Category Archives: 101 Theatre Practicum

101 Theatre Practicum

Theatre Practicum (THR 101, 201, 301 or 401) 3 Credits

Course location and meeting time: There is no formal meeting time for this course. This course is similar to “on the job training”. You get credit for actually working on (or being in) productions.

 Course description : Theatre Practicum is essentially “hands on” training/work to get credit for actually working on a production.   Students may get credit for being in a show (see: Performance), working Front of House (FOH) example: House Manager, Publicity Agent, Ticket Seller, Usher or supporting the production backstage (see: Technical).

Requirements : Although the three main areas available for Practicum Credit have their own specific types of requirements, the overall / general requirements are the same: 39 hours per credit (1 credit=39, 2 credit = 78, 3 credits = 117).   Theatre Practicum is an “open enrollment course” meaning you may register anytime throughout the semester without additional late fees.   Students may also take 1-3 credits per semester per level of practicum.   Because of this, especially if you are unfamiliar with the time commitments of working in the Theatre, it is recommended you register for a small amount of credits and you can add more throughout the semester if you decide you can truly put in the work required to fill more credits.

Timesheets Should be recorded and stored in the appropriate shop/area of production work.   In the case of running crew positions: typically one production running crew position (example: Board Operator) is equal to 1 credit of Theatre Practicum…in this case, time sheets for the running crew position are not necessary.   If the student registers for more than one credit, they should not their running crew position on the bottom of the time sheet they keep in the shop.

Performers should get prior approval from both the Director and Instructor of Record for the size of the role and the appropriate number of credits.   Also, a journal or record may be required.   Performers, Designers and Directors in Lab Productions (Winter Shorts) should always get prior approval from the instructor for credits in production – credits for Lab Productions are not always granted, and are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Advice : Students have often completed 3 credits of practicum in half a semesters’ time.   Other students, however, due to work, poor time management skills, overly active social lives, or personal commitments sometimes come up very short.   For Technical practicum credits it is strongly suggested that you put in most (if not all) of your hours prior to the mainstage show for the current semester opens.   Once the mainstage opens, work in the shop slows down and the job tasks will be less interesting, and the hours the shop(s) are open will become reduced.   Get done early so you will have an easier time with your other finals!

Course Policies : If you are cast in a production (performance) or accept the duties of a running crew (backstage) person, other people will become reliant on you to be there to perform your job.   You will be trained (either through rehearsals as a performer) or during “Tech Weekend” (as a running crew person), making you hard to replace.   Therefore, you will be expected to be on-time (ready to work when the call is set; not in jacket eating, for example).   A separate schedule is available for running crew positions and performances at this meeting…or see the Technical Director for copies.   Rehearsals for performers prior to “Tech Weekend” are set (usually weekly) by the production Stage Manager, and although not all actors are called to each rehearsal: accepting a role is a major time commitment.   A rough schedule will be posted on the bulletin board (“call board”) near the scene shop – check with it daily for rehearsal updates & potential conflicts.

       If you accept a role or running crew position: being late (even once) may adversely affect your grade!

Grading Guidelines : These are general guidelines used when grading is decided:

“A” = Completed all expected hours. Student was on-time, had a positive attitude, worked well with others, would try their best to complete tasks assigned.   Was not lazy.

“B” = Was within 5 hours per credit of expected hours (at least 34, 73, or 112 respectively). May have been late on occasion, was not disruptive, did not abandon projects undone without informing you of its status.   May have had “off days” but was generally reliable.   Missed Production call, but called in with enough time for you to find a replacement for them.

“C” = Was within 7 hours per credit of expected hours (at least 32, 71 or 110 respectively).   Student was late occasionally.   Negative attitude, but completed most work assigned.   Caused a few problems, but was O.K. for most part.   Missed Production call, but called in.

“D” = Was within 10 hours per credit of expected hours (at least 29, 68 or 107 respectively).   Student was late a great deal.   Negative attitude, sometimes disruptive.   Did not usually complete work assigned.

“F” = Was more than 10 hours per credit short of expected hours (less than 29, 68 or 107 hours respectively).   Late often or did not show up.   Negative attitude.   Missed Production call and did not call in.   Disruptive.

Theatre Practicum TechnicalSince no structured teaching takes place within the practicum format, the primary objectives are to develop previously acquired skills through participating in producing theatre and to develop new skills through on-the-job training in the production process.

The student may choose one of the following areas in which to concentrate his/her work or may combine two or more of these areas (as agreed upon in consultation with unit heads);

1. Scenery

a. construction and finishing

b. running crew

2. Properties

a. building and acquisitions

b. running crew

7. Production Staff

a. stage management

3. Lighting

a. hanging and focusing

b. running crew

4. Costumes

a. construction, hair dressing

b. wardrobe mistress & running crew

c. makeup crew

5. Sound

a. creating and recording

b. running crew

6. Publicity, Box Office, House Management

Job description available at box office

The student must keep a time sheet and accurately record the number of hours completed on a regular basis. Each Running Crew position is equal to 1 credit of practicum. Since production work is seasonal, the student is reminded that the approach of production deadlines often demand a more concentrated use of time; a written schedule will be maintained, keeping in mind that the hours cannot be completely equally spaced throughout the semester. If a student does not complete the required number of hours for registered credits, (s)he may receive an unsatisfactory or failing grade for the course. Student commitment and quality of work, as well as the student’s attitude towards learning will be examined upon the assignment of grades.

Theatre Practicum PerformanceCredit is awarded for participation as a performer in UAF mainstage productions. Credit will vary from 1 to 3, depending on: a) size of role; b) length and difficulty of rehearsal process. Student must inform the production director of their intention to receive credit for their role, and to learn if the director requires journals or written documentation supporting the research the student does.   Student should do a similar check with the instructor of record after checking that the director is willing to supervise the student for credit.

Credit may occasionally be granted for “Lab Theatre” productions (Winter Shorts) – but the student must petition a faculty advisor for their role / production before signing up for credit (must be pre-approved). In these cases; credits will rarely exceed 1 or 2.

Again: it is the student’s responsibility to learn exactly what is expected of them to get credit for working on a production.   “Just showing up” is not enough for college credit.

ADA: The Office of Disability Services implements the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and insures that UAF students have equal access to the campus and course materials. We will work with the Office of Disabilities Services (203 WHIT, 474-7043) to provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities.