Tag Archives: technical theatre

Hiring: Technical Director Assistant Position

Town Theatre is seeking a Technical Director Assistant. The ideal candidate will have a working knowledge of all aspects of technical theatre including set design, construction, lighting and sound. Town Theatre is in the middle of its 102nd season of operation with a heavy emphasis on musicals. Generally, the theatre produces five main stage shows during the season (September to May), a large summer main stage musical, two to three youth theatre productions as well as various special event shows. The theatre itself is a proscenium stage theatre with a fly system. Sets are built onsite in a workshop and on the stage. Town Theatre values the ability of all staff to work in and promote a harmonious work environment.

Candidates should:

  • Be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license
  • Have a high school degree or a GED equivalent
  • Have a basic theatre knowledge of how productions are put together and run
  • Showcase an ability to effectively work with and support volunteers
  • Show the desire and ability to work collaboratively and cordially with fellow staff, stage managers, directors and volunteers
  • Be able to meet deadlines with quality results
  • Have a flexible schedule that will vary depending on the life cycle of each show

Preferred skills include, but are not limited to carpentry, overhead rigging, stage electrics, scenic painting and sound/audio tech experience.  

Basic duties of the position will include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting the Technical Director with the building, rigging, props, painting of scenery, lighting and any audio needs for the productions
  • Assisting in the maintenance of equipment in the scene shop, light booth and sound booth
  • Keeping up with the props, organization of the props room and basement storage
  • Working offsite at the warehouse to pull and maintain stored scenery
  • Staffing the actual productions as the on-site technician when needed
  • Working in the attic over the auditorium as well as on the grid over the stage as needed
  • Assisting with the maintenance needs of the general facility

Ideally, this hire will be a full-time position with weekday hours during the show build and evening hours during the run of the show, shared by the theatre’s Technical Director. However, the position may be split depending on the candidates. To apply, please send a cover letter, résumé, visual examples of scenic design work and three references with current contact information. Packages may be sent electronically to Shannon Willis Scruggs, Executive Director, at shannon@towntheatre.com.

Posted Dec. 7, 2021

Town’s Technical Interns

We are so happy that summertime at Town is “back to normal.” The return of our regular working environment affords us the opportunity to host our technical theatre interns. Since 2017, Town has served as a summer workshop opportunity for students interested in developing their technical theatre skills. Summer internships at Town are ideal for candidates who are looking to study technical theatre and/or design in high school, Governor’s School or college.

Foreground: Kat puts a base coat on a cylinder that will be transformed into a castle column. Background: Alison and Sara create supports for a platform that will become part of the castle staircase.

Kat Martin came to us after spending 4 years involved in the theatre department at River Bluff High School. She worked as a lighting technician, technical director and soundboard operator. She also gained some great insight by serving as the director for a short play. After graduation, she spent time at the College of Charleston majoring in Arts Management. But, we are thrilled that she is coming back “home” to Columbia and USC so she can continue her work at Town Theatre.

Alison Griffin also made her way to Town after being involved in theatre during middle and high school. Her early experiences focused on set building, design and run crew. More recently, she took on leadership roles and served as a part of the technical crew for large shows at River Bluff such as Mamma Mia and Les Mis. Alison says, “The technical internship that Town Theatre is offering this summer is a great way to further my practical experience before starting my college career.” Alison plans to attend Winthrop University in the fall.

Ian Neff is a recent graduate of Covenant Christian School where he most recently designed and built the set for Aladdin Jr. (which was presented on the Town Theatre stage last April). He also was in the show! Ian started with us a few days later after visiting with family in Montana. Yet, as soon as he got back, he hit the ground running and reported to Town. Due to his experience as a set builder for his school, Danny put him to work cutting out wheels for Cinderella’s carriage. Ian says he is enjoying the internship and knows that it is exactly what he needs to be doing with his time right now!

Elli Tocci, a 2021 Blythewood High School graduate, had this to say – “I’m so blessed to have been able to work as an intern at Town Theatre this summer! I’ve loved getting to know other students over the past few weeks and getting to work with them on set. Prior to starting my internship, I had done work in performance, costume design, and a little set design. Since starting at Town though, I have been able to learn so much about set construction by getting to do woodworking, painting, and drilling. It has been so much fun getting to learn something new every day with such a great team and working with them to create a beautiful show. I’m looking forward to learning more about theatre production this summer and I hope everyone loves Cinderella as much as I’ve loved working on it.”

Ella works with Danny on cutting techniques while Ian looks on.

Sara Brown has been seeking out an opportunity like this for some time now. She is new to set construction but does have a passion for set design. She even created an entry in the scenic design category for competition. Sara is committed to learning more about theatre production and hopes that she is able to gain experience working on Cinderella. We’re so happy that we can connect the dots between her design work and turning that design into a physical structure.

In Town’s four summers of running the internship program, we have had upwards of 20 students participate. Not only are they getting a top-notch experience with Danny Harrington, Town’s Technical Director, but they are also a tremendous asset to our summer production and theatre. We thank them for their hard work!

From left to right: Ian, Kat, Alison, Sara and Ella.

Technical Theatre Internships Available

Town Theatre’s mission is to provide quality, live, family-oriented community theatre to the Midlands and beyond as well as to offer the foundation for those who wish to participate on stage or backstage. As such, we are offering up to four technical internship positions for the summer of 2018.

 Intern Duties:
~Assist with various aspects of the technical side of theatre.
~Participate actively in preparing for the summer production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
~Work in one or more of the following areas: carpentry, stage lighting, engineering, scenic art and design.

~Some experience in technical theatre.
~Should be flexible, creative, a team player, reliable, and have a good work ethic.
~Display a willingness to assist in load in/out, as artist liaison, and setup/tear down stage.
~These internships are ideal for candidates who are looking to study technical theatre and/or design in high school, Governor’s School or college.
~Candidates should be at least 14 years of age.

Time Commitment:
In general, interns will work from 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM Monday through Friday beginning June 4. We will not work the week of July 4. There may be some optional opportunities to work on weekends as well as backstage crew for the production which runs July 19 to 29. Time for vacations, etc. can be negotiated. Interns will receive at least 75 hours of scenic building, painting and lighting work on a realized production. Each intern’s ending date is flexible, but most should expect to work through the week of August 6.

Other Details:
Interns will be under the supervision of Danny Harrington, Technical Director. All technical internships are unpaid. Neither housing nor transportation is provided. College credit may be granted, but must be coordinated in advance with the intern’s university/college. Interns will work primarily at Town Theatre which is located at 1012 Sumter Street in downtown Columbia and at Town’s warehouse located off of Shop Road.

To apply:
Please send a letter of interest and, if available, your theatrical résumé to shannon@towntheatre.com no later than April 22. Selected applicants and their parents will be scheduled for an interview with Town’s Technical Director and Executive Director.