Volunteering at the
Racine Theatre Guild
The Racine Theatre Guild is largely staffed by volunteers. Hundreds of people of all ages and skill levels help keep the RTG going strong. There is always a need for new people. If you would like to become involved, it’s easy: fill out our Volunteer/Membership Form which lets us know your area(s) of interest and your availability. Then return the completed form to us via mail or email, and we’ll take it from there. Brief descriptions of volunteer positions appear below.
Please contact Jill Dickert with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (262) 633-4218.
Volunteers are always welcome, but the Guild encourages you to consider membership. Guild members are volunteers who agree to work 20 hours sometime during the course of the season and pay a $25.00 membership fee. In return members receive:
- Five coupons that can be exchanged for tickets to any RTG plays and musicals, July 2018 through June 2019
- Invitations to all membership parties and events
- Service awards honoring years of continuous membership
- Discounts on theatre trips and selected activities
- Eligibility to vote for representatives to the board of directors, or serve as one
- The opportunity to spend quality time with good people and acquire new skills (Members are expected to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours over the season)
To join us, just download and fill out our Membership Form, and turn it in to the box office with your $25 membership fee. We will be in touch with you to discuss your interests.
Open auditions are held before every RTG production so that interested community members may try out for plays. Previous acting experience is not required. Actors must attend all rehearsals and performances. The RTG does not use understudies.
PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER (PSM)
This position serves as an assistant to the director, and is in charge of selecting all crew chairs for a production. The PSM holds production meetings and fills in for any missing crew person during the run of a show. This person must have previous experience volunteering with the RTG, preferably as stage manager and in other technical positions.
STAGE MANAGER (SM)
The stage manager supervises the cast and crew during technical rehearsals and performances. The SM calls the sound and light cues from the booth and keeps in touch with assistant stage managers backstage via headsets. The stage manager is expected to attend all rehearsals and must be present for every show. The stage manager has many other responsibilities, including telling actors when to come for rehearsals and performances, giving line cues for early rehearsals off book, and being present at brush-up rehearsals. A stage manager should have previous experience as an ASM.
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER (ASM)
One or two ASM’s are used for each show to work backstage, telling the stage manager whether actors and crew are in position. The ASM’s act as the stage manager’s eyes and ears backstage for all technical preparations. For example, an ASM will tell the stage manager in the booth when the props crew has cleared the stage or whether an actor is in position to make an entrance.
The lighting designer works with the director to create the proper lighting effects for the show. Design work is usually done before the beginning of dress rehearsal week. This person hangs and focuses the lights in the grid. Training from an experienced designer is helpful to learn how to set lights and program the computerized system.
After the lights are designed, the lighting tech works in the booth during dress rehearsals and at each performance to execute the lighting cues at the stage manager’s signal. Previous experience is not necessary, but the person must be trained on our computerized lighting system.
The sound designer works with the director to create any sound effects and music that will be used during the show. This usually includes recording music and sound effects from sound libraries. Training can be provided to teach people how to use the booth sound equipment.
After the sound designer has completed the sound plot, the sound technician works in the booth to insert sound cues at the stage manager’s signal. The sound tech is expected to be at all dress rehearsals and performances. Previous experience is not necessary, but the person must be trained on the sound equipment.
The props chair works with the director in deciding which props will be used. This may involve pulling props from our storage and/or locating props elsewhere. The props chair is also in charge of gathering a props crew to work during performances to maintain and organize props, pre-set them for actors, change them between scenes, and put them away after performances. The props chair should have previous experience, preferably working on a props crew.
The props chair decides how many people are needed for the props crew, and he/she trains them in proper procedures for organizing, pre-setting and putting away props. Props crew persons need not have previous backstage experience. They are expected to come for rehearsals during dress rehearsal week and for performances. Props crew people can share responsibilities, so that all people do not need to be present at all performances. This is an ideal position to get to know the theatre and how its backstage operations work.
