Spare Parts Theatre Company was formed in 1992. It primarily
consisted of a core group of community theatre devotees
who wanted to perform without the restrictions often found
when working with other groups. Some members have been
working in the theater for as many as 25 years, others
25 months (and possibly a few for 25 hours).
first performance together was "Bleacher Bums"
in 1992 at O'Henry's. Soon you'll be able to view photos
of that performance, and other information, in our "Archives"
section. Since then we have gone on to perform at every
opportunity presented to us.
that we are working with Dan and Maryann Munyon, owners
of The Broadway Theatre in Pitman, we are better able
to provide the community with the opportunity to enjoy
live, local theater. The Broadway Theater also hosts
movies and shows and it would be a good idea to drive
by there every so often to see what entertainment is
the meantime, we are always looking to add new, energetic
talent to our fold. If you look at our "Special
Thanks" section you'll see the beginnings of a
list which will describe to you the kind of volunteers
who are already giving us a helping hand. The list will
continue to grow in the next coming months.
need volunteers for every aspect of every production.
Some "job titles" require previous experience,
like Director, but others fall under the category of
"Will Train". A lot of us do a lot of different
jobs for each show. A Director might help build his
set, the Prop Mistress might also sew some costumes,
the Actors can help paint the set and gather props.
The Sound Engineer can help with the Lighting and The
Producer has to do everything else!
and EVERYBODY helps with the Set Strike!!!
are some definitions of some of the Spare Parts, see
any you like? Email
CONSTRUCTION, STAGE MANAGER
This job may not need an explanation, and if you've
directed in the past you certainly know the requirements
of this responsibility, but we'll highlight some of
them for you here. The Director is responsible for interpreting
and implementing the script into a final production,
using the services and talents of everyone listed below.
After the script has been selected and the schedule
confirmed with the theatre, the Director's job has barely
Director has their own style of working and their own
technique, but they all have to first begin by casting
the production. After having read the script, an image
of the characters forms in the mind. During the audition,
the Director must try to find, from the available talent,
the actors best suited for his/her "vision"
and, once found, hope that there will be no scheduling
Director must also find the volunteers to do Lights,
Sound, Set Construction, etc., while he is casting the
Actors, or soon after.
Director has already established a rehearsal schedule,
and so begins the process. Depending on the show, a
Director may want some of the crew involved in even
the earliest of these rehearsals. More often than not,
sound cues and light cues need to be as precise as the
delivery of the lines by the actors, so often the two
"crews" must work together from the beginning.
Line Director and Producer are, except for the Actors,
the two people the Director is likely to want to see
in these early stages. The Line Director duties are
described below, as are the Producer's. But both of
these people will help the Director to get the whole
thing in motion and going in the right direction.
comes blocking. Blocking describes how and where the
Actors will move on the stage. The scripts often provide
quite a bit of blocking, but this always needs to be
adjusted for each production. And the sooner the better,
as any Actor will tell you that it really helps to associate
your blocking with your lines right from the start.
So the Director will try to incorporate this into the
rehearsals as soon as possible. Directors hate blocking.
the Actors "off-book" is always the Directors
next goal. He or she will want to make suggestions to
the Actors as soon as possible, but it's hard to develop
a character, and remember your blocking and listen to
the Director with your nose in a book. Once the Actors
are off-book, the Director can really begin to develop
and then refine the production. Directors love Actors
who are off-book.
meanwhile, the Director is approving set designs, props
and costumes, discussing lights and sound, going over
the publicity and often proof-reading the posters and
programs, along with the other million little things
that fall under their juridiction. All of which would
feel a lot stressful if those darn Actors would just
there is Tech Night, or Dress Rehearsal. This is either
the best night for the Director or the worst, as there
is no turning back the clock, no time extentions available.
