What is STAC?
The Student-Teacher Advisory Council is a new student initiative in Theater and Dance to promote equity, transparency and inclusion within the Department. The council consists of faculty, staff and up to 6 students (students maintain the majority of seats in STAC)
This is an elected council which represents student interests in the department. In addition to engaging the faculty on a variety of departmental function–such as season selection, and representation in department meetings, they will also connect students to resources and advocate for students when incidents, especially those in regards to equity and inclusion, occur. All students with an interest in Dance and Theater are invited to council meetings. Please contact the following STAC Council Members below for any questions or concerns.
Right now, STAC is still in the process of being created, and here is where we need student leadership and voices to build a strong council that clearly addresses the needs and goals of our theater and dance students. As such, we want to hear from YOU! Please reach out to our current members (listed below) to share your thoughts and/or interest in joining STAC.
Current STAC Committee Members:
Kush Sharma ‘23
Tim Dugan (Theater Faculty Advisor)
Brian J. Evans (Dance Faculty Advisor)
STUDENT CONCERNS POLICY
The Dept of Theater and Dance recognizes the tremendous benefits and attendant challenges that exist when both professors and peers are given positions of authority over others, and hierarchies are created within creative projects. Since we are an educational institution, these projects require a level of supervision and guidance that can allow for professional and personal growth among participants, while maintaining respect, safety and support for all involved. We have created a statement to be shared for all department productions—both faculty and student-directed or choreographed–to promote professionalism and positivity.
Student Concerns Policy Statement:
The Department of Theater and Dance seeks to nurture communication, safety, respect, and accountability of participants at all levels of theater and dance production. Therefore, the department recognizes a need for all participants in production work to have objective resources and safe spaces for voicing concerns, settling disputes and answering questions regarding their projects. If a student has any such needs, they should feel free to reach out to any member of the faculty or staff of the Dept. of Theater and Dance with whom they feel comfortable. Respect for anonymity or privacy—when desired—will be treated with the utmost consideration, and concerns and disputes will be addressed as quickly and sensitively as possible.
HONORS AND AWARDS
Most awards given to students are voted on by the combined faculty and staff at a faculty meeting close to graduation. The Ellen Seeling Design Fellowship Award is the one exception, and is usually awarded to a rising senior student.
Awarded each year to those qualified members of the senior class who undertake and satisfactorily complete a program of independent study within their major program or department.
The Dale Hatch Award
Given annually to the graduating senior who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and service for four years in the Robinson Players. The decision is made by an anonymous vote by the Board Members of the student run theater group.
The Senseney Memorial Award
Given to graduating student or students who have shown outstanding creative ability and promise in writing and/or the dramatic arts. Created by the friends of William Stewart Senseney, Class of 1949, a member of the Robinson Players. The decision is made by the faculty members of both English and Theater and Dance departments.
The Marcy Plavin Dance Award
Awarded annually to the seniors who have shown exceptional dedication to and passion for dance. Created in 2000 by the alumni of the Bates College Modern Dance Company to honor their friend and mentor, Marcy Plavin, Lecturer Emerita in Dance and founding director of the Bates Dance program.
The Ellen Seeling Design Fellowship
Awarded annually to a rising senior with a design focus. The award is to fund research in preparation for that student’s thesis experience. Named for Ellen Seeling, Bates Professor of Design from 1996 – 2003.
Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of College Theater in the United States. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.
In January of each year, regional festivals showcase the finest of each region’s entered productions and offer a variety of activities, including workshops, symposia, and regional-level award programs.
Bates Theater students in acting, directing, design, stage management, playwriting, and dramaturgy who are interested in participating in the New England session of the KCACTF Festival should notify their department advisor by November to make registration and travel arrangements. The conferences run during the academic week, so further permissions will need to be secured from other faculty, etc. for excused absences from classes and other responsibilities. For more information, click here: KCACTF
WORK-STUDY POSITIONS/STUDENT EMPLOYMENT
There are many opportunities for paid student work within the Department of Theater and Dance. Available jobs are generally posted early in the semester on Handshake. Jobs in the department may be for a full academic year, or more project-based (such as involvement on specific productions).
