The charge scenic artist is responsible for safely and effectively realizing the scenic designer’s vision for all of the scenery for a departmental production. The charge scenic artist’s duties include budgeting materials and labor required for all scenic elements, producing paint samples as needed, purchasing all materials for the desired finishes for the scenery, attending production meetings and other meetings as needed, scheduling the paint calls and (in conjunction with the technical director and master carpenter) the scheduling of the painting of the scenery and supervising the painting of the scenery. The charge scenic artist will work closely with the scene designer, technical director and master carpenter to fully and successfully complete the scenery as designed for the production.
The charge scenic artist’s 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 charge scenic artist will meet with the faculty scenic artist, scene designer, faculty scene designer, technical director and faculty technical director for budget review/design presentation meetings to discuss and budget the scene designs in progress. The first budget 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 charge scenic artist should be given a ground plan and a rough idea of elevations. After the second meeting the charge scenic artist will do a budget break down of painted or sculpted scenic components. At the third meeting the charge scenic artist should be given the complete drawings of the scenery for the production. After the third meeting the technical director and charge scenic artist will do a complete and detailed budget breakdown and rough build schedule for all scenery for the production. At this time, the charge scenic artist will:
- Meet with the faculty scenic artist ,technical director and faculty technical director to go over technical/build ideas.
- Produce paint samples as needed and meet with the faculty scenic artist to go over all paint elevations and drawings.
- Meet with the scene designer, faculty scene designer, technical director, faculty technical director, prop master, and prop shop supervisor to discuss paint process for the production.
- Order all materials necessary for the painting of the scenery. Consult the prop master regarding paint needs for the prop department to incorporate those needs into the paint order.
- Meet with the master carpenter and work with them to organize training and build schedules.
- Supervise the training of the painting crew as necessary.
During the building process, a charge scenic artist is responsible for the following:
- Supervise all aspects of the painting/sculpting of the scenery.
- Coordinate with the master carpenter and schedule all scenic art crew calls.
- Keep in communication with the scenic designer and prop master about prop/ scenery progress.
- Keep in communication with the technical director about the scenery progress and paint schedule.
- Keep in communication with stage managers about ongoing paint process and any specialty items that may have an impact on actors or staging.
- Attend production meetings and be prepared to discuss progress.
During the load-in, the charge scenic artist should organize the crew calls as necessary to accommodate the timely finishing of all painted scenic elements and/or completion of painted surfaces to maximize the safe and effective load-in of all scenic elements into the theatre.
Technical/Dress/Preview Rehearsal Process
During the technical rehearsal phase of production, the charge scenic artist should:
- Be prepared to complete all final finishes of all scenic elements of the production.
- During rehearsals the charge scenic should be in the house, ready to communicate with the scenic designer regarding any questions or problems that may occur with all scenic elements.
- At the end of the day’s rehearsal the charge scenic artist should attend 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 charge scenic artist should:
- Be prepared to assist the stage manager in the maintenance of the scenic finishes as defined in daily performance notes. This will usually involve deck maintenance and touch ups of any scenic element that may be damaged in production.
During the strike, the charge scenic artist is:
- In charge of calling all scenic art crew for the strike call.
- In charge of managing all persons assigned to the scenic art crew.
- Responsible for the safe and efficient disposal and storage of all paint materials used for the production.
- Responsible for filling out crew evaluation sheets and returning the forms to the faculty technical director.