Technology Policy and Social Media Guidelines
The Department of Theatre Art's current policy on technology at technical rehearsals and performances is:
- Cell phones need to be disabled backstage (airplane mode or turned off, not just silenced) at all times during tech and performance.
- The appropriate use of laptops, tablets and other technology for designers and technicians in front of house during tech will be addressed by individual mentors (we know sometimes it’s show related…but much of the time it is not)
- Crew chiefs backstage are empowered to police use of technology (laptops, etc.)
- Starting with first run-through of show (generally on Sunday) all personal technology must be turned off during the run/performance.
WATCH THE SHOW. STAY ENGAGED!
GUIDELINES AND ETIQUETTE OR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE REGARDING PHOTOGRAPHS, VIDEOS, AND PRODUCTIONS
The guidelines below are intended to help us maintain an online social media presence that is professional and appropriate for our work in production and in all aspects of our educational endeavors. They are intended to make us mindful of the positive (or potentially negative) impact a photograph or post can have on others.
We understand that selfies and group photos are part of our lives, but we need to be respectful of the unfinished nature of the tech/design/rehearsal process and ensure that our promotional efforts reflect the work in the best possible light. Taking a photograph to record a memory is one thing, but when posted, it takes on a life of its own over which we often have no control. Since the lines get blurry between our personal and professional lives on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and apps such as Snapchat and Instagram, it’s important to observe these guidelines out of respect for the artistic process:
- During the rehearsal/design/build phases of productions, photographs and video recordings are often used as part of the creative process: to take pictures at fittings, to record fight or dance choreography in progress, for staging, props, and for promotional purposes. These photos and videos are an important part of the creative process, but should not be viewed by individuals who are not part of the production, or posted on individual Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other websites unless they are part of the promotional efforts coordinated through the Theatre Arts Management (TAMs) during designated times. Specific times will be set aside for the taking of photographs and recording of promotional materials, in order to coordinate Theatre Arts Management (TAM) efforts to maintain an appropriate online presence and generate buzz for the productions.
- Prior to opening, only approved promotional materials are to be posted on the internet as efforts to promote the shows. Do not post or share photos, videos, or other recordings that feature performance, tech, or design elements prior to opening as they may misrepresent the work as finished products, when there is still work to be done and changes to be made.
- Dressing rooms are private spaces, and backstage use of personal technology is distracting and detrimental to the safety of others. Be considerate of your colleagues and refrain from taking (and posting) photographs in dressing rooms, or backstage during rehearsals or performances, when artists, technicians, and designers should be focused on their work.
- During tech rehearsals and performances (in all areas backstage), the department follows the Technology Policy, which is copied below from our online Department Handbook. Other statements from our unions are also listed below for your consideration.
- If posts occur that are not in line with these guidelines, please communicate your concerns to the Director of Artistic Programming (Wendy Dann) or the Director of Production (Colin Stewart).
EXAMPLES OF BEST PRACTICES AND CONTRACT LANGUAGE FROM OUR PROFESSIONAL UNIONS:
From United Scenic Artists (Local 829):
“No theatre or third party shall broadcast, distribute, or otherwise disseminate by any means whatsoever any visual image or sound of a rehearsal, performance or any other part of a production where any part of the scenery, costumes, lighting or sound can be seen or heard…” unless part of a “captured material” process, such as we describe above.
“The intent is to show the Designer’s work in the best possible light. The theatre will consult with the Designer prior to capture of costume fittings.”
From Actors Equity Association:
“With the advent of the Internet and new digital media, Actors' performances have become even more vulnerable to exploitation. Equity continues to monitor new technology to develop new strategies that protect Actors' images and artistry, while providing theatre producers the ability to effectively market and promote their shows to continue employment for Equity members.”