Technical Director Guidelines
The technical director is responsible for safely and effectively producing all the scenery for a departmental production. The technical director’s duties include budgeting for all scenery, producing technical drawings as needed, purchasing all materials for the scenery, attending production meetings and other meetings as needed, scheduling the build and (in conjunction with the scenic charge artist) the painting of the scenery, supervising the building of, and the ultimately the responsibility for the building of the scenery, installing of the scenery, organizing the operation of the scenery during rehearsal and performance, and dismantling and/or storing all of the scenery at the end of the run of the production. The technical director is also responsible for, in conjunction with the master carpenter, the supervising, scheduling and assigning of tasks for the carpentry build/run crew. He or she is also responsible for the tracking and accounting of the budget for the scenery and paint for the show. The technical director will work closely with the scene designer and scenic charge artist to fully and successfully complete the scenery as designed for the production.
The technical direction process generally moves through the following events/periods: the pre-build period, the build period, the load-in period, the technical/dress/preview rehearsal period, the running of the production period, and the strike/dismantling period. All due dates, build dates and rehearsal and performances dates are specified in the departmental and show production calendars. Meeting all deadlines is essential.
The technical director will meet with the scene designer, faculty scene designer, and faculty technical director for three separate budget review/design presentation meetings to discuss and budget the scene designs in progress. The first meeting will be to determine if the scope of the project seems to be in line with budget and schedule. At the second meeting the technical director should be given a rough ground plan and rough idea of elevations. After the second meeting the technical director will do a budget break down of scenic components. At the third meeting the technical director should be given the complete drawings of the scenery for the production. After the third meeting the technical director will do a complete and detailed budget breakdown and rough build schedule for all scenery for the production. At this time, the technical director will:
- Meet with the faculty technical director to go over technical/build ideas.
- Produce technical drawings as needed and meet with the faculty technical director to go over all technical drawings.
- Meet with the scene designer, faculty scene designer, scenic charge artist, and faculty technical director to discuss paint process for the production.
- Order all materials necessary for the building of the scenery.
- Meet with the master carpenter and work with them to contact all scenery crew and organize training and build schedules.
- Supervise the training of the scenery crew as necessary.
During the building process, a technical director is responsible for the following:
- Supervise all aspects of the building of the scenery.
- Coordinate with the master carpenter and schedule all scenic crew calls.
- Keep in communication with the scenic designer about the scenery progress.
- Keep in communication with the scenic charge artist about the scenery progress and paint schedule.
- Keep in communication with stage managers about ongoing rehearsal needs and continuing changes to the scenic needs.
- Attend production meetings and be prepared to discuss progress.
During the load-in, the technical director should organize the crew to safely and efficiently put all scenic elements into the theatre.
Technical/Dress/Preview Rehearsal Process
During the technical rehearsal phase of production, the technical director should:
- Be prepared with all scenic elements and the scenery run crew for the first and subsequent technical and dress rehearsals. All scenery and crew should be in place and prepared to begin at the rehearsal’s scheduled start time. All scenery should be spiked and ready to move. All crew should be trained on the safe operation of their equipment/scenic piece(s).
- During rehearsals the technical director should be in the house, ready to deal with any questions or problems that may occur. The technical director should be available to work with the crew and/or actors regarding their interaction with the scenery.
- At the end of the day’s rehearsal the technical director should go to the post-rehearsal production meeting and be prepared to receive notes from the director and designer and then develop a priority list for the completion of the scenery.
Run of Show Process
During the performances of a production, the technical director should:
- Maintain all of the scenery.
- Meet with the faculty technical director to determine strike schedule and process.
During the strike, the technical director is:
- In charge of calling all scenery crew for the strike call.
- In charge of managing all persons assigned to the scenery crew.
- Responsible for the safe and efficient dismantling and storing of all scenery for the production.
- Responsible for filling out crew evaluation sheets and returning the forms to the faculty technical director.