Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to be a University of Nevada, Reno student or a theatre student to audition for a play?
No. Auditions are open to anyone. Directors may give preference in casting the plays to students, and especially theatre majors and minors and will try to use students as much as possible, but the suitability of an auditioner for a particular role as a member of an ensemble takes precedence over all other factors. Audition notices are posted on the theatre call board. Auditions are held the first week of classes in August and January.

What is expected at auditions?
Typically, directors ask that those auditioning prepare a one-minute memorized monologue. Cold reading material is also available at auditions for those without a prepared piece. For musicals, auditioners are expected to prepare a song (16-bars of music) and may be expected to learn a brief dance combination at the initial or callback auditions. Auditions occasionally vary from this model. Details/changes to this model are posted on our call board in the Church Fine Arts Building and on the department website with each semester's audition announcements.

Typically what proportion of actors have been students?
Over time, about 90 percent of the actors have concurrently enrolled students at the University.

Can I get paid for working on a production?
Usually not, but there are some exceptions. Sometimes, we have brought in artists-in-residence professional actors, who have consented to perform with us at Actors Equity minimums. We have done the same with some professional alumni who are designers. Finally, we often have paid positions for theatre students to work in the shops or take on special projects such as prop supervision for a whole semester's productions.

How do I find out when such paid opportunities arise?
Notices of paid position opportunities will be posted on the Call Board in the main hallway of Church Fine Arts Building, adjacent to the Redfield Studio Theatre lobby area.

Can I get college credit for working on a production?
Yes. You can earn up to three credits in any semester by enrolling in THTR 208 or THTR 408. These afternoon classes meet for six hours per week during which students work in the scene shop and the costume shop. A full semester of shop time and participating as an actor or crew member in both productions, and participation in both strikes following the final performances are required to earn three credits.

Do I have to enroll for three credits in 208/408?
You can enroll in one, two or three credits during the fall and spring semesters. During the summer session, you may only enroll for three credits. When enrolled for one or two credits, shop hour and production assignment requirements are altered. Contact a theatre adviser or instructor for information on this option.

How are grades awarded for THTR 208/408?
THTR 208/408 is ungraded credit. In lieu of a grade, an S (satisfactory) is recorded for students completing the requirements, or a U (unsatisfactory) for students who do not fulfill all the requirements.

If I am cast in a play, does the role count toward my THTR 208/408 requirements?
Yes. If you get cast in one play, your running assignment is your acting. If you are cast in two plays, both running assignments are fulfilled by your roles. If you are cast in one play, you must do a technical running assignment for the other play.

I do not want to act. Can I still take THTR 208/408?
Certainly. The class is open to anyone wishing to work on the production and available for the times needed.

Can I get credit for working on non-department productions?
No. The work must be performed for productions mounted by the theatre department, primarily the regular season productions. Credit may be available through internships and independent studies for work outside the department under the supervision of individual instructors.

Can I work on a production as an actor or technician without enrolling for credit?
Yes: you can volunteer to help with any and all aspects of construction and/or production in which you have some interest or ability.

Do I need to have any particular skills to work as a volunteer?
The only skills needed are the ability to follow the directions of the shop supervisors. If you have carpentry or sewing skills or any artistic or craft skills, be sure to let us know and we may be able to put them to good use. But all we need for starters is a willingness to pitch in and learn.

If I want to work on a production, how can I get involved?
If you know any of the theatre faculty or staff, simply let them know of your interest and they will point you toward the right person to get you started. If you don't know anyone, go to the Department office CFA 17 (or call (775) 784-6829). We will put you in touch with an appropriate person.

What are some of the running crew assignments for a production?
There are many different crew duties, but not every show needs them all.

Stage manager: a huge job, the stage manager serves as an assistant to the director, attends all rehearsals and performances, records all blocking directions, helps actors with line prompts during early stages of rehearsal, gives line notes and other corrective notes during latter stages of rehearsal, and calls all cues during tech rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and performances. During performances, the stage manager is the boss for the show. Stage managing counts as two running assignments for THTR 208,408 credit.
Board operators (sound, lights, moving lights, etc.): helps designers program cues, executes cues as called by the stage manager.
Follow spot operators: operates follow spots from proscenium spot booth or studio theatre catwalk. Must be able to move the light with the actor, control dispersion angles, color media, etc.
Fly operator: operates counterweight purchase lines to fly scenery and properties in and out on cue.
Stage crew: grip (scenery mover), special effects operator, pre-show prep (sweep and mop, pre-set) etc.
Prop running: Pre-setting and striking properties for each performance.
Wardrobe: dressing actors during quick changes, repairing costumes damaged during a performance, laundering between shows, etc.
Makeup: assisting actors with the application of makeup and prosthetics.

How are these running assignments awarded?
All persons who enroll for credit and all who audition for the company are asked to indicate preferences for technical assignments on the company audition forms. The faculty and staff review these forms as soon as the shows are cast (in the first week of school). Students enrolled for credit have top priority for technical assignments, and we try to honor preferences as best we can, taking into account the prior experience and qualifications of the individuals and the needs of the company. Our objective is to afford a broad range of experiences to the most committed and capable people. Theatre majors and minors are usually those people, but not always.

What is the relationship between the theatre program and Alpha Psi Omega?
Alpha Psi Omega is a national dramatic honorary society. The theatre program's most committed and productive students may be invited to become members after accumulating a sufficient number of points for work performed on productions, provided that they meet the academic grade-point requirement specified by the society. Alpha Psi members have also created a departmental service group call Dithyrambs, whose members aspire toward consideration for Alpha Psi Omega. The two groups work together to raise scholarship funds for distribution through Alpha Psi Omega.