You may also inquire with the Technical Director, the Costume Shop Supervisor or the Managing Director about employment opportunities. Work Authorization is required in advance of hiring for any job.
Certain positions listed below are also available to be filled for production (290 or 360) credit. Please consider which options are best suited to your own needs, and discuss both options with the folks listed above, or your departmental advisor.
Event Production Staff:
Event Staff personnel work performances on an ad hoc basis determined by the performance schedule. Event Staff people may run lights, sound, the fly rail or other tasks as needed. Training will be provided as needed for these jobs.
Scene Shop Employment:
Carpenters working in the Scenery Shop build scenic elements and install them onstage for department plays and dance concerts. Scene shop employees work a regular schedule each week. The job requires the use of power tools following appropriate safety training. Familiarity with light wood-frame construction is desirable but not required. Carpenters may also be asked to paint scenery. Students interested in the fabrication and organization of props are also eligible for employment in the Scene Shop (depending on production needs).
Costume Shop Employment:
A limited number of Work Study positions are available in the Costume Shop. Positions include construction and alterations of costumes, maintenance of the costume collection, assisting with hair and makeup needs, assisting the designer, and wardrobe crewing for shows. A Work Authorization number from the SEO is required. For details on shop work, contact Carol Farrell, Costume Shop Supervisor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lighting Crew Employment:
Lighting crew members install stage lighting equipment for performances in one of the 3 theaters operated by the Department. The job requires workers to be comfortable working on ladders. Training for Genie Lift operation is required for this job. A basic understanding of electricity is helpful, but not required. All other training will be offered as needed.
House Management & Ushers:
The House Manager is at all performances and supervises Ushers as needed. The House Manager is required to be familiar with Emergency Evacuation procedures for each theater.
Ushers are normally members of Robinson Players and work as volunteers for their assigned evenings.
Social Media and Graphic Design:
Graphic Designers work closely with the Managing Director and the Show Director, under a set schedule, to design a poster image for productions and events. The image must work within the department’s standard poster frame, which is available from the Managing Director or AAA.
Social Media Coordinators produce posts for our social media platforms that promote upcoming shows, events and student success to our local audience, alumni and prospective students. They work with the Managing Director and the AAA.
Digital Media and Sound Design:
The Sound Designer works with the Show Director on creating sound effects, music and abstract soundscapes that are needed for the show.
The job of the Stage Manager requires a high level of organization and grace under pressure. The Stage Manager is the informational hub of any given production, and provides the student in this position practice in leadership, effective communication and consensus building. Student Stage Managers work closely with faculty and staff through the entire production period.
Stage Managers for theater organize and attend daily rehearsals, communicated with all parties involved through regular emails. They arrive before rehearsals start, to ensure the space is clean and that props are correctly set for the rehearsal to begin. They distribute daily rehearsal reports immediately following the rehearsal to communicate questions, needs, ideas and technical specifics to the rest of the production team. The Stage Manager is the last to leave the rehearsal space, making sure that all props are put away and that the space is cleared and available for other work to happen in the space outside of rehearsals.
Stage Managers for Dance do not generally attend daily rehearsals, instead beginning their rehearsal period with the start of technical rehearsals. Stage Managers for dance have a greater role in coordinating the 10 – 15 small clusters of dancers each in their rehearsal routine in advance of technical rehearsals. Contemporary dance is a fluid environment with no script to bind the choreographers and performers, so Stage Managers for dance need to be comfortable with last minute changes.
Coming soon, we will have a digital forum for students to provide commentary, improvements, concerns, praise, constructive critique, musings and any other information you’d like to share with the Department. This digital suggestion box will allow for anonymous commentary.
THEATER AND DANCE DEPARTMENT INTERESTS
Are you interested in getting involved in Theater and Dance? Fill out this interest form so we can better connect you with the appropriate faculty, staff and fellow students to welcome you in and get you involved!