This is the last chance the Director will have to make
any changes, add any special touches, tweak, alter and
correct before Opening Night. More than likely the Director
will be pleased, but still fraught with worry.
then the curtain opens on Opening Night and depending
on the Director, they will either be in the audience
watching with confidence, or in the lobby pacing nervously,
with the occasional glance into the theatre when the
audience laughs (or worse, doesn't laugh). There are
those Directors who hover backstage, touching everything
and getting in everyones way, or the ones that can be
found in the dressing room, thumb firmly planted in
their mouth and on the floor in a fetal position.
way, every Director is remembering these words as the
curtain opens: "If the show is a success, the Actors
get the credit, if the show is a failure, it's the Directors
TO THE TOP
Producer, as it pertains to The Spare Parts, is the
person responsible for helping the Director "get
things done". As anyone will agree, there just
isn't enough time in a day. Having already met with
the Director in the very beginning, The Producer will
know exactly what the Director needs and wants for the
show, beginning with who should be cast for what part
to how the lights should look in the last scene in the
Producer needs to have an extensive knowledge of what
is needed in a production, so that they can see to it
that all the needs have been met for the one they are
currently working in. Ideally, the Producer should have
done at least 90% of the jobs listed below in order
to perform the tasks required by the Director.The
primary goal of the Producer is solving problems and
following up on requests already made by the Director,
so that the Director can get on with the business of
directing. We may call these people by the posh name
of Producer since the job itself is thankless.
Of all the titles on this list, this is probably
the one that requires no explanation. But just to be
clear, the Actor is responsible for helping the Director
complete the production, by both doing as instructed
and by bringing their own unique talents and qualities
to the production.
Actor has to stay healthy, not leave town (haha), learn
their lines, learn their blocking, be prepared, be creative,
be on-time and be reliable. They will also be responsible
for helping us to gather the necessary makeup, costumes,
props and jewelry for their particular character, and
you might have to shave off that mustache. And
they should also know a thing or two about stage makeup.
the good news. The bad news is that you, yes even you,
have to show up for set strike.
TO THE TOP
The business of Line Directing is not for the faint-of-heart.
This job requires devotion, patience and a sense-of-humor.
The Line Director will have a copy of the script and
will read along with the actors during every rehearsal.
Learning lines can be frustrating and tiresome. When
an Actor is trying to remember what to say, remember
where the entrance is, what prop to hold, where to stand,
etc....and then forgets a line, it's bothersome to stop
the momentum and go dig around in your script for the
correct line. The Line Director will provide this for
you. Any notes, blocking changes, additions to the script
made by the Director will be noted by the Line Director
and their job is to insure that those changes and additions
are followed through correctly and during each rehearsal.
Line Director will also say things like "ring ring"
when a phone cue is required, "crash boom"
when thunder is called for in the script, "lights
out" and "lights up" when there are light
cues, along with various and sundry silly little noises,
grunts and squeeks that are helpful for the Actors to
hear while they learn their lines.
are further burdened when an Actor can't make a rehearsal
and they must read that Actors lines the whole evening.
It's particularily funny when the Line Director is a
big, beefy guy and the Actor out "sick" is
a 90 pound girl with blonde curls. Oh well, I guess
you had to be there.
are some directors who will have their Line Directors
sit backstage during every performance, always on the
ready to whisper a life-line to a struggling Actor,
but we've never done that in Spare Parts. We let the
poor guy go home at that point.
TO THE TOP
More often than not, the Spare
Parts Director will have a pretty clear idea of what
the stage design should look like. But there are times
when difficulties need to be solved that might arise
from when the design suggested by the script requires
changes due to our own stage size restraints. Then helpful
advice, from someone clever
enough to be considered a Set Designer, will be sought
tout de suite.
Gathering costumes for the
Spare Parts has always been a collective effort. The
script will call for specific costuming, the Director
will interpret it to fit the look of the entire show
and Divine Providence will make most
of it available to us from the Thrift Shops. If you
know how to sew, and feel the urge to whip up a few
frocks on your Singer for a grateful Director,
Another collective effort.
The Director will decide who should look like what,
and will test the makeup under the lights at Dress Rehearsal.
We have all become especially good at applying our own
eyeliner, but it couldn't hurt to have some help. If
you have any talent applying stage makeup, then please
share those talents with us. There
are some Actors who can take care of themselves, but
more often than not, we need someone backstage who is
quick with a makeup sponge and a curling iron.
First you have to find the
sound, then you have to make the sound. For example,
our last show required an owl hooting. It took some
time hunting through recordings searching for the perfect
owl sound. Once found, the next trick is to sit back
stage with a pair of headphones on and push the Owl
Hootin' Button when the owl cue is required. It's a
lot like an outfielder at a baseball game. You might
spend a lot of time waiting around, but when it's your
turn to perform, you have to be ready, quick and accurate!
Knowledge of weird machines with computer hook ups,
speakers, soundboards with lots of little levers, and
mysterious machines that go "ping" when they
should go "pong" is required.
We probably don't have to
tell you just how important lights are to a production,
since you know that shows performed in pitch-black darkness
aren't very popular. But the Lights, as with the Sound,
a lot of wiring and equipment and paying attention even
when you feel like zoning out. But if you like that
sort of thing, sign up!
If painting flats and hanging
curtains and climbing ladders and hanging doors and
installing windows and slapping up some wallpaper and
using limitless amounts of duct tape and extension cords
and stepping back to admire your work, all after you
already worked a full day at your "real" job,
sounds like fun to you, then
we hope to see you at the next set construction. It's
a lot of hard work, but very rewarding.
TO THE TOP
The Stage Manager is responsible
for everyone and everything backstage, during the performance.
They should become familiar with the show as soon as
possible, and know the in's and out's of all the elements
that go into the production. Armed with a headset, a
script and a stern look, the Stage Manager will haunt
every inch of the backstage. Making sure that props
are set, that Actors are dressed and in position, that
Lights are ready and the Sound is sounding and the stagehand
who will be pulling the curtain is ready with his arms
flexing in readiness. Yes, the Stage Manager is like
the evil Stepmother, chasing after you, making sure
you're doing what you're supposed
to be doing. Can I make a suggestion? Do what she tells
you, it's better that way...!
The Prop Master, or Prop Mistress
is responsible for collecting, organizing and maintaining
the props (property) for the show. The Director will
let them know what is required and they will venture
out into the great beyond, hunting and gathering for
the brass umbrella stand, the top hat, the decorative
vase and the martini glasses. The Prop Master will make
sure that all the props are onstage when they should
be onstage, and offstage when they should be offstage.
Act One calls for a ham sandwich to be half eaten, and
Scene Two is "ten days later", the Prop Master
must be sure that that old, half eaten ham sandwich
is offstage before Act Two begins. They must also be
sure that it is a fresh ham sandwich with each new performance.
the Prop Master will have an assistant, depending on
the amount of props used for a particular show. There
is a lot of work before, during
and after each show. There is shopping and cooking and
then the washing up. Needless to say, a sound knowledge
of the entire show is essential when performing these
TO THE TOP
The job of Stagehand is perfectly
suited to those among us who would love to be involved
in theatre, but don't have the free time to do any of
the jobs above. Stagehands are those wonderful people
who hang around backstage doing the odd job as required
by the Stage Manager, pull a curtain here, ring a bell
there, whatever. If you like the kind of comradery found
only in community theatre, but
can't spend weeks in preparation, please join us as
a Stagehand, we could really use the help!
Who do you know? Can you get
them on the phone and tell them about our next show?
How about mailing flyers out to our mailing list, placing
a few ads in the local papers for us, hanging a few
posters in local stores? Can you sell ad space in the
program? Talk us up at church? At work? Have any schemes
brewing around in your head about how we can get our
name out there? Publicity, publicity,
without publicity none of this makes any sense. Without
an audience, we've just wasted our time. Help us fill
those empty seats!
If you're the kind of person
who is always thinking about money, then this is the
job for you. We can always use help running raffles,
having yard sales, or...or...maybe you have a another
idea! We're often so busy with other parts of production,
that we don't always have the time to handle this part
of the business with the finesse
it requires. If you've had any experience with Fund-raising
and would like to share some of your ideas with us,
we'd love to hear from you.
you've ever done a show in community theatre, then you
know about this guy. He's the last one to show up and
the first guy to leave. Who is he anyway? He just shows
up and no one knows who he belongs to. We have to feed
him and sometimes we think about putting him to work
but never get around to it, mostly because we don't
know his name. Is he a friend of yours? What's his name???
TO THE TOP