The Catholic University of America

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Production/Crew Credits for All Undergraduate Musical Theatre Majors

Student participation in production crews is required for two reasons.  First, because we believe every student should have working knowledge of the basic elements of technical theatre, of stage machinery, backstage and front of house operations, set, costume, lighting, sound or properties.

Second, crews provide the necessary support for the School’s productions, from which every student benefits, whether his or her interest is in performing, teaching, or the technical end of theatre. Without crews, there would be no production values at all.

All undergraduate students must earn a certain number of crew credits to graduate.

The student earns 1 production credit (50 hrs minimum) by working on approved running crews, front of house and promotion, dramaturgy, stage management, as an assistant director, musical director or choreographer. Late night calls for build or lights (after 10:00 pm) incur double hours. Stage managers receive 2 crew credits per show.

If a student does front of house and promotion, he/she will have to put in weekly hours with the production manager and the front office staff. All crews are expected for strike.

All hours will be tracked by the supervising crew chief, faculty member or Stage Manager. If a student does not fulfill his/her time, it will roll over to the next crew.
  
The student must sign up for each crew. It is the student’s responsibility to sign up for a crew just as one registers for classes. A sign up sheet will be posted for each production after auditions have been heard and roles assigned.  If the crews run short, a student will be assigned by either the production manager or the supervising faculty member.

Priority will be given …

   1. to students in their final two semesters who are behind in crews;
   2. to those needing the credit to keep pace with one per year;
   3. in the order that students sign up for crew work.    


After a student has been assigned to work a crew, he/she will be contacted by the Stage Manager to verify his/her commitment on that production. Once the student is verified, he/she is required to work on that production and to be available for ALL calls listed on the production calendar. If at anytime a student cannot fulfill his/her obligation, he/she is responsible for finding a replacement. Failure to do so will result in the assessment of additional crew requirements.  Personal hardship will be judged by the faculty on a case by case basis.

At the end of the show, a Crew Credit form will be placed in the student’s academic file by the production manager stating if the student has received the proper number of hours.  If a student has not completed 50 hours, the hours one did complete will be listed on the form and can be completed on the next show.  A student will not receive credit if he/she fails to show up for work or does not perform satisfactorily on a crew as evaluated by the faculty member, production or stage managers. Students should fulfill a crew each academic year to avoid over booking oneself.  In addition to the form, the production program must be placed in the academic file. This is the responsibility of the student, with assistance of the adviser.  When the student is consulting with his/her adviser for registration of courses, the student must check with the adviser to assure that the necessary documentation from the previous year’s production credit is in the file.

Working a crew for a show in which one has a role is not recommended, but exceptions may be made by the faculty adviser.

Audition Policy
All full-time Musical Theater students who are in residence are required to audition for each main-stage divisional production that is announced as part of the regular season. This requirement does not apply to secondary outside performance opportunities that are provided as a supplement to the regular season. The faculty of the Musical Theatre division believe that the audition process is integral to the training of professional performers; thus it is important for the faculty to be able to evaluate students’ strengths and weaknesses on a regular basis. Students who are pre-assigned as production staff for a particular show are exempt from audition. Any other student wishing to be exempted from auditions for any other reason must write to the head of the division to be considered for exemption. Any student who fails to attend main-stage auditions, and fails to receive permission to miss the audition, forfeits his/her ability to be considered for any other Musical Theatre main-stage production, secondary production, or Drama Department play for the missed semester and well as the following fall/spring semester. Additionally, students who miss two or more main-stage auditions may forfeit their ability to participate in Senior Showcase. Existing School of Music scholarships will also be in jeopardy.

Role Acceptance Policy

Every student who auditions for a Musical Theatre division main-stage production agrees to perform as cast in the production. Any student wishing to appeal a casting decision must write to the head of the division and the director of the production within 24 hours of casting being posted with the reasons why he/she is unable to fulfill the role as cast. Any student who fails to follow these guidelines for accepting a role is subject to the same repercussions as if the student had not auditioned for a Musical Theatre main-stage production.

Washington DC is the second largest theatrical community in the nation after New York City. The DC Theatrical community respects CUA as a hotbed for creative young talent, and many of our students find their first professional roles in this city.  The following guidelines are designed to help you balance off-campus professional engagements while prioritizing your college commitments. 

One of the foundational philosophies of the Musical Theatre Division at CUA is that there is no substitute for professional training or for professional experience.  We believe that both are necessary to prepare the student for a professional career in the performing arts. The Musical Theatre Division respects and encourages student employment in professional theatrical situations, which is why we require professional theatrical internships for graduation. The faculty of the Musical Theatre Division firmly believes that during this time of training you must place a priority on your education over professional experience.  You have chosen to be a part of a selective four year training program designed to prepare you in every aspect for your post-graduation career. When you graduate you will have your entire life to work professionally, but during these four short years we require that you dedicate yourself to your training. 

