Many community theatres offer classes--most often to youngsters, but also to adults. The purpose is two-fold: (1) to provide a service to the community, enriching lives through the performing arts; and (2) to develop talent that will be helpful to the theatre company itself, as well as to community theatre in general. Classes for youngsters also help involve their parents in the theatre, often encouraging further involvement as volunteers.
Community theatre education programs may include youth productions, classes, and summer camps. Working with children is rewarding, but also challenging from many perspectives. An Education Director needs patience, stamina, and strong communication and organizational skills. And a love for helping children achieve their potential [Photo: Tacoma (WA) Little Theatre youth production]
Responsibilities vary from company to company, but may include:
- Design and implementation of classes and summer camps for children in the performing arts, such as acting, musical acting, improvisation, dance, playwrighting, and vocal production for older children and youth.
- Working with the Artistic Director to design and implement a continuous season of classes for adults and seniors in a variety of theatrical disciplines, such as acting, musical acting, improvisation, directing, playwriting, and vocal production.
- Recruiting and hiring teachers for various classes, and supervising these teachers and to step in and take over if a teacher becomes incapable or unable to each class.
- Keeping track of all educational budgets and expenditures.
- Directing and producing youth theatre productions as suggested or required.
- Working with the Artistic Director to set a season of Youth Theatre productions and coordinate technical requirements of all classes and productions with the Studio Designer/Technical Director.
- Supervising all classes and scheduling of classes, as well as class productions and final projects. Coordinate any crew, prop, or set requirement of these classes, productions and projects.
- Forming and administering a working resident company of young actors for an “Out-Reach” program to area schools and nursing homes.
- Making all necessary contacts and logistic requests possible to take the arts into the school system, and perform in as many outside venues as time permits.
- Auditions and maintains the resident company of young actors keeping a suitable company involved for a given season. Determine the number of participants in the resident company with the Artistic Director.
- Suprvises youth theatre productions and has them ready for public performance on dates set by the Artistic Director.
- Maintains classroom spaces and arranges for educational materials and equipment.
- Supervise all volunteer labor for youth theatre productions and special events.
- Communicates with production stage managers regarding potential needs and repairs.
- Serve as the theatre company's representative and guest speaker for any school of civic functions as requested by the Artistic Director.
Sample Programs from AACT-Member Theatres
- La Crosse Community Theatre (LaCrosse, WI)
- Midland Community Theatre (Midland, TX)
- Tacoma Little Theatre (Tacoma, WA)
- Topeka Civic Theatre Academy (Topeka, KS)
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