While we are fortunate enough to have a professional production staff, parent volunteers are an essential component of each EDMT show. Both you and your child have roles in the production. For example, a typical EDMT show includes a total of about 1000 hours of volunteer time. This is divided among the families of all cast members.
You may have experienced a volunteer commitment requirement if your child has participated in a sports program. Similarly, by having a performer in a show, you agree to contribute at least 20 hours of your time in any of the areas listed below. Parents work under the guidance of the Parent Volunteer Coordinator or simply a coordinator in each area in exchange for a refund of the deposit paid at registration.
There are a number of ways you can help, from creating sets, to selling advertisements, distributing promotional flyers and show posters, scheduling fund raising events, selling concessions, flowers, store items or tickets, monitoring rehearsals or supervising backstage, sewing costumes, among many other roles. We encourage you to consider coordinating a whole area, which will automatically earn you 20 hours.
Please read the examples below and consider where you would like to participate. There will be an opportunity to sign up for various roles at the Parent Meeting.
The Parent Meeting: Scheduled after the cast list is posted, this meeting is treated as a mandatory rehearsal. The performer will incur one full absence if this meeting is missed.
This volunteer role entails working with others to load the set pieces into and out of the theater. You may elect to fulfill more of your parent volunteer hours by staying for the full time of either load-in or strike. Families may also attend a Set Shop Clean-Up Day to prepare the set shop for the next set construction. Check the show calendar for more information.
Prior to Move-In at the Theater
Parent Volunteer Coordinator: Generally responsible for making sure all volunteer opportunities/needs are filled. Should be personable and organized since you will be the liaison between parents and production staff as well as do clerical work including preparing weekly e-mail communication. Parents new to EDMT can assist someone more experienced for the first show.
Rehearsal Monitor: Attend a rehearsal to monitor cast member behavior, keep noise levels down, facilitate clean up after rehearsal and make sure everyone gets picked up safely after rehearsal ends. (Written guidelines are provided; you will work as part of a scheduled team).
Attendance: Take accurate attendance at each rehearsal. Requires the ability to arrive at 3:15. Daily notification to the producer or parent coordinator and follow up with parents regarding any absences.
Promotion Coordinator: Assemble a team and coordinate the distribution and placement of flyers, posters and road signs promoting the show. I.E. Pizza Poster Blitz!
Costumes: Assist costume designers with taking performer's measurements, record keeping, and accessory construction and or shopping for various items for costumes or props. May include taking make-up, leotard, and shoe orders and coordinating distribution of items.
Seamstresses: Assist in costume sewing or assembly.
Clerical Office Help: Assist parent coordinator with various copying, projects and administrative duties throughout the production to include typing and proofing personal ads, personal messages, and performer biographies.
Ad Sales for Playbill: Solicit local businesses to sell advertisements to be placed in the playbill. Training provided. This is simple! (One hour deducted from parent hour requirement for every ad sold is just ONE of the incentives offered with this volunteer role).
Set Construction & Painting: Help put together and paint the set pieces and backdrops for the show. No experience necessary. Dates to be advised closer to showtime.
T-Shirt Order / Cast Photo Coordinator: Collect orders from cast, place orders, and distribute orders.
School Show Coordinator: Distribute flyers/postcards (provided) to schools announcing school show dates and times, and follow up with teachers to schedule field trips for all school shows. Facilitate the ushers working the school shows, collect money from contact at each school upon arrival. Coordinate with facility person regarding busses, entrances, exits, etc.
Graphic Artists: Help design show promotional material.
Move-In/Strike: Working with others to load the set pieces into and out of the theater. Plan on a 4-hour minimum. All families are required to participate in either load-in or load-out. Families may also attend a Set Shop Clean-Up Day and prepare the set shop for the next set construction.
Cast Party Coordinator: Secure a venue for cast party at the end of the run. Purchase (minimal) decorations and organize the food, beverage, and entertainment. Make flyers for cast. Collect funds (if applicable). Collect and solicit staff gift donations. Training and budget provided.
Examples of Roles After Move-In
House Manager: Responsibilities include ensuring the safety and comfort of the audience during performances, front of house duties including liaising with the backstage during performances and with the ushers, box office interface and problem solving.
Backstage Coordinator: Be at all tech rehearsals to take notes on what cast members will need help with backstage to ensure a successful run. Assigns backstage monitors specific duties (props, dressing rooms, quick changes on stage right or left, etc.) and ensure all performers' safety, respectful behavior, noise control, and meeting cues at the proper time. Works closely with Stage Manager.
Backstage Monitors: Assist Backstage Coordinator with cast member preparations, behavior, noise control, and assisting cast members with costume maintenance and quick changes during performances to ensure proper cues. Recommend volunteering for a minimum of 3 performances as there is a learning curve and it takes time to become acquainted with and proficient in backstage performance needs and flow.
Lobby Photo Display: Collect all newspaper articles and laminate for display on the photo display board in lobby.
Lobby Decor : Work as a team to create welcoming, show-themed display in lobby. Set up one day prior to opening night, includes setting up tables with table cloths, signs, displaying headshot photos (file provided by show photographer), any and all other decorations must be hung using blue painters tape only. Also must periodically check and maintain the décor. Budget provided.
Props: From the wings, manage the prop table by assisting cast members in dealing with their props.
Stage Crew: Work in the wings to assist cast members and move set pieces and scenery.
Spotlight Operators: Two people operate spotlights from the platforms at the theater during ALL tech rehearsals and performances. Training provided.
Ushers*: Welcome, take tickets, and direct members of the audience to their assigned seats. Be available to assist audience members during the show and monitor the lobby during the performance. Clean all theater seating after each performance.
*Ushers for shows at Harris Center must participate in the Harris Center usher training program.