform throughout the show. Set Designers need a strong handle on geometry, construction basics, and the ability to create and use blueprints or set designs. Free weekends to attend set call is also helpful. Set calls are usually Saturdays 10am to 4pm and Sundays 12pm to 4pm. For more information, contact vicepresident@townandgownplayers.org.

Light Design

Lighting Designers ensure not only that our actors are visible to the audience, but contribute establishing the correct setting and mood within scenes. A lighting designer needs meticulous attention to detail, a basic knowledge of lighting instruments, and the ability to program an Express lightboard. For more information, contact vicepresident@townandgownplayers.org.

Costume Design

Costume Designers establish and provide all things actors wear, and occasionally also provide pieces that actors handle. Costume Designers must meld the play's requirements, the director's vision, their own vision, and the needs of the actors to create a cohesive look for the entire show. Strong vision, attention to detail, ability to research various play settings, and sewing skills are necessary for this position. For more information, contact vicepresident@townandgownplayers.org.

Sound Design

Sound Designers provide the audible effects for each show. Town & Gown is equipped with QLab, a sound board, and three CD players, all of which are at the sound designer's disposal. The amount of sound work needed for each show varies depending on the script, the director, and the sound designer's vision.

Behind the Scenes

Every show at Town & Gown is made up of the important work of many people. While the audience may only see the final result of their work, the people who help out at weekend set calls are some of our greatest contributors. Set calls generally occur each Saturday from 10AM-5PM and Sunday from 12PM-4PM in the 5 weeks leading up to each Main Stage show. Volunteers are welcome to drop in during these times, but please email the current director to see what their specific schedule looks like first. No prior experience or knowledge is necessary. Each contributor is considered a part of the show's crew and will be credited in our program.

Casting Coordinating

Show auditions can be a very busy time at Town & Gown. Show staff is typically occupied watching the auditions, so we need 1-2 volunteers to help manage auditions from our lobby. This position includes passing out audition sheets, collecting these sheets once they're filled out, and assigning short (pre-selected) scenes for actors to read for auditions. Directors and Assistant Directors will help you through this process. Volunteers need strong organizational skills and the ability to move quickly in and out of the theater. Main stage auditions are held the Monday and Tuesday of the second week of a Main Stage show. Second Stage shows occur at the director's discretion. For more information, contact vicepresident@townandgownplayers.org.

Set Building

Sets for every show at Town & Gown are built by the current cast and crew. They always welcome help from other volunteers! Set call generally occurs each Saturday from 10AM-5PM and each Sunday from 12PM-4PM in the 5 weeks leading up to each Main Stage show, but you should contact each director to learn their specific schedule. No experience or expertise is required, but it is helpful to be comfortable with power tools and to have a basic understanding of construction and geometry.

Lighting Design Crew

Lighting Crew assists the designer in making his or her vision a reality by helping hang and focus lighting instruments. No experience or expertise is required, but the ability to follow precise directions is very helpful. You must be able to climb ladders. For more information, contact vicepresident@townandgownplayers.org.

Properties

The Props Master provides all of the smaller set enhancements that actors handle onstage during the show. At times these props can be somewhat obscure and require either intense hunting or construction from scratch. Props masters front the money they spend on props and then are reimbursed by the theatre. Properties requires an interest in the show, the ability to research, and your own transpotation.

Set Painters

Set Artists use their skills to turn blank walls and platforms into fully realized environments. Sets are usually ready to be painted by the final two weekends of the show's rehearsal process and painters of all skill levels are welcome. Set call is generally Saturdays from 10AM-5PM and Sundays from 12PM-4PM, but please contact the show's director for a specific schedule. For more information, contact vicepresident@townandgownplayers.org.

Sound Design Crew

A Sound Design Crew member is someone who helps during set calls or the final week of rehearsals to assist the Sound Designer in setting up microphones, wires, the sound board, music, sound effects, and/or any other sound material needed for the production. The amount of sound work needed for each show varies depending on the script, the director, and the sound designer's vision. For more information, contact vicepresident@townandgownplayers.org.

Representing Town & Gown

While much of Town & Gown's volunteer work occurs on or backstage, it is equally important for the theatre to represent itself positively to the community and our audience. These volunteers put their energy into making the theatre run seamlessly, our publicity look professional, and the experience of attending Town & Gown always exceptional for our patrons.

Dramaturg

The dramaturg's contribution to a show at Town & Gown is to categorize and discuss the various types of shows, including their interconnectedness and their styles. The dramaturg serves as elucidator of history or spokesperson for deceased or otherwise absent playwrights or composers. This volunteer works on the historical and cultural research into the show and its setting. Occasionally, a dramaturg will also create educational, written material for the director, actors and/or show's program and work extensively with the director prior to the first rehearsal. This position requires a deep interest in historical research and the ability to produce written, easily understood material on this research.

Producer

At Town & Gown, the producer frequently acts as the treasurer of the show. The producer finds sponsors or underwriters, makes deals with businesses in the local community to provide actors or patrons with discounts, and keeps track of the show's budget. A producer also can keep the director on track with deadlines and other necessary information. Any additional tasks, as well as the producer's involvement in those listed above, are at the director's discretion. Producers should have an understanding of and ability to manage a budget.

Publicist

A show's publicist works with Town & Gown's Publicity Chair to best publicize the production. As the publicist has a familiarity with the show, this volunteer can draft content that best emphasizes the show's strengths. Duties include writing the show's press release, scheduling and managing the show's publicity photo shoot, and various other publicity related duties. A person volunteering for this position needs to have strong organizational skills and strong written/verbal skills.

Photography

What would a show be without pictures? More importantly, how would we advertise a show without pictures? Photographers are crucial to each production's publicity efforts. We request photographers take publicity shots one night during rehearsal, as well as actor headshots two weeks out from opening. We happily trade advertisement space in our program or lobby in exchange for photography services.

Opening Night Reception Coordinator

Every show at Town & Gown opens with a celebration - our opening night reception. These receptions can either be professionally catered or be homemade and organized by the reception coordinator. The Reception Coordinator is provided with a small budget and typically sets up the reception after the show's intermission. Careful budgeting, networking, and/or culinary skills are necessary for this position.