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Information: Practica for Theatre

The Theatre Department places great value on the learning that occurs while working on productions whether as a performer, designer or in a technical position. To reflect this philosophy in required coursework, this type of assignment is called Practicum. Practicum is graded, credit-bearing and is required of each student to fulfill the Major and Minor and those credits count toward graduation. Click here for specific requirements.

One credit of Practica equals at least 45 hours of work be performed in a certain area. While work in the Theater is enjoyable, it carries with it a large commitment of time and energy and must be done well to maintain our level of quality. The number of credits and meeting times are determined by the instructor. Most performances and rehearsals are in the evening; therefore, evening classes will usually conflict. 

We recommend that you plan to do some amount of Practica each semester. This way you will not find yourself, at the end of your career here, rushing to finish that requirement. Please remember that if you haven’t filled out a practicum form, you are not getting credit. It is your responsibility to sign up by the Practica deadlines.

Because of the collaborative nature of theater and the fact that we operate on an absolute deadline, , there will be no way to make up or complete the class duties/requirements when the production, quarter, semester, or season is over. Failure to complete your duties/requirements for the class in the required time will result in failure of the course.

What is Technical Theatre Practicum?

Technical Theater Practica are variable credit courses (1-4 credits depending on the assignment). They are available in a variety of theatrical areas: Costumes, Lighting, Props, Scenery and Sound. Each of these areas have 2 types of assignment, either preparation before the show begins (Shop Crew) or being on the crew that performs tasks while the show is performing (Run Crew). 

Each credit one receives requires at least 40 hours of work be performed according to certain criteria which vary depending on the area in which it occurs. While work in the Theater is enjoyable, it carries with it a large commitment of time and energy and must be done well to maintain our level of quality. Practica is open to all and requires no previous experience. All students are trained in the necessary skills to succeed at their assignment.

The nature of the work you may be expected to do varies with the assignment.

  • Costume assignments may require operating a variety of sewing machines, doing laundry and helping actors change clothes backstage.
  • Lighting assignments may require climbing tall ladders, working with lighting instruments or operating a computer light board.
  • Property assignments may include acquiring props from storage, maintaining props during rehearsal and/or performance period, modifying or creating props under supervision of Production Property Master.
  • Scenery assignments may require operating large power tools, constructing scenery or moving scenery around on stage.
  • Sound assignments may include climbing heights, moving heavy equipment or operating complex sound equipment during the show.

Because of the collaborative nature of theater and that we operate on an absolute deadline, when the production, quarter, semester, or season is over, there will be no way to make up or complete the class duties/requirements. Failure to complete your duties/requirements for the class in the required time will result in failure of the course.

In the case of Run Crew, you will be expected to be on time for your call, sign in upon arrival, and not to leave the rehearsal/performance until released by the crew head or stage manager. Individual tasks and responsibilities will be assigned during the early Tech rehearsals.

Grading will be based on attitude; consistent, smooth running of cues; overall backstage behavior; acceptance of responsibility; integration with the rest of the crews; and of course, timely attendance. Similar rules apply to the Preparation crews, except that schedules are more flexible.

Technical practica are numbered THEP 213-216, THEP 270-276, 370-376 and 470-476. 

What is Performance Practicum?

Performance Practicum is variable credit received for performing in Theatre Department productions. This includes performing in Mainstage and Studio productions and Directing class. Areas of performance include:

Performers (actors, dancers, musicians) are required to audition in order to be cast in mainstage and/or studio productions. Information about shows and auditions is provided on the Theatre Call Board outside of FA 127 and through the Theatre Listserv.

These are variable credit courses dependent upon the amount of time required by the assignment. The number of credits and meeting times are arranged by the instructor. Most performances and rehearsals are in the evening; therefore, evening classes will usually conflict. 

Performance practica are numbered, THEP 260-266, THEP 360-366 and THEP 460-466. 

What is Stage Management Practicum?

Management work on all performance and technical aspects of a Theatre Department production. The Stage Manager works closely with the faculty or student director/choreographer. Concurrent registration required for 2 credits of technical practica (276, 376, 476) and 2 credits of performance (266, 366, 466). Permission of the Director is required. Most performances and rehearsals are in the evening; therefore, evening classes will usually conflict. 

If you are interested in pursuing SM work, contact Barbara Wolfe.

Why students need technical practica

Student who participate in production, by being members of the crew, have a much better idea of what goes into a theatre production and how to fit into the process productively. 

Indeed, in the early stages of a career, any theater person will probably be called upon to help out with tech or to run a show he/she is not cast in, so the training obtained in practica is guaranteed to be useful. 

How to register for practica

Practica Deadlines for Fall 2016:
1st half add/drop deadline Sept. 30
2nd half add/drop deadline Oct. 27

Stop into the Costume or Scene Shop to sign up for your practica credits or contact the appropriate person by e-mail. Don't wait to fulfill your practicum requirements!

For Costume Crew, contact Marisa Wade:
mwade@binghamton.edu or 607-777-6804 in the costume shop. 

For Scene/Stage Crew, contact Don Guido:
dguido@binghamton.edu or 607-777-2363 in the scene shop.

For Sound Crew, contact Craig Saeger:
csaeger@binghamton.edu

For Stage Management, contact Barbara Wolfe:
bwolfe@binghamton.edu

Have questions? 

Contact Practica Coordinator and Department Chair: Barbara Wolfe - bwolfe@binghamton.edu

Last Updated: 9/12/16