The costume designer works with the director to select costumes for the show, which may involve pulling costumes from our storage, buying clothes from stores and secondhand shops, altering clothes and sewing costumes from scratch. Sewing skills are vital, and it helps to be able to organize seamstresses to sew to your requirements. Costume designers also work with the director to accessorize actors with shoes, hats, jewelry, etc.
The chair works with the costume designer and the director to organize all costumes throughout the run of the show. This may involve pre-setting costumes in backstage areas and assisting actors with quick changes. The wardrobe chair also makes sure all costumes are in good repair, clean and pressed. Simple sewing skills are needed to sew buttons and repair rips. The wardrobe chair is responsible for recruiting a crew of people to assist, as necessary.
The wardrobe crew works with the wardrobe chair to organize and prepare wardrobe during the show. Crew people assist the chair in any way needed, including helping actors change quickly, organizing costumes between shows, and helping to launder or repair any costumes. No previous backstage experience is necessary.
The makeup chair works with the director to design makeup for each of the actors in a show. He/she is responsible for getting a makeup crew to work each performance. This person also designs hairstyles and wigs.
The makeup crew people are on hand before and during each performance to help the actors apply makeup, ensure that special supplies are on hand, clean sponges, and tidy the makeup areas of the dressing rooms. The makeup crew also helps with styling hair and wigs.
Any number of volunteers are needed to help build sets under the direction of the technical director. Volunteers are needed during the day and evenings to work in the RTG shop area. No special skills are necessary. Tools and equipment are provided. For further information, contact the show PSM or the technical director.
The house manager oversees the lobby and all patron areas during performances, and is available for audience emergencies. This position is responsible for checking out headsets for the hearing system and staffing sales at the concession stand. The house manager enforces the no-smoking rule in lobby, restrooms and auditorium. He/she is in charge of balancing the money received at concessions and the bar.
A crew of 8 to 12 ushers is coordinated by a head usher for each of the 13 play performances. Ushers come to the theatre 45 minutes before curtain and show people to their seats. Ushers sell concessions during intermissions. No previous experience is necessary.
BOX OFFICE VOLUNTEER
Volunteers staff the box office before each performance and stay through intermission. They sell tickets, provide exchanges, answer the telephone and, in general, serve as customer service representatives.
SEASON CHAIR POSITIONS
A volunteer who has worked several seasons in a particular area or has comparable experience is eligible to serve as season chair. These positions generally involve overseeing other volunteers to make sure things run smoothly from one production to the next all season long. Here are the areas with chair positions:
- AUDITIONS – Attend all auditions to hand out and gather information cards.
- BARTENDERS – Recruit and schedule bartenders for special events, rentals, Jean’s Jazz Series, First Fridays and Comedy Tonight.
- BOX OFFICE – Staff the box office with volunteers and train them.
- CALLBOARD – Write and edit the newsletter.
- HEAD USHER – Staff, train and supervise usher crews.
- HISTORIAN – Collect and file/store records, minutes, programs, photos and archival material.
- HOUSE MANAGER – Train and schedule house managers for all shows.
- LIGHTING – Inventory and maintain lighting equipment; train technicians.
- MAKEUP – Inventory, order and stock makeup supplies.
- MEMBERSHIP – Recruit and retain members, which includes activity planning.
- PACKY MEALS – Plan, prepare, serve and clean up after meals for cast and crew between shows on Racine Children’s Theatre weekends (four per season).
- PLAY READING – Help choose committee members and plays to be considered, then set up meetings, compile evaluations of plays that have been read, and guide the committee in selecting the slate for the next season.
- PRODUCTION MEALS – Prepare, serve and clean up after meals for cast and crew between play performances with minimal turn-around time.
- PROPS – Organize and inventory props; oversee strike of each show.
- SOUND – Maintain all sound equipment; train technicians.
- RTG WARDROBE RENTAL – Coordinate wardrobe rental requests.
- WARDROBE – Maintain wardrobe storage; oversee strike of each show.