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How to work on a show at LA Mission College

One of the best aspects of doing theatre at LA Mission College is that it's really a "Choose Your Own Adventure" opportunity. Dozens of students from all different disciplines and majors work on every show. We have Child Development majors performing next to students from Culinary Arts. Multimedia students design video projection alongside Theatre majors who are focused on pursuing a career in lighting design. All are welcome, regardless of experience. And unlike most theatre programs, where you may work on two shows over the course of study, at Mission College we have students who've participated in as many as six shows, sometimes even after they've technically graduated. Additionally, as you'll see from our faculty page, we bring in professional artists to work hand-to-hand with you, regardless of your major.


On every show, we are seeking student actors, stage managers, and run crew, as well as members of the lighting, scenic, costume, sound, video projection, and props teams. Generally, the director, producer, production manager, technical director, and lead design positions are filled by working professionals who mentor our students through the process. In any case, our aim is to provide each student with an assignment in their area of interest, regardless of experience.


In order to work on a show in any capacity, you need to be enrolled in a course called Rehearsals and Performances. This is the course from within which the shows are made. It's not conducted like a traditional college course, however. The course follows the format of a theatrical production and is therefore made up of rehearsals, meetings, work sessions, and performances, depending upon what position you're in.


There are three tiers of the course Rehearsals and Performances, each of which requires a different number of "class hours" per week. For instance, if you are an actor who is cast in a small role, you would be enrolled in Rehearsals and Performances I, which only requires about five hours of class time and would be spent in rehearsals. If, on the other hand, you are the stage manager, you'd be enrolled in Rehearsals and Performances III, which requires about 15 hours of class time per week and would be spent in rehearsals and meetings.


You can't just enroll in Rehearsals and Performances, as you would any other course. Because a theatre company needs to be assembled by the director, producer, and production manager (the professors of the course), an audition or interview is required. For actors, auditions are held and a cast list is sent out. If you are cast in the show, you'll be given a permission code to add the course. For design, technical, and management positions, interviews are conducted. If you've been an assigned a position, you'll be given a permission code to add the course.

Once the full company has been assembled and everyone is enrolled, we gather everyone's conflicts and create a rehearsal, meeting, and work session schedule for the entire process. We have always been very successful at working around everyone's school, work, and life commitments. In general, Fridays are always our full company days where everyone is called for rehearsals, meetings, and or work sessions from 10:00 am until the afternoon.


In all aspects of theatrical production, the amount of work and intensity ramps up as we get closer to opening the show. For most members of the company, the amount of time required increases in the last two weeks before the opening of the show. This increase in activity also corresponds with a change in the schedule, as technical and dress rehearsals are required.


The course—and therefore rehearsals, meeting, and work sessions—starts at the beginning of the third week of each semester and ends before finals begin. Our shows run for two weeks. The performance schedule is Thursdays and Fridays at 7:00 pm and Saturdays at 1:00 and 7:00 pm. The fall show is presented in November and the spring show is presented in May.


This can be confusing! If you have any questions at all, email Professor Robert Cucuzza. If you're ready to sign up for an audition or interview, fill out the form (or both!) at the links.

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