TH 1699

Running Crew


Follow Spot Operator

Area Supervisor: Ethan Hollinger

Office: MPAC 110
Phone: 218-726-7807

Job Description
As part of the TH1699 - Running Crew Practicum, the Follow Spot Operator is responsible for prepping their spot light prior to each rehearsal and performance (including but not limited to turning the lights on, ensuring the space is clean and safe to work in, checking headsets, etc.), operating the follow spot during the performance per management direction, as well as performing post-show duties (these too include but are not limited to; shutting off the lights, turning off running lights, etc.) The follow spot op reports to the Stage Manager and/or Assistant Stage Manager(s) during all technical and dress rehearsals as well as the performances. The follow spot op is also expected to participate in the strike of the show once it closes.

Seeing a Run Through
Stage Management will contact all of the running crew members about when to see a run through of the show. This will likely be in the final week of rehearsal prior to it going into technical rehearsal. Running Crew members should make every effort to attend at least one of these rehearsals as it will provide an idea of the nature of the show and the crew member’s role with it.

Dress Code
Usually the crew isn’t supposed to be noticed so the default dress code is to wear all black. Black long-sleeved shirts or sweatshirts, black pants, black shoes and socks.

Technical Rehearsals
Technical Rehearsals take place over the weekend prior to the show opening. These can be two very long days of not much going on interspersed with flurries of activity. Unless otherwise notified by Stage Management, it is expected all crew members will attend technical rehearsals. Any work requirements or school activities must be cleared from the crew member’s schedule. If there are conflicts, the crew member is obligated to inform the instructor and stage management to see if something can be worked out.

Generally UMD Theatre runs technical rehearsals on an AEA (Actors Equity Association - the union for actors and stage managers) model known as a “10 out of 12”. This means there are ten hours of rehearsal out of a 12 hour day. Typically the crew will be called to the theater anywhere from an hour to two hours prior to the actors so they can be given their assignments, rehearse any scene shifts or learn other duties.

Once the technical rehearsal begins, the follow spot op is to remain at their light so they can perform their duties as needed. Follow spot ops generally have some down time during rehearsals and as such are welcome to bring homework, books, etc, but may only use them if they are not needed for a time. This decision will be made by Stage Management.

Dress Rehearsals/Performances
Just like Technical Rehearsals, crew members are expected to attend all Dress Rehearsals and Performances. Dress Rehearsals are on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday following the Technical Rehearsals. Generally the follow spot op is called to the theater 90 minutes prior to curtain to turn their follow spots on. This gives time to troubleshoot a fixture if it isn’t working. Stage Management will determine the call times for the crew. Depending on the needs of the show, the crew may be tasked with staying a half hour after the show for post-show duties.

Generally, Strike is held on the Sunday afternoon after the Saturday night performance. There are the odd productions which close on a Sunday, which means strike will commence immediately after the final performance. The follow spot op is usually tasked with assisting the lighting department to strike the lighting rig. In this case, the Master Electrician will manage the crew. If you are also enrolled in either TH1301 - Stagecraft, TH1401 - Costume Construction, or TH1599 - Lighting Practicum, your responsibility for strike will be to work those areas.

Final grade will be determined by the Instructor after consulting necessary production team members with regards to how well the duties listed above were executed and the timeliness of the crew member.