We hope that these guidelines will help provide you the support that you need to make the best decisions possible for your career, your education, and your professional pursuits.  --  The MT Faculty

 

MUSICAL THEATRE DIVISION POLICIES FOR  ACCEPTING OFF-CAMPUS PROFESSIONAL ENGAGEMENTS

All students must receive official permission to take an outside role by completing the Off-Campus Professional Engagement Worksheet which is available in the main office.   Failure to complete the worksheet before accepting a role may jeopardize the student’s continuation in the Musical Theatre Division, and/or the student’s School of Music scholarship. 

-Freshmen and sophomores will not be permitted to work off-campus during the school year.  (Transfer students who are currently enrolled in Sophomore Workshop are considered “sophomore level” in this regard).

-Students of any grade level will not be permitted to miss any classes for an outside role.

-The Musical Theatre Committee and the Deans reserve the right to determine if the professional engagement compromises the priority placed on the student’s training, and to guide the student’s professional choices.

-Students receiving a School of Music scholarship will not be permitted to engage in outside work before auditioning for the division productions of the semester. The Musical Theatre Committee will always consider the merits of working off-campus and may release the student to perform in the outside production. Not abiding by the decision of the Musical Theatre Committee will jeopardize the student’s scholarship.

BEFORE ACCEPTING A ROLE

The student’s first step is to go to the main office and obtain the form titled, Off-Campus Professional Engagement Worksheet.  The student then consults with the voice teacher, advisor, and the head of  the Musical Theatre Division to discuss the following issues:

-Will you need to miss any classes?

-Will you be able to keep up your school work?

-Is it a good step toward your career?

-Is it a good connection, a professional theatre, a well-connected creative team?

-Is it a leading role or a small ensemble part? 

When you audition make sure that you submit your class conflicts on your audition sheet; most theatres are willing to work with CUA class schedules. The faculty is also willing to speak to theatres on your behalf.

 

Internships are generally to be a performance or understudy in a full production in which the student is paid.  It has been determined that any FULL production with at least 3 performances will be considered fulfillment of the 145 hours and no further documentation or permission is required.  Any other Internship request that is either unpaid OR not a performance will require the student to get permission from the Head of the Musical Theatre Division via email.
To receive a passing grade for an Internship:
1) The Internship must be complete and the student must register for the 1 credit Internship Course, MUS 495, in the semester immediately following.
2) The student needs to have an Internship Form signed by the Internship supervisor indicating a satisfactory performance of required duties. The current Internship Verification Form can be found here.
3) If the Internship was not a full production in which the student was paid, The student must provide Jim Mahady a copy of the email from the Head of the Musical Theatre Division granting permission.
4) The student must provide a program or some other documentation of the role/duties performed. The adviser will place this document in the student's academic file, to be attached to the Internship form when it arrives.
5) The student must provide his/her adviser a one-page written description of the internship and what was learned. The internship adviser will place this document in the student's academic file, to be attached to the Internship Form when it arrives.

 

Musical Theatre Jury Requirements

All students taking lessons for credit (music or non-music students who are counting voice credits toward their degree) must take a jury at the end of each semester.

 

Please note:  The jury will be evaluated by a faculty committee. Committee grades will be averaged (50%) with the private instructor's grade (50%) to determine the final grade for the semester. In semesters where no jury takes place, the instructor's grade will constitute 100% of the final grade.

 

A student giving a junior or senior recital at mid-semester or later is not required to take the end-of-semester jury. For more information of recitals and hearings please visit: http://music.cua.edu/handbook/mt-policy.cfm

 

General Guidelines

-Songs and monologues heard in any previous jury or recital should not be used in subsequent   

 juries or recital programs. 

-Students will typically perform only two of their prepared songs per jury, and will often be given

 the choice to choose one of the two, however the faculty reserves the right to request more than

 two song choices. 

-Students will not choose their monologue as they are both performed back to back. 

-Students are expected to dress in appropriate audition attire for their juries.

 

Class Specific Guidelines

 

Freshmen:

4 songs - One must be pre-1950 (no more than 2 songs from the same show/composer)

2 monologues - about 1min in length each, contrasting comedic/dramatic, performed back to back.

   

Sophomores:   

5 songs - One must be pre-1950 (no more than 2 songs from the same show/composer)

2 monologues - about 1min in length each, contrasting comedic/dramatic, performed back to back.

 

Juniors:              

5 songs - One must be pre-1950

2 monologues - about 1min in length each, contrasting comedic/dramatic, performed back to back.

 

Seniors:             

5 songs - One must be pre-1950

2 monologues - about 1min in length each, contrasting comedic/dramatic, performed back to back.