Policies and Practices

Fordham Theatre aims to build a supportive and collaborative ecosystem, in which members work together towards collective growth.  As part of the experiential learning at Fordham, all majors and minors participate in the building and creation of productions.  The main policies are as follows:

Lab Hours

Participation as a theatre major or minor includes a lab requirement as follows: 

  • All majors are required to contribute six semesters of service and six mainstage strikes to the Fordham theatre community. Freshman complete four strikes by the end of the first year. Sophomores are expected to do one strike per semester.
  • Declared minors must contribute three semesters and three Mainstage strikes. These are to begin as soon as they declare the minor, and ideally, would be completed as soon as possible.
  • It is expected that students do an average of four hours per week of service to the theatre community for each semester of service.
  • You are expected to finish your lab hour commitment by the last day of classes and before the reading days. Final tabulation of hours will take place at this time.

Mainstage Strikes:

  • Strikes are considered a separate commitment from hours and do not contribute to the hours total except as noted below.
  • Four strikes will be completed by the end of freshman year as part of the collaboration lab commitment.
  • The remaining two strikes can be completed as one strike per semester the sophomore year.
  • Once all strikes are completed, a strike may be used to replace that week's service commitment.

Freshman Collaboration Lab:

  • Freshman majors take two semesters of Collaboration and the Collaboration Lab (Co-Lab). Their service commitment is attached to this class as follows:
  • The freshman Collaboration class will be divided into two groups. Each group will either crew one of the two mainstage shows, work in the scene shop, costume shop, or electrics crew as needed. Vice versa the following semester.
  • Crew lists for the mainstage will be posted at the beginning of the semester along with cast lists.
  • We will start with a skeleton crew for these shows and fill in where necessary.
  • Crew heads and extra crew members will be a contract elected or assigned from the upper classmen.
  • The goal is to allow students to become familiar with all areas of service to the theatre community.
  • Once having completed Collaboration Lab, students should move on to service in other areas as upperclassmen. (i.e. publicity, costumes, lights, sound, run crew).

Areas of Service:

  • Scene shop-work on the builds of the two mainstage shows through the semester and maintenance of the shop. Learn carpentry techniques and scenery assembly, some rigging and soft goods hang, and storage four hