This handbook is intended to help make your years at Willamette as productive as possible. It puts at your fingertips the essential information you need to understand the theatre department's expectations, student responsibilities, and production program.

It is expected that every student involved in Willamette University theatre activities will have read and understood the Theatre Department Handbook. This is a prerequisite for any theatre company role or production position.

Please note that while the handbook does answer many essential questions, members of the theatre faculty are always available to discuss with you individually either questions that are not clear or any particular concerns or interests.

Students are encouraged to ask a faculty member if they need help, are confused, or are overwhelmed by assignments or expectations.

We believe in respect for the theatre as an art form and a process of understanding. We believe in respect for the work we undertake, and the efforts and risks we all take for that work. We believe in respect for all those who contribute in any way to the creative efforts of the department.

We also believe in a sense of humor. Although we approach both our studies and our creative work very seriously, we also believe that we should never take ourselves too seriously. Humor and humility are useful antidotes to arrogance or close-mindedness, both of which are enemies to creativity. In spite of all the demanding pressures of creating quality work on a tight schedule, we strive to make the theatre an enjoyable place to be.

The following policies are covered on this page:

  1. The Company
  2. Student Advisory Board
  3. Juried Portfolio Reviews, Interviews, and Auditions
  4. Department Expectations and Student Responsibilities
  5. Major & Minor Expectations
  6. Theatre Department Assistantships
  7. Community Production Responsibilities
  8. The WU Theatre Standards
  9. The Standards
  10. Rehearsal and Production Etiquette
  11. Academic Curriculum
  12. Theatre Department Honors and Awards

The Company

Throughout this document, we refer to “the company:” this is understood to mean the community of teaching artists, students, and other personnel who contribute to the academic work of the department, and to our productions.

Department Meetings

All theatre majors, minors, and scholarship (assistantship) holders are required to attend Student/Faculty meetings as scheduled. The time and place of these meetings may be found on the company production calendar. Attendance will be taken, and the records supervised, by the company Production Stage Manager. Meetings will be focused on topics germane to the successful and productive operation of the department and program. The meetings are conducted and organized by department faculty and/or elected student representatives, who function as the Student Advisory Board. Occasionally, guest speakers will be invited to talk to the department during this meeting.

A summary of each meeting will be made by the Secretary of the SAB and uploaded to WISE, and it is the responsibility of all students to read this summary so that they are current on departmental activities.

In order to maintain open communication between faculty, staff, and students, and to ensure that departmental issues and concerns are addressed promptly, all students and faculty involved in the work of the department meet regularly in the Theatre building. Meetings are held regularly as deemed necessary by students or faculty on a time and day that is set for the whole semester (check the Department calendar.) In order to participate effectively in the life of the department, it is important for all students to attend the scheduled meetings.

Majors, students with assistantships, and minors, as a part of their departmental commitment, are required to attend all student/faculty meetings.

Student Meetings

Students also meet independently of the faculty to discuss issues of departmental interest or concern. These meetings occur at least monthly or more frequently on an as-needed basis as designated by the students.

Faculty Meetings

The Theatre Faculty hold meetings once a week. It is at these meetings that matters of departmental concern are discussed. If students have more formal issues or proposals that they wish to request of the faculty then students may be invited to these meetings. A student representative from SAB may also attend to bring forward student concerns or thoughts as needed. The day and time are set for the whole semester: check the department calendar for the time.

Students are also welcome to meet with the Theatre Faculty on any issues of an individual nature.

Production Meetings

Production meetings are usually held once a week during the weeks prior to production openings. It is imperative that all significant production personnel attend these meetings. These include, (but are not limited to): the director, the designers, the technical director, the production supervisor, the production stage manager, the stage manager, and all heads of production and publicity. The day and time are usually set for the whole semester. It is important to bear in mind the meeting schedule when committing to classes.

Student Advisory Board

The Student Advisory Board (SAB) is a group of six students who serve to facilitate communication between the students and the faculty of the Theatre Department. Each year during the first student meeting of the fall semester, members of the theatre student group will elect their representatives: two representatives from sophomore, junior and senior classes.

Those selected by their peers will serve on the student advisory board for a term of one semester (seniors) or one year (sophomores and juniors). Each January, the third-year representatives will take over as chairpersons and the seniors will drop out of SAB. An election for 2nd semester first-year students will take place and the first-year students will replace the seniors.

In the case of a class representative being overseas during a semester, an election will occur to elect one new representative.

  • One member of SAB will be elected to attend faculty meetings as a liaison, as necessary.
  • The SAB conducts departmental (student/faculty) meetings, student meetings, and special one-hour meetings that may feature guest lectures, program updates, and other communications.
  • The SAB represents the students at any necessary meetings.
  • The SAB organizes the Student Award Ballot.
  • The SAB represents all the students in the play selection process.
  • The SAB will function in an advisory capacity to the theatre faculty regarding season selection. Members of SAB will also facilitate student discussion and selection of plays to propose for the production season. This work should begin no later than the second week of October each year.
  • One elected member of the SAB serves as Secretary and is responsible for taking and posting meeting minutes in a timely fashion, taking attendance, and other secretarial duties as needed.
  • The Production Stage Manager may not serve on the SAB.
  • SAB also facilitates the process of voting to select the annual winner of the “cookie award.” Please see the forthcoming Theatre Department honors and awards section for complete details.
  • SAB facilitates the distribution of production posters along predetermined poster routes.

Student Advisement and Evaluation

Steady progress toward graduation is assured by following advisement procedures:

  • Planning for the major in theatre should begin in the first semester of the first year, if possible, as required classes are not necessarily offered each semester or each year.
  • The advisor will counsel the student on fundamental concerns related to the scheduling of classes and the selection of an emphasis track within the department.
  • The advisor will also serve as an advocate and help to mediate academic issues.

First Semester and end of the Year Evaluations

Advisement and evaluation are critical ways in which communication between a student and faculty can be accomplished on a regularly scheduled basis. On these occasions, the individual needs or goals of a student can be discussed, and both their course of studies and production involvement planned.

First Semester Evaluations

As a check-in procedure, all first-year majors and assistantship students are evaluated at the end of their first semester at the school. This meeting is a chance for individual students to meet with the entire Theatre Faculty at one time to receive feedback, advice, and support.

Self-evaluation forms (on WISE) are to be completed prior to the evaluation meeting.

Failure to provide a thoughtful self-evaluation by the deadline, failure to sign up for and/or failure to attend an evaluation meeting are all grounds for assistantship probation. Please see the section on assistantship probation for further details.

End of the Year Evaluations

Theatre majors, minors, and assistantship holders will participate in individual meetings with the entire theatre faculty during the spring of each year in order to evaluate the progress of the student. End of year evaluations are an opportunity for students to reflect on the year, plan for the time ahead, and discuss plans and goals with the entire Theatre Faculty at one time.

Self-evaluation forms (on WISE) are to be completed prior to the evaluation meeting.

Failure to provide a thoughtful self-evaluation by the deadline, failure to sign up for, and failure to attend an evaluation meeting are all grounds for assistantship probation. Please see the section on assistantship probation for further details.

Important Reminder

In addition to these formal settings, individual faculty are always available to deal with student concerns, as are the Theatre Faculty as a group. Students should always feel free to call upon any member of the department for advice or guidance.

Juried Portfolio Reviews, Interviews, and Auditions

All theatre majors and minors are required to participate in the juried auditions, interviews, and/or portfolio reviews held each fall semester. The auditions, interviews, and portfolio reviews allow the faculty to experience the students’ ideas of their own "marketability," enable the faculty to check progress, evaluate degree program placement, and assist the individual student with future presentations.

Non-major students are welcome to request an audition, interview, or portfolio review.

Please check the Theatre Department Production calendar online for specific dates for these events.


  • Students will prepare with the utmost diligence and respect as outside professionals are often invited to give their assessments and advice.
  • All theatre majors and minors with an Acting emphasis are required to audition.
  • All majors and minors with a Design, Technology, Stage Management, or Performance Studies emphasis are required to interview and present a portfolio where appropriate.
  • All students should check in with their advisors well in advance to ascertain the specific requirements for each student, in line with their academic and career goals.


Departmental Audition:

  • all materials memorized.
  • actor's resume (samples on WISE).
  • headshot (samples on WISE).

Department Interview/Portfolio Review:

  • discipline-appropriate resume (samples on WISE).
  • portfolio where appropriate (samples on WISE).

Department Expectations and Student Responsibilities

Student Academic Responsibilities

A production assignment, as cast or crew, will not be considered an acceptable excuse for late academic assignments or absences from class, either within or outside the department.

Note: Minimum Department Grade

Theatre majors and minors are considered to be in good standing relative to their academic achievement if they maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least (B), and a grade point average in their declared major or minor of at least (B). Students failing to maintain this GPA will be placed on light duty for a semester, which means no performance role on stage, and no lead production responsibilities. These students will also be assigned a theatre faculty mentor in order to allow for academic issues to be resolved in a timely manner.

Student Commitment

We expect students to fulfill satisfactorily the obligations and commitments that they undertake within the department. We operate on the assumption that all individuals will complete the production and academic responsibilities to which they have agreed. Signatures or initials are expected as an acknowledgment of all assigned acting roles and crew responsibilities posted on the production notice board. The signature or initial is also considered a binding agreement to honor and fulfill the responsibility. Finally, signing one’s assignment indicates that one has read and understood the production position description (available on the departmental website). Clarification regarding the duties and responsibilities of any position may be obtained by a conversation with any member of the Theatre Faculty and should be sought before signing to accept responsibility.


If there is a serious emergency that compromises a student's ability to fulfill their obligation—and it is understood that serious problems do arise—it is that person's responsibility to let the rest of the team know as soon as possible, especially their immediate faculty supervisor. If the appropriate people are informed in time, they can help solve the problem: don't let the production team discover the problem when it is too late to fix it. Be proactive and communicate!

Emergency Protocol

If a person has a serious emergency that makes it impossible to run a show, it is that person's responsibility to let their crew head, the stage manager, and the faculty technical supervisor know immediately. If possible, helping to find a suitable, qualified replacement reflects industry best practices.


An online calendar is provided by the department as a guide to enable you to plan your year, and all departmental functions and known schedules are posted there. This will help you to avoid any conflicts that might render you unable to fulfill departmental commitments and responsibilities. Please note that this calendar is subject to change: it is your responsibility to check the production calendar daily.

Departmental Communication Channels & Email

Students are expected to make a point of checking daily the departmental student and production notice boards, other communications, and their email for any announcements, schedule adjustments, or production updates. It is a student’s responsibility to keep abreast of the changes.

Evening Commitments

We strongly urge you to refrain from taking classes or employment that impinges on the evening hours. Failure to leave your evenings open severely limits your castability and your availability to participate in other areas of the production process. This may, in turn, compromise your ability to adequately fulfill your commitment to the Theatre Major and/or the Theatre Assistantship because, of necessity, nearly all rehearsals and performances take place during evening hours.

Work Study

Many theatre majors receive financial aid in the form of work study. Those students who receive their aid within the Theatre Department will usually be assigned to the scene studio, the lighting and sound studio, the costume studio, publicity area, or the box office. Wherever possible, work study hours are arranged around the student’s class schedule. Each work area has its own rules and guidelines, and individual supervisors will maintain a record of each student’s hours.

Students are responsible for filling out their timecards online via Workday. The students still need to work closely with departmental staff to fill out all forms and learn the system of keeping track of their hours.

The University issues payment for students’ work bi-monthly. Payment is made by check, though students may individually elect for ACH payment (direct deposit), or other disbursement of their paycheck funds. Students’ checks are sent through campus mail on the second and fourth Friday of the month. Students are responsible for keeping their personnel records accurate, filling out their timesheets, and having them approved and signed by their faculty supervisors in order to meet these deadlines.

Major & Minor Expectations

Willamette University Theatre Majors and Minors are committed to excellence in the classroom as well as in production.

Theatre Major and Minors are expected to demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Scholarship & Artistry: maintain a grade point average of 3.0 within the major
  • Attitude: a proactive and positive presence in the work and needs of the Company
  • Dependability: honoring of commitments, resources, and academic responsibilities of oneself and the Company
  • Commitment: proactive participation in Company calls, rehearsal processes, and performances
  • Participation: regular constructive participation in the activities of the Company
  • Skills: develop and maintains skills appropriate to the duties of the Company

Production Commitments for Majors, Minors, Assistantship Holders

As stipulated in the Willamette University Catalog, students majoring or minoring in theatre are required to be involved in company work related to creating and mounting theatre productions. Because of the diverse and rigorous requirements for making theatre happen, students can again anticipate that this work will offer creative challenges, intellectual problem-solving, and practical tasks.

Majors, minors, and theatre assistantship holders are required to earn credits for significant involvements within the Theatre Department production program prior to applying for Senior Thesis.

For students in residence at Willamette University for four full years, it is expected that those students will earn 12 practicum roles, of which 6 are 4-credit assignments or "above the bar" involvements. Students must have completed at least 12 practicum roles prior to applying for Senior Thesis.

For transfer students, it is expected that those students will earn 6 practicum roles, of which 3 are 4-credit assignments or "above the bar" involvements. Students must have completed at least 8 practicum roles prior to applying for Senior Thesis. Transfer students should work with their transfer advisor to find transfer production substitutions, if necessary.

For Theatre minors, it is expected that those students will earn 6 practicum roles, of which 3 are 4-credit assignments or “above the bar” involvements. Minor students must have completed at least 8 practicum roles prior to applying for Senior Thesis.

Theatre Department Assistantships

The Willamette University Theatre Scholarships are considered assistantships and were established to provide financial aid for exceptional theatre students.

Exceptional students with demonstrated potential to become leaders in the Theatre Department are awarded assistantships as recognition of their dedication to the Theatre Department and production program.

Theatre Department Assistantship Expectations

To receive and retain the assistantship, a student is expected to demonstrate excellence in the following areas:

  • Scholarship & Artistry: maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0
  • Leadership: to take initiative to lead and support the work of the Company
  • Attitude: a proactive and positive presence in the work and needs of the Company
  • Dependability: honoring of commitments, resources, and academic responsibilities of oneself and the Company
  • Participation: regular participation in the activities of the Company
  • Skills: develops and maintains skills appropriate to the duties of the Company
  • Service: to actively promote and advocate for the Theatre Department and Company
  • Commitment: proactive and positive participation and leadership in Company Calls, rehearsal processes, and performances

Eligibility for Assistantships

Because only a limited number of assistantships are available each year for first year students and are usually a result of assistantship auditions and interviews the previous spring, it is frequently not possible to award an assistantship to all students deserving of one. However, students wishing to be considered for an assistantship should apply to the faculty of the Theatre Department in writing, explaining their needs and interest. When possible, every effort will be made to assist.

First-Year Assistantship Studio Assignments

First-year students who are awarded assistantships are assigned to specific areas of the department (costume studio, scenic studio, lighting and sound studio) for 6 hours per week during their first year. All assignments will be scheduled during regular working hours, 8 am-5 pm.

The studio assignments are based on departmental needs and, where possible, on the student’s preference. Our goal is to give each assistantship student as broad a skill base as possible in their first year so they are qualified to take on more significant duties as they progress through the program.

First-Year Assistantship Hours

Per the assistantship agreement, assistantship students are required to have completed 84 hours per semester in their assigned studio(s), for a year-end total of 168 hours. Students will turn in their hours weekly to the faculty assistantship liaison, who will monitor closely student progress toward satisfactory completion of assistantship hours.

If a student fails to work 84 hours in the first semester, that student will be required to make up the missing hours, in addition to the remaining 84 hours, the following semester.

Failure to complete the first-year assistantship hours in either or both semesters of the first year may be grounds for assistantship probation and/or termination.

Theatre Assistantship Renewals

The Theatre Department assistantship must be renewed yearly: students interested in retaining their assistantship should make an application to the Theatre Faculty prior to the end of year evaluations. The Theatre Faculty will discuss the renewal application with the student at that meeting.

Theatre Assistantship Difficulties

The Theatre Department assistantship follows a three-step process for the resolution of difficulties with the assistantship: warning, probation, and termination. These steps are detailed below.

Theatre Assistantship Probation[1] Process:

A student may be placed on Theatre Department assistantship probation for two reasons:

  1. If a Theatre Department assistantship holder is placed on academic probation, that student will also be placed on Theatre Department assistantship probation.
  2. If a student holding a theatre assistantship is unable to follow through on any of their contracted responsibilities as an active, contributing member of the theatre department, this could be grounds for assistantship probation.


If a student has not completed a production assignment satisfactorily, that student will be verbally informed by the faculty and also receive written notification from the Department Chair.

  • The student will be asked to meet with the Theatre Faculty to discuss the issue and to define a path to resolution. The agreement to resolve the issue will be distributed in writing to the student and the Theatre Faculty.


  • If the aforementioned agreement is not followed, then the student will be placed on probation via a written notice from the Department Chair. The notice will detail the terms of probation, including a path to resolution.

Theatre Assistantship Termination Process

  • If the probationary agreement for resolution is not successfully completed or if issues are not successfully resolved, the assistantship will be terminated.
  • The student will be notified of the termination of the assistantship via a written notice from the Theatre Department Chair no later than the last day of classes of the probationary semester.

Appeals Process

Any student may appeal any decision regarding theatre assistantship probation or theatre assistantship termination.

  • To appeal, students should first meet with a faculty advisor or alternative theatre faculty member, whose responsibility will be to act as an advocate for the student. That faculty member will help the student understand how to write their appeal to the Theatre Faculty.
  • Students should then send a written appeal to the Theatre Faculty. Within seven calendar days of receipt of the appeal, the Theatre Faculty will schedule a meeting with the student and a simple majority of the Theatre Faculty to discuss the student's appeal.
  • The Theatre Faculty will then go into a closed session to discuss the merits of the student case and will issue a response within twenty-four hours. This decision is final and cannot be appealed.

Academic Probation

For the most up to date information, please refer to the Catalog of the College of Liberal Arts[2] for current policy on academic probation, as academic probation is not within the purview of the theatre faculty. Academic probation falls under the jurisdiction of the Willamette University Academic Status Committee.

In keeping with University policy, a student on academic probation is not allowed to publicly represent Willamette University. For students participating in the Theatre Department, this means a student will be given limited production responsibilities, with no performance opportunities, for the semester in which they are on academic probation. This is meant to give the student an opportunity to fulfill light production commitments whilst focusing on getting their academics back into good order. Under probation conditions, major or theatre assistantship holders will be expected to fulfill their production requirements in these limited capacities.

If you are placed on academic probation, your advisor or an alternative faculty member of your choosing is available to meet on a regular basis to help you improve your grades. They will do everything they can to help you get back on course and back into the creative process of doing theatre. The student should approach faculty as soon as possible to set up these meetings.

Resigning the Theatre Department Assistantship

A student may choose to resign their assistantship. This is usually a mutually agreed-upon arrangement made between the student and the Theatre Faculty. This enables the student to maintain departmental involvement at a level that the student finds appropriate for their individual time availability. Students wishing to resign should speak to any member of the Theatre Faculty to discuss options and processes. Typically, the student will resign from the assistantship via written notice to the entire Theatre Faculty.

Students who resign their assistantships are welcome to continue to be involved in the Theatre Department in any capacity they wish.

Community Production ResponsIbilities

Self-Care and Scheduling

It is critical that you are proactive about self-care, and take care of your physical, spiritual, and emotional health. This cannot be stressed strongly enough. Down time, social life, co-curricular activities, student organizations, nutrition, sleep, homework, etc. must all be balanced with the work of your major program(s) and production responsibilities.

We recognize that this balancing act takes time to learn: if you would like help or advice regarding this, please reach out to any member of the Theatre Faculty for help. It is always preferable to do so sooner, rather than later, so that forward-looking solutions may be found.

If students have a need or difficulty significant enough to warrant a change in schedule or responsibilities, they must reach out to any member of the Theatre Faculty as soon as possible with these concerns so that a solution can be reached. In these cases, it is not enough to let the Production Stage Manager or Stage Manager know: to get appropriate help in a timely manner, the Theatre Faculty must be contacted directly.

General Responsibilities

All members of the production are required to attend a company meeting scheduled for the first day of rehearsals. This meeting will be used to introduce each member of the company and clarify individual production responsibilities.

Everyone involved in the production, including the crew, box office, and house management staff will be expected to read or re-read the play after they have been given their production assignments. This should be done within the first two weeks of the semester. Complete familiarity and understanding of the work being undertaken are important in supporting the work of the company. A copy of the script is available on WISE.

All company members on Light Crew are required to attend compulsory training prior to working light hang.

All company members (cast, crew, and staff) and all majors and assistantship holders are required to attend strike (see STRIKE below) and are expected to make the necessary arrangements in their personal schedules to attend.

On rare occasions, in the event of unforeseen production challenges, Company Work Calls may be called prior to production week for each Mainstage Theatre production. All theatre students, majors, minors, assistantship holders, and production company members will be expected to work on the production and will assist the entire company in working together in finalizing the production.

Regardless of the area in which you work or the person to whom you are responsible, you are expected to clean up any mess you create, and return any equipment, tools, materials, or supplies to the appropriate storage location. You are expected to give yourself sufficient time to do this. It is not acceptable to simply walk away from a task leaving someone else to clean up and put away your tools or supplies.

Major, Minor, and Assistantship Holder Responsibilities

Participation at all strikes, designated light hangs and poster routes is mandatory and is assigned. Responsibilities for Light Hangs and Poster routes are rotated and will be designated by the Production Stage Manager.


Strike (the dismantling of the production) takes place the day immediately after the last performance and will continue until finished. All cast and crew members, majors, and assistantship holders are required to attend.

Strike Attendance

If a student has an unavoidable conflict, they must consult with the Production Stage Manager as soon as they are aware of it – at least seventy-two hours in advance of strike.

Excused absences will require the student to make up the missed hours in some area of the department before the end of the semester. Unexcused absences from strike will require double hours in some area of the department before the end of the semester and may also result in immediate theatre assistantship probation.

Strike Procedures

All members of the Theatre Department are required to attend all strikes each semester.

Determination of show strike assignment will be made by the supervising faculty member and/or Technical Director and will be based on each student’s production assignment/roles.

Each student is responsible to bring shoes and clothing that are appropriate for performing the tasks of a theatrical technical strike. If in any doubt, contact the Technical Director.

All students in the performance will report to Pelton Theatre prior to strike. At this time, roll will be taken and workers will be assigned to areas by the supervising faculty member and Production Stage Manager and work will begin.

Normally a student will report to an area based on the following priorities:

  1. Production position
  2. Area of assistantship
  3. Area of work study
  4. Area of practicum

Please note that once strike has begun:

  • No one leaves until the strike is officially declared finished by the supervising faculty or Production Supervisor.
  • No one begins to eat until the strike is officially finished.
  • Breaks, if necessary, will be called by the Production Stage Manager

If students complete their assigned tasks, they should report to their immediate supervisor and then to the supervising faculty or Production Supervisor for other assignments.

Invariably toward the end of strike, some will have finished their tasks earlier than others. You are expected to proactively find ways to assist those still working or, if your assistance is not required, to wait patiently in the theatre whilst the remaining tasks are completed. This requirement also applies across all areas.

If you have finished all the work in your designated area, report to the Production Supervisor for reassignment.

When the end of strike is called by the supervising faculty or Production Supervisor, students will report to the theatre, roll will be taken, and refreshments will be provided. The department provides pizza and beverages at the end of strike.

Light Hang

  • All theatre majors and assistantship students may be assigned light hang and focus responsibilities by the Lighting Designer.
  • To be eligible for participation in light hang, every student must have completed a prerequisite training or have the approval of the Faculty Lighting Designer or Production Supervisor.
  • Light hangs and focus usually take place on Saturday of the weekend prior to technical weekend (in order to give the lighting designer time to focus lights and create the light cues.) They usually commence at 10:30 a.m. and run until finished usually about 5:00 p.m.
  • Light refreshments are furnished by the theatre department.
  • All theatre students are expected to check to ensure that their personal calendar does not conflict with light hangs.

Poster Route

  • All theatre majors and assistantship students are assigned responsibility by the SAB for delivery of posters to specified routes on a rotating basis.
  • All posters are to be hung on the same day as light hang and are supervised by members of the Student Advisory Board. This will start at 11:00 a.m. and will finish by 4:00 p.m.
  • All posters are to be checked off against the poster list assigned to each route.
  • Any poster changes or refusals should be noted on the poster list of that route.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that new locations for hanging posters are found on each designated poster route. These new locations should be noted on the poster list when it is returned to SAB.

The WU Theatre Standards

Willamette University Theatre Department and its production program are committed to producing bold, risky, and engaging work while keeping safe all of its members and participants. We recognize that this kind of work takes special care and commitment to a safe and repeatable process for all concerned. At the same time, we adamantly assert the difference between safety and comfort and commit to exploring moments, topics, and material that may make us or our audiences uncomfortable. We believe that great art can sometimes be uncomfortable even as it asks us to expand our boundaries and understanding of the human condition.

In adapting and then adopting the Chicago Theatre Standards[3] as basic protocols for approaching the work of making theatre, the Willamette University Theatre Department attempts to kindle a better way of working: to, as the authors state, "foster safe places to do dangerous things" (Chicago Theatre Standards 3)[4].

Further, The CTS provides a

"[T]ool for self-governance that seeks to nurture communication, safety, respect, and accountability of participants at all levels of theatrical production.
. . . .
"[The Chicago Theatre Standards] mission is to create:

•  Spaces free of harassment, whether it be sexual, or based on race, gender, religion, ethnic origin, color, or ability;
Nurturing environments that allow us to challenge ourselves, our audiences, and our communities; that support risk of mind and body; and that establish the freedom to create theatre that represents the full range of human experience;
A common understanding of practices for theatre environments, including written, reproducible standards; and by
Peer support through mentorship and collaboration through online communication and community outreach."  (Chicago Theatre Standards, 4)

In praxis, and in the pages that follow, the Willamette University Theatre’s version of the Chicago Theatre Standards are known simply as the “Standards.”

The Standards: The Process

  • The Standards will be discussed at every level of the company, including faculty and student meetings. Everyone working in or with the Theatre Department is encouraged to read the source document, understand our company’s commitment to its adoption and personalization, and any responsibilities each participant may have.
  • Prospective stage managers will be trained in Standards procedures, will review this document, and will discuss the additional procedures and responsibilities.
  • The director or other casting authority[5] will be well-versed in this document, particularly the audition section.
  • We commit to taking the time necessary to thoroughly discuss the Standards in the first rehearsal to increase the chances of success. Getting off on the right foot is essential to this process.
  • Standards protocols will be implemented throughout the rehearsal process, particularly for high-risk content.
  • Many elements of the Standards come into play during technical rehearsals. We commit to taking the time to revisit safety, privacy, and other Standards elements to help prevent problems before they happen.

Concern Resolution Path (CRP)

The goal of the CRP is to provide a documented communication pathway to address issues in a production or within the Theatre Department. The CRP seeks to inform participants what to do and who to address with serious issues, and dispel the fear of reprisal for reporting issues of safety, harassment, or other serious concerns.

The CRP is a tool to help create communication pathways to prevent and resolve issues, not create divisions. To that end, nothing in the Standards encourages firing or marginalizing participants for mistakes, a momentary loss of temper, an argument (whether artistic or personal), a single unintentional injury, etc. The CRP is designed to provide pathways to respond to events, behavior, and conditions that create reasonably understood unsafe conditions, not uncomfortable situations.

Important Note: The CRP may only be used for policy or physical safety concerns. Concerns of sexual misconduct or sexual or gender-based harassment MUST be reported according to WU student-to-student sexual misconduct Complaint Resolution Process described on the Not Alone home page. Student-to-student discrimination or harassment, other than sexual harassment, should be handled in accordance with the Willamette University Student Handbook.

The CRP provides names and contact information for members of the organization and production who have agreed to be responsive to reported issues and work to resolve them. It consists of:

  • A written, clear, and transparently shared list of procedures for addressing a concern;
  • A written, clear, and transparently shared list of persons with whom the concern should be addressed;
  • A commitment to give reported concerns priority and a reasonable timeline for resolution.

The Production Stage Manager will update a CRP with the names and contact information of all individuals who will serve on the path for each production. The CRP will be updated for every production.

This Concern Resolution Path will be printed and distributed to all participants and discussed on the first day of rehearsal. It will be clearly communicated that the Theatre Department seeks to resolve concerns early before participants or the production are put at risk and before the concern escalates.


  • Level One
    We recognize that many concerns can be resolved through conversation with the parties involved. Whenever possible, participants should be encouraged to discuss challenges and concerns with one another. Sharing and hearing concerns with openness and respect can prevent situations from escalating further.
  • Level Two
    If you are not comfortable directly addressing the individual(s) involved, or if no resolution can be agreed upon, your next point of contact can be any of the following personnel. They are granted a certain level of authority and trust to determine whether a concern can be resolved at this level or if it needs to be sent to the next level.
    •  Faculty Production Supervisor[6]
    •  Director
    All Level Two concerns will be reported to Level Three, even if no action is required.
  • Level Three
    If an issue has not been resolved through Levels One and Two, or if you are an individual named in Level Two who needs assistance to resolve the issue, your next points of contact can be any of the following personnel. The contacts at this level may consult with each other and review any legal or other implications of any decision.
    •  Department Chair[7]
    •  Faculty Production Supervisor
    •  CLA Dean
    •  VP of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion/Title IX (if applicable)

The Role of the Stage Manager Regarding the Standards

The Stage Manager (SM) is the primary communication conduit between participants and the production team as well as between actors and directors, and so plays a crucial role in executing the Standards.

The Stage Manager's Responsibilities with Regard to the Standards are:

  • Read and be familiar with the Standards.
  • Know and follow the Theatre Department's published CRP.
  • Ensure that consent is discussed before scenes of intimacy, sexual content, and nudity and document applicable specifics.
  • Document all choreography of any kind. The Stage Manager must be present for all rehearsals when choreography is rehearsed.

The Standards

Audition Notices and Invitations

We seek to communicate what we expect of our participants and what those participants may expect of us. We intend to include the following information in audition notices and invitations:

  • Role(s) for which the actor is called, and role(s) that already have been cast;
  • Any role that depicts a character with a specifically stated disability;
  • The nature of the activity to be performed at the audition (i.e., sides from the play, choreography, improvisation, monologue, etc.);
  • Any potential stage combat, feats of physical daring, nudity, partial nudity, sexual content, intimacy, or other reasonably understood high-risk activities in the play;
  • An assertion that prospective participants can decline auditions without fear of losing future audition invitations;[8]
  • Disclosure if the audition will be recorded;
  • The name of the director;

Additionally, all actors auditioning for a project will be asked to sign a form stating that they have read and understood the play and the audition disclosures. These forms will be kept by the department Production Supervisor.

CTS Audition Protocols

We will provide a safe space for the audition including:

  • A reasonably clean space with sufficient lighting and safe temperature.
  • A safe surface for dance or stage combat auditions, if applicable.
  • Individual audition calls should be no longer than three (3) hours.
  • Auditions will not run later than 11 pm.
  • Required materials (scripts and sides) will be provided prior to or at the audition.
  • Participants will not be asked to perform stage violence or sexual contact as part of the audition without disclosing this expectation in the audition notice or invitation. Any intimate or violent contact required for an audition will be disclosed and choreographed. Actors will not be asked to improvise violent or sexual contact.
  • We will not ask prospective auditionees to disrobe at an audition.
  • Auditions will not be recorded unless specified in the notice or invitation. If recordings are made, there will be written assurance that the recording will be used privately among casting authorities and destroyed/deleted after the completion of casting.
  • We will make reasonable accommodations to facilitate access, such as allowing interpreters when necessary, holding auditions in accessible facilities, and providing audition materials in advance to artists upon request.
  • Prospective participants may decline audition invitations without fear of losing future opportunities, and will not be asked to explain their reason.[9]
  • Auditionees will be asked to list their top 3 roles (characters for whom the actor is auditioning). These preferences will be considered in casting, but the ultimate casting responsibility lies with the Director of the production.

Willamette University Theatre will disclose:

  • If scenes of violence, sexual content, or other choreography will be a part of the audition.
  • Whether or not understudies will be engaged for the production.
  • Who is in the audition room.
  • If an audition will be recorded.
  • If known, when callbacks are scheduled.

Theatre Department Production Audition Expectations

Auditions for each semester's productions are usually held at the beginning of the semester and usually consist of prepared monologues and of actors reading from the script of the production being cast. The auditioning procedure may vary from semester to semester, depending on the individual requirements of the plays and/or the directors.

Usually, each mainstage theatre production in a semester will be cast following a general audition at the beginning of the semester (see department website for details). After the general auditions, a callback list will be posted.

Productions will be cast exclusively of one another wherever possible, allowing for students to have as wide a variety of production experiences as possible.

It is expected that those auditioning will:

  • prepare material for the general audition well in advance, according to the posted requirements
  • read the production scripts carefully prior to the audition
  • diligently check email during the audition process to stay aware of requirements

ALL Theatre majors with an Acting emphasis are required to audition for the departmental theatre productions and shall accept any role in which they are cast. Exceptions to this rule may be determined in consultation with the student's academic advisor and the department chair, according to Standards protocols, in the semester prior to the audition, and in no case after the audition process has begun.

All other students are invited to audition for each production.

It is expected and understood that auditioning for a production constitutes a professional commitment by the student and that a professional contract is complete when the student has initialed their acceptance of the role on the posted cast list.

Technical, Design, and Production Roles

We seek to communicate what we expect of our participants and what those participants may expect of us. We intend to include the following information about our productions, in audition notices and posted materials:

  • The title and author of the play, and where the play may be found and read;
  • Where possible, major conceptual changes to the play through production approach;
  • Role(s) that already have been cast;
  • Any role that depicts a character with a specifically stated disability;
  • Any potential stage combat, feats of physical daring, nudity, partial nudity, sexual content, intimacy, or other reasonably understood high-risk activities in the play;
  • An assertion that prospective participants can decline individual technical, design or production assignments without fear of losing future opportunities;[10]
  • The name of the director.

Those intending to take a Technical, Design, or Production role will be asked to fill out a form detailing, among other things, the area in which the person would like to work.

Additionally, all persons working on a project will be asked to sign a form stating that they have read and understood the play and the audition/production disclosures. These forms will be kept by the department Production Supervisor.

Basic Health and Safety

Performance-day problems are often preventable with careful planning, and we endeavor to create spaces and processes for auditions, rehearsals, and performances that are as physically safe as possible.

We intend to make health and safety a regular topic at production meetings, and to maintain awareness and procedures that contribute to a safe environment at all times. We seek to prevent injuries, identify and remedy situations that might be considered unsafe or unhealthy, and respond to injuries and medical events, and seek medical attention when required.

We will strive to promote basic health and safety practices by providing the following:

  • Access to drinking water or disclosure of lack of availability;
  • A reasonable working temperature;
  • Lighting suitable for the work being carried out;
  • Reasonably clean and well-maintained rehearsal space;
  • Eye and ear protection as needed
  • Floors and traffic routes that are free from undue obstructions and tripping hazards;
  • Functional, non-expired fire extinguishers;
  • A suitably stocked first-aid kit;
  • A plan for costume maintenance and laundry.

At the first rehearsal and first tech day with actors, a safety walk with the SM should include:

  • Fire exit locations;
  • Locations of first-aid kits and fire extinguishers
  • Emergency procedures (including contact information for local police stations and the nearest ER);
  • Tripping or safety hazards in rehearsal settings and constructed stage settings;
  • Locations of restrooms;
  • Scenic units, stage floor surfaces, and special effects;
  • Areas of potential hazard that have or may require glow tape, including the opportunity for performers to point out where they need additional glow tape.

If unsafe conditions are discovered, they should be immediately reported to the stage manager, who should keep a record of concerns and their resolution. The SM will immediately report these concerns to the production stage manager. The production stage manager will also maintain:

  • Accident, incident, and first-aid reports;
  • A checklist of first rehearsal and first tech rehearsal walk-throughs.
  • If any aspect of this Standard cannot be achieved because of the nature of the rehearsal or performance space, it should be disclosed to all prospective and active participants.

Dressing Rooms

Performers need time and space to prepare for their performance. The space provided for this preparation should be safe, respectful, and wherever possible, private. Willamette University Theatre has two dedicated dressing rooms to be used for this purpose.

Further, we follow these guidelines regarding dressing rooms and changing spaces:

  • Actors will be allowed to occupy the dressing room in accordance with their gender identification.
  • Children under the age of 18 will be given private dressing room accommodations whenever possible.
  • Reasonable accommodations will be made to respect individual modesty, and a designated space will be provided for participants to change clothes and prepare for their performance.
  • Non-actors (with the exception of the SM and wardrobe staff) are not allowed in the dressing room during the time between 30 minutes before the performance begins and 30 minutes after the performance ends. In the event that is not possible, communication between the dressing room inhabitants and those who need to pass through is encouraged to establish the least intrusive way to share the space.
  • Where costumes are used, a clothing rack and hangers will be provided.
  • Recording by any means, and posting any recordings or photos online, is not permitted in the dressing room without the prior consent of all individuals present.
  • Reasonable accommodations will be made to respect the preferences of all participants sharing a dressing room, particularly with regard to the discussion of reviews or who might be in the audience.
  • Inhabitants of dressing rooms must respect the property and personhood of fellow inhabitants by limiting their use of perfumes, smelly or messy food, and behavior such as talking on cellphones, playing music (without consulting dressing room mates), or other similar activities.

Choreography: Nudity, Intimacy, Violence, Movement, and Physical Theatre

Some forms of theatre and styles of movement carry with them a greater risk of harm than others, and the goal of this section is to outline considerations specific to these forms of higher-risk theatre, including onstage violence, intimacy, sexual choreography, nudity, and physical theatre. These forms share many of the same considerations, while some considerations are form-specific. The shared considerations also apply to other forms of physical theatre, including dance and other forms of choreography, and this section may serve as a guide for these forms as well.


The following will be provided in all rehearsal and performance spaces in which high-risk physical theatre takes place:

  • First-aid kit, including cold packs
  • Accident report forms
  • Water
  • Telephone for emergencies
  • Adequate on- and off-stage lighting
  • Temperature control
  • Ventilation
  • Space for warm-ups
  • Floors and surfaces that are clean, well-maintained, and appropriate for the activity
  • Padded and/or glow-taped corners and hazards

Equipment, Weapons, and Specialized Costumes

All specialized equipment and costumes will be:

  • Suitable for the required choreography;
  • Installed by a qualified rigger, if applicable;
  • Inspected/maintained by a trained technician before each use;
  • Inspected by any actors who use the equipment before each use;
  • Handled only by those required to do so.

Preproduction and Auditions

  • A designer or choreographer will be engaged for any production that includes weapons, stage combat, intimacy, sexual violence, specialized movement techniques, or any similar high-risk activity.
  • At the time of the audition, prospective participants should be asked to provide accurate descriptions of their physical abilities and limitations/injuries as they relate to the possible choreography.


  • The designer/choreographer will be introduced to the cast at the first rehearsal, or as soon thereafter as possible.
  • A schedule for rehearsing all choreography will be established and followed.
  • Adequate time will be allocated for stretching and warming up before all choreography rehearsals.
  • Adequate time will be given to teach, rehearse, and adjust all choreography or movement techniques.
  • Adequate time will be allocated at the end of rehearsal for cooling down, asking questions, and voicing concerns.
  • Before work starts the actors, director, choreographer, and stage manager should agree to the requirements of the planned activity (kiss, slap, dance, etc.). Participants are then responsible for staying within those agreed-upon boundaries.
  • A choreography captain (typically a cast member with experience in the form of physical theatre being taught) will be chosen to ensure that the choreography is rehearsed and doesn't change unintentionally. The captain should be empowered to notify the stage manager or designer/choreographer of any issues with the choreography.
  • Choreography will be recorded (in writing or on video, if appropriate) so that performers and captains have a reference for maintaining the choreography.
  • Time will be set aside at the beginning of rehearsal to run through choreography. These calls are particularly important before running the show. Calls should be conducted in a distraction-free, appropriately lit space.
  • Actors should communicate any injury, discomfort, or fatigue experienced before, during, and after rehearsals.
  • The director/choreographer and actors should agree on a vocabulary of safety (i.e., the word “bail” could be used to abandon a movement mid-execution).
  • Regular rehearsal reports will be sent to the designer/choreographer that includes notes to the designer/choreographer if any adjustments need to be made to the choreography, or if any problems develop.
  • A comfortable working temperature will be maintained in the rehearsal space.


  • Choreography calls must occur before every show and will take place in a focused environment free of interruptions or distractions.
  • Performance reports will include the designers/choreographers, noting any issues that arise and any actor injuries (whether related to the choreography or not).
  • Performers will have a communication plan with the stage manager to report (on the day it occurs) any inappropriate or potentially unsafe changes in the performance of choreography and/or use of equipment or weapons.
  • The stage manager will check in before and after performances with each actor involved in the choreography, confirming that the choreography is maintained and consent/boundaries have not been overlooked.
  • If any choreography is altered during the performance, actors should notify the stage manager as soon as possible.

Specific Considerations: Violence

  • Onstage violence can be a shove, a slap, the use of weapons, elaborate fight sequences, sexual violence, and more. We believe that performers should not routinely incur pain, bruises, or other injuries while enacting violence. Our intention is to prepare for and mitigate the risks of onstage violence to create a safe space in which to take artistic risks.
  • A fight captain should be selected from the ensemble to maintain the choreography and run fight calls.
  • The stage manager should have a good line of sight to any fight choreography so that they can monitor and discuss any changes during the run of the show.

Specific Considerations: Intimacy, Sexual Content and Nudity

Intimacy, Sexual Content, and Nudity (I/SC/N) require careful consideration as early as the season selection process. Artists in scenes with I/SC/N take great personal risks, and our goal is to allow them to take that risk in an environment that is as safe, supportive, and comfortable as possible. I/SC/N will only be included in a production when it can be done responsibly and according to the following recommendations. We seek to replicate the conditions, detail and documentation, and accountability traditionally employed for fight choreography for scenes with sexual choreography, and with further consideration and care to the nature of the work.

If the I/SC/N or intimacy needs of a project are significant, an intimacy choreographer will be engaged for the production and included in pre-production meetings, or at any time if requested by the involved actors.

Preproduction and Auditions

  • I/SC/N should not be required or requested at any audition.
  • Actors performing nude must be at least 18 years old and will provide proof of age at the audition.
  • Discussions around sensitive requirements and how they will be handled should begin during preproduction meetings.
  • Actors who will be asked to perform I/SC/N as part of the production should confirm consent to performing I/SC/N at the time of the audition.


  • Prior to rehearsing scenes with I/SC/N, the actors, director, intimacy choreographer, and stage manager will discuss the content and establish consent language, acknowledge boundaries and affirm communication standards for the rehearsal. A safe word (such as “hold” or "button") should be established for I/SC/N rehearsals.
  • Stage managers must document the terms of consent and details of sexual choreography.
  • Actors performing nude scenes will be allowed to have and wear robes or other coverings when not rehearsing. Robes will be provided and regularly laundered for all actors who will appear nude.
  • Actors will be given 24-hour notice prior to rehearsing scenes with nudity.
  • Actors will have the option to decline I/SC/N elements added after audition disclosure.
  • Nude actors will not be photographed or recorded on video at any time during rehearsal, tech, or performance.

Technical Rehearsals

  • Nudity during technical rehearsals will be limited to those times when it is absolutely necessary. Flesh-colored clothing or a robe may be worn when nudity is not required.
  • Technical rehearsals will be closed to visitors during scenes with I/SC/N.
  • The stage manager will be vigilant in identifying and resolving potential physical hazards for nude actors, such as splinters and rough edges.


Only participants whose presence is required will be present in the wings or in any backstage space with a view of the stage. Those engaged in any form of voyeurism will be dispatched.


We believe that engaging in the language of consent among participants is an important part of creating an atmosphere of trust and communication. We intend to recognize the following practices when building consent among participants:

  • A consent-building conversation will specify the range of contact that is acceptable (e.g., anything but the front and back of the pelvis is within the range, etc.).
  • The boundaries may change over the rehearsal process, either narrowing or broadening, but any change to the boundaries will be discussed and agreed upon before the rehearsal.
  • There will be an opportunity to discuss potential boundary violations at the end of each rehearsal and performance.
  • The agreed-upon structure of intimate contact will be maintained once a show is in production.
  • Actors should inform the stage manager and their scene partner(s) if they are sick (sore throat, cold sore, etc.), and alternate choreography should be defined for sick days.

Specific Considerations: High-Risk Physical Theatre

High-risk physical theatre uses performance techniques that carry with them a greater chance of injury than traditional theatre practices. This includes but is not limited to acrobatics, tumbling, performing on silks or other equipment, and performing in motorized set pieces. This type of work will not be undertaken without the extra attention, equipment, and precaution needed to do so safely.

Sexual Harassment

We seek to understand sexual harassment as it pertains to the theatre, provide procedures to prevent it, and outline recourse when it occurs. We recognize the potential for harassment in rehearsal, during a performance, and outside the theatre among participants, staff, faculty, and audience members. We acknowledge theatre environments can court confusion about the difference between chemistry, artistic freedom, and harassment; we believe participants can be bold and live “in the moment” of theatrical material while maintaining choreography, fellow participants’ safety, and agreed-upon boundaries.

Clear boundaries will be established and agreed upon among all participants involved, both in rehearsals and performances, particularly in scenes depicting violence, sex, intimate contact, abuse, or gestures of intimacy.

As an additional point of information, the Willamette University policies regarding sexual harassment may be found here:

Sexual Harassment in a Theatrical Workplace

In a theatrical context, harassment can be additionally defined as one or a series of comments or conduct of a gender-related or sexual nature outside the boundaries of consent or production content, which is known or ought reasonably known to be unwelcome/unwanted, offensive, intimidating, hostile, or inappropriate. It is worth noting that the higher the emotional/sexual risk a production asks of its artists, the greater the diligence needed to foster an environment of emotional safety.

In the Theatre, sexual harassment includes but is not limited to:

  • Unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendoes, or taunts about a person's body, attire, gender, or sexual orientation outside the boundaries of consent or production content;
  • Negative stereotyping of race, gender, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, ability, or other status protected by law outside the boundaries of consent or production content;
  • Any unwanted or inappropriate physical contact such as touching, kissing, massaging, patting, hugging, or pinching outside the boundaries of consent or production content;
  • Unwelcome inquiries or comments about a person's sex life or sexual preference outside the boundaries of consent or production content;
  • Leering, whistling, or other suggestive or insulting sounds outside the boundaries of consent or production content;
  • Inappropriate comments about clothing, physical characteristics, or activities outside the boundaries of consent or production content;
  • Posting or displaying materials, articles, or graffiti that is of a sexual nature outside the boundaries of consent or production content;
  • Requests or demands for sexual favors, especially those that include, or imply, promises of rewards for complying (e.g., other production opportunities) and/or threats of punishment for refusal (e.g., denial of opportunities) outside the boundaries of consent or production content;
  • Attempting to engage in sexual behaviors offstage that are choreographed for the stage;
  • Suggesting an actor who appears naked onstage or in rehearsal is not allowed physical boundaries and/or privacy backstage or in the dressing room and/or not respecting those boundaries;
  • Intentional failure to observe the dressing room standards laid out in this document;
  • Inviting an actor to rehearse sexual content outside of scheduled rehearsals;
  • Repeated invitation/suggestion to take relationships of a sexual nature beyond the stage;
  • Using the text of a production that is sexual, violent, threatening, or offensive in offstage discourse;
  • Improvising sexual content without expressed consent.

Participants have the right to be free from:

  • Sexual solicitation or advance made by a person in a position to confer, grant, or deny a benefit or advancement outside production content;
  • Reprisal or threat of reprisal for the rejection of a sexual solicitation or advance where the reprisal is made by a person in a position to grant, confer or deny a benefit or advancement outside production content.

Any of the behaviors outlined here have the potential to create a dangerous and/or unsafe environment for individuals or groups. It should be noted that a person does not have to be a direct target to be adversely affected by a negative environment. It is understood that creative atmospheres are not always “emotionally sanitary”—they can safely be bawdy, profane, vulgar, and challenging. We assert that having (a) a practice of building consent and (b) an environment that allows for response to clear boundary violations can broaden our opportunity to be challenging and fearless in our work.

Concerns about harassment, safety, or an unsafe environment of this nature should be reported using the Title IX reporting system, located here.

Diversity, Inclusion and Representation

Theatre engages the full spectrum of humanity. Telling the stories of complex human experience often includes representations of violence, racism, homophobia, abuse, and other challenging content. We seek an ethical atmosphere when engaging in this content, working with diverse groups of participants, and particularly when producing culturally sensitive work.

We make the following commitments to all participants who work with us:

  • When invited to audition, prospective participants have the right to make inquiries about how their cultural personhood will be included within the production, particularly when the work will be devised (when there is no script at the time of audition). Inquiries will receive a thoughtful response and will remain confidential.
  • Whenever possible, diversity and inclusion will be considered both in casting and in assembling production and design teams. In particular, culturally specific work will seek production personnel who can speak to that cultural experience.
  • During the rehearsal process, participants should voice concern if they feel uncomfortable with the use of their cultural personhood, which may include:
  • Costume pieces that can reasonably be understood as culturally demeaning, which were not disclosed at audition/casting, and could not have been expected by a reading of the script or otherwise available materials;
  • Staging (culturally based violence or abuse, for example), which was not disclosed at the time of audition/casting;
  • Accents or dialects to underscore a cultural representation not disclosed at the time of auditions/casting;
  • Make-up that can reasonably be described as “black face,” “brown face,” or similar portrayal, which was not disclosed at the time of audition/casting.
  • When staging scenes of cultural violence, or other culturally charged narratives and language, we will follow the same practice of consent building outlined in the Sexual Content and

Nudity standard. Disclosure of this type of performance will be made at the audition, and the emotional risk associated will be recognized throughout the process.

  • We seek to address concerns with generosity and humility through the channels of the Concern Resolution Path as outlined in this document.

Rehearsal and Production Etiquette


  • Be prompt. All necessary cast and crew should be ready to begin work at the start of rehearsal. This means that you should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your call time, in order to be ready to begin work at the appointed time. SMs, ASMs, ADs, etc. will be called even earlier, to ensure enough time to have their preparatory work done for the start of rehearsal.
  • Actors should have completed their warm-ups, line run-throughs, costume preparations before rehearsal, etc. and be ready to start promptly at their call time.
  • All refuse and detritus from building the set during the course of the day will be cleared away at least thirty minutes prior to the commencement of rehearsals by the scenic studio crew.
  • Refrain from eating food in the theatre during rehearsals.
  • Keep focus on the work onstage while in the theatre. If you do not have a specific production responsibility required of you at the time, and you wish to read a book, or do homework you may do so. If you choose to work in this manner, it is expected that you move out of the theatre or rehearsal space into the lobby or green room. Ensure that you have checked with the stage manager before you leave and that the stage manager knows where to find you in the building.
  • Computer use in the theatre is strictly restricted to production support. No internet use unless requested by the director. During technical rehearsals there will be NO nonproduction use of computers or cell phones without the approval of the production supervisor.
  • Keep food and drink out of control booths. Water in an approved spill-proof container is the ONLY exception to this rule.
  • The use of cell phones is strictly prohibited. Turn off your cell phones and store them away.
  • No street shoes are allowed on the dance floor.
  • Bring homework or study work to do should rehearsal schedules change due to unforeseen circumstances and should you not be needed for half an hour. Again, do not do this work in the theatre. Check with the stage manager and ensure that they know where you can be found within the theatre building.
  • It is imperative that you respect the work of your peers. Please support them by giving them a quiet, disciplined environment in which to do their best work.

The Taking of Notes During Rehearsal: Protocol for Everyone

  • When you are given a note by the director or your immediate supervisor, write it down.
  • When you are given a note by the director or your immediate supervisor, say “Thank you.”
  • If an actor does not understand a note, ask the director for clarification after the note session.
  • Do not engage in disagreements or discussion in front of the company unless requested to respond by the director, supervisor, or unless it has significance for the company as a whole.
  • Show respect for the director, your supervisor, for the work of your peers, and your own work.
  • Listen actively to all notes. There is something to learn from someone else’s notes, about the play, about the director’s vision, or about theatre.
  • Be aware that protocol may change to accommodate every guest director. If you are unsure, ask your stage manager.


  • Keep all food and drink (except water in spill proof containers) out of control booths.
  • The stage manager is responsible for keeping the booth strictly limited to those required to be there: running crew, Director, Technical Director, Production Supervisor, Designers. Do not compromise the efforts of your stage manager by trying to cajole them into allowing you, or your friends, into the booth if you or they have no business being there.
  • The Stage Manager is responsible for keeping conversations on the headsets focused to the work on stage.
  • No backstage crew or performers should be in the front of house during performances.
  • Backstage crews should always be in their areas during the run of the show and on headsets if that is their responsibility, unless released by the Stage Manager.
  • Crew assignments are for the duration of the whole performance, that means always at your post (especially backstage.) You are expected to be there physically and pay attention in case of mishaps or emergencies. It is also important for all company energy to be focused on the performance.
  • Crew member dress code is basic black. Shirts and pants may not have writing on them. Shirts (with collars preferred) must be tucked in and pants must have belt loops and a belt must be worn (unless otherwise directed.) The crew members are expected to make the necessary arrangements to be appropriately attired.
  • Anyone assigned to headset is expected to stay on headset unless granted specific permission to go off headset by the Stage Manager. The stage manager needs to know where all crew members are at all times.
  • Set and rehearsal furniture and properties are strictly for performance only and not for any other purpose. They cannot be sat upon, read, played with, or borrowed.

Academic Curriculum

Theatre Practicum Credit Hours

Credited hours (as "X" activities courses) can be earned by students working in all production areas.

Credit is awarded at the end of each semester to all students involved in theatre production work (1 – 4 credits per assignment depending on the scale and demands of the project.) For students not majoring in theatre, up to two credits of X credits can count towards graduation requirements.

Unfortunately, for theatre majors, whose department course load already contains the maximum departmental credits allowed by the university, Practicum Credit will not count towards graduation. However, the department faculty strongly recommends recording the credit to ensure that the transcript accurately records the considerable co-curricular activity in which you have been involved.


Although we highly recommend internships for students, since the theatre department does not require students to fulfill an internship as a major requirement to graduate, students majoring in theatre can currently take 4–8 credits of internship as part of their course load: these will count towards the 80 credits outside the department for graduation. It is, therefore, entirely possible to complete theatre-related internships and earn Interdisciplinary Studies/IDS (e.g. non-Theatre!!) credit for them. Students wishing to explore the possibility of an internship or the possibility of summer production internships being eligible for outside academic credit should talk with their major advisors for further details and to discuss the options available.

complimentary (COMP) and Rush Ticket Policy

All students involved in cast or crews are entitled to ONE comp ticket good for a Thursday or Sunday. There will be a comp list posted in the box office for each production. Student names will be checked off when they reserve their tickets. Students should make their reservations early. Please check into the box office to pick up your complimentary ticket prior to taking your seat.

In addition to this, all theatre majors and assistantship students are also entitled to rush tickets: you may use any unclaimed theatre seats that are available two minutes prior to house closing. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Majors and assistantship students are encouraged to take this opportunity to watch the work many times over.

Please note: Rush tickets are strictly for personal use and are not intended for family or friends. This is especially important since our budget is so tight!

Crew Assignments

The Theatre Department expects students to gain practical experience in all areas of production. During their evaluations, attention will be paid to students' efforts to ensure that they have attempted to gain experiences in the variety of areas available. Students should consult with the Production Stage Manager and appropriate faculty if they are interested in or need to work in particular capacities. Students are responsible for expressing their interests and needs for particular production positions by filling out their preference on a technical theatre interest form. All students will be assigned a responsibility by the department faculty the day after auditions.

For a fuller and more detailed explanation of the expectations and responsibilities entailed in these positions see the production role breakdown listed on the theatre department website. This listing is a guide only to the core positions and may vary depending on the demands and requirements of each production. Please see your supervisors on a per-production basis to verify exact expectations.

Theatre Department Honors and Awards

Theatre Department Honors

At the end of the year, Theatre Faculty meet to discuss the presentation of Theatre Honors to graduating Seniors. The Theatre Department Honors award is based primarily on active involvement in the life of the department, in both classes and the production program over the time of a student’s involvement at Willamette. Also, during that time there should have been displayed a consistent and high standard of work in both the classroom and the production environment.

Theatre Honors are awarded to students who have made consistently exemplary contributions by:

  • Fulfilling a leadership role within the department.
  • Contributing to the health of the department.
  • Showing commitment to the work at hand.
  • Showing respect for the work of their peers.
  • Being a positive role model.
  • Mentoring incoming students.
  • Showing initiative.
  • Displaying a positive and constructive attitude.

Students’ Award (The Cookie Award)

Each year the theatre students nominate the returning student whom they consider to have made the most significant contribution to the department's production endeavors. This is a cash award, originally called the Cookie Award because the money came from the funds that students raised selling concessions.

Any first-, second-, or third-year Willamette student who has been involved in some aspect of production/performance in at least one production of each semester is eligible. Nominees should have demonstrated a sincere commitment to the Theatre Department's productions and an ongoing, high level of leadership, dedication, compassion, patience, sensitivity, self-discipline, and responsibility. The student selected must be able to commit to a similar involvement for the following year.

The recipient(s) will be announced at the theatre banquet at the end of the year.

Faculty Award

Each year the theatre faculty also give an award to a returning student whom they consider to embody a sincere commitment to the Theatre Department's productions and should have exemplified an ongoing, high qualitative level of leadership, dedication, compassion, patience, sensitivity, self-discipline, and responsibility. Any first-, second-, or third-year Willamette student who has been involved in some aspect of production/performance in at least one production of each semester is eligible.

The recipient(s) will also be announced at the Theatre Banquet at the end of the year.

Please note: "probation" can mean either Academic Probation (within the University) or Assistantship Probation (within the Theatre Department). A discussion of Willamette's Academic Probation parameters may be found at


3 Full CTS information, history, guidelines and documents available at

4 The sections that follow are all freely adapted from this open-source document, last accessed July 23, 2019 here: As significant re-drafting of the original standards has occurred to make it fit with Willamette University policy, citations will not be used for the remainder of the CTS section. Those wishing to consult the original standards should find them online at the links provided.

5 In mainstage play productions, the Casting Authority is the Director of the production. For Dance Concerts, the Artistic Director is the final Casting Authority. Additionally, each choreographer in the Dance Concert will be expected to read and understand the CTS and to commit to following the procedures outlined herein.

6 Please note that all faculty, staff and administrators at Willamette University are mandatory reporters. In this case, this also includes the student production stage manager and student stage management staff. This means if your issue concerns a minor, a Willamette University Employee, or sexual misconduct, the personnel listed in Levels Two and Three must report your issue to the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate Willamette University officer(s), or law enforcement.

If you desire confidentiality, please contact Lisa Logan, Director of the Gender Resource & Advocacy Center and Confidential Advocate, in the Montag Loft, or at 503.375.5361, or email at

Other confidential options may be found here:

7 See previous footnote, 6, above. If you desire confidentiality, please contact Lisa Logan, Director of the Gender Resource & Advocacy Center and Confidential Advocate, in the Montag Loft, or at 503.375.5361, or email at Other confidential options may be found here:

8 Actors who decline to audition will still be assigned to a production role in the play.

9 Actors who decline to audition will still be assigned to a production role in the play.

10 Personnel who decline a specific technical, design or production role will be assigned to a different production role in the play.

Willamette University


M. Lee Pelton Theatre
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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