The most powerful tool a Director has is his performer – but his performer wouldn’t survive even one show without the care it gets from the “pit crew”. Comprised of individuals who dedicate their time and talents to the growth and success of our students, pit crews are sometimes called the unsung heroes. That’s because they keep the show (and the performer) going, but they often get very little credit. However, those who are in the know recognize that crew members are an integral part of every successful production and are superb in their own right.
Here at Pennsylvania Youth Theatre we have our own “PYT CREW”. The gift of time is priceless…your time and positive energy is all it takes to VOLUNTEER at Pennsylvania Youth Theatre! Volunteering can be fun, rewarding, and educational. By volunteering with us, you will have the opportunity to attend the theatre, experience behind-the-scenes and make an impact on the lives of the young people within our community. We look forward to having you join the PYT family as a member of the PYT CREW!
To sign up to join the PYT CREW contact the Outreach Coordinator, Dedrea Becker. 610.332.1403 firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers are needed to assist the Costume Designer in constructing, tracking and maintaining the costumes for each production. Assistant Seamstresses, who can take on more than usual amounts of responsibility and aid the Costume Designer, are desired. Sewing skills are useful, but not required for Costume Crew. The individual duties will vary from production to production. During tech week, members of this crew are responsible for helping the Costume Coordinator transport the costumes to the theatre. During performances, members of this crew will be needed to staff the quick change areas and do emergency repairs and laundering.
This crew is responsible for gathering, creating and/or maintaining all of the props that will be used during the run of a production. Artistic and craft ability is useful, but not always required. Responsible for accounting for and tracking all Props delivered to the performance venue and coordinating the setup of the Props tables with the Stage Manager. During the performances, at least one member of this crew is needed at each performance to set the props on their tables and do emergency props repairs as needed. Crew will also be in charge of coordinating the removal and return of all props during strike.
Set Construction/Stage Crew
Set Construction volunteers are needed to assist the Production Manager with load in and strike for each production. Carpentry and painting skills are needed. Stage crew works with the Stage Manager and Back Stage Managers by moving set pieces when scene changes occur during performances. Volunteer times will be scheduled with the Production Manager.
A Concessions Coordinator is needed. Coordinator supervises and oversees the Concessions Committee and is liaison between PYT and committee. At the start of the rehearsal process, the Coordinator meets with Concessions Committee and delegates the list of duties. The Committee is responsible for gathering, soliciting for and/or purchasing food/beverages/ice for the concessions table at the public performances. The committee solicits businesses and cast member families for donated items to be sold (soda, water, snacks, baked goods, ice, candy, etc.). During tech week, the Coordinator works with the Concessions Committee and Lobby Decoration Crew to set up the concessions table and move items from PYT offices to the performance venue.
The Concessions Committee arrives 1 hour prior to show-time and is responsible for the opening and closing of the concessions table during Public Performances. They sell goods before, during intermission and end of performance. After each performance the committee is responsible for completing the Daily Concessions Report (keeping complete and accurate financial records of income and any expenses) which is turned in to PYT staff at the conclusion of the performance. Concessions Committee restocks items and communicates to Coordinator the need for any additional items/supplies.
Lobby Decorations/Cast Party
This crew is responsible for decorating the lobby of the theatre keeping in mind the theme of the production, the restrictions of the performance venue and the suggestions or requests of the Director. Please note that lobby decorations cannot take up floor space, as the lobby can get very crowded and we can’t have a fire hazard. PYT does not provide a budget for lobby decorations. This crew is also responsible for planning and coordinating the Cast Party reserving rooms, if necessary, ordering food/beverages and decorating.
House Manager is needed for every performance, reports to Production Manager and should arrive at the theatre 1 hour before curtain. This volunteer is responsible for everything that happens in the house and lobby areas before, during and after a performance. House Manager should be familiar with the location of the restrooms, water fountain, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and emergency exits; checks condition of seats and audience area; ensures fire exits are not blocked, confirms with Box Office set up of reserved seats (if necessary); prepare/assist for possible handicapped/wheelchair seating; opens house at the Production/Stage Manager’s discretion. In the event of an emergency, House Manager would contact police, ambulance and/or fire departments. House Manager supervises Ushers.
Six ushers are needed for each public performance, should arrive at the theatre 1 hour before curtain and report to House Manager. Two ushers greet audience and scan tickets, two distribute programs and two assist with seating audience members. Handle any problems – patrons arriving late or at the wrong performance, unhappy with seating, etc. Confer with Box Office, Production/Stage Manager when audience is seated, then upon approval drop blue masking curtain, close lobby doors and turn off lobby lights.
At intermission, prop blue masking curtain, open lobby doors and turn on lobby lights. Coordinate with Production/Stage Manager to time the intermission and blink lobby lights (to announce intermission is ending). Close blue masking curtain, lobby doors and turn off lobby lights at end of intermission. Repeat process of opening curtain/doors at end of performance.
Maintaining and cleaning the house, lobby and main restrooms (which includes but is not limited to: sweeping the floor, trash removal, restocking restroom supplies, etc.) is also the responsibility of the House Manager/Ushers. Two Ushers should remain in lobby and two inside door at least 15 minutes after curtain to seat latecomers. At least two Ushers should remain in lobby during entire performance to assist patrons and/or cast members if necessary.
Two Backstage Managers report directly to the Stage Manager. Backstage Managers are responsible for managing and supervising the backstage area. During the rehearsal process, they are in charge of learning the flow of the show, coordinating quick changes, scene changes, group entrances and exits and other necessary technical maneuvers with the Stage Manager. Before each week, the Backstage Managers are also responsible for organizing and scheduling dates when the individual Backstage Crew members will work as well as having two pre-production meetings with the volunteer crew. During the tech/dress rehearsals and performances, the Backstage Managers work with the Stage Manager to keep the show running smoothly.
PYT offers high school students enrolled in PYT classes the opportunity to earn Community Service Hours. Assistant helps teacher engage students in classroom exercises. Classes meet for 1-2 hours weekly September – April/June.
Projects in our administrative office, marketing and development departments require little time and are flexible. Typically Administrative Volunteers might work the front desk during productions, serve as Room Parents, and assist with direct mailings, advertising or Special Events. Responsibilities include answering the phones, filing, stuffing envelopes, set up/clean up events, posting promotional posters and/or distributing postcards to local businesses as well as developing clever ways to promote the organization/productions/special events. Marketing experience is not necessary but greatly appreciated.
PYT is an acceptable form of Community Service for local High School students. If you have a child who is in need of volunteer hours and would be interested in helping with ANY of these committees, please contact the office 610.332.1400 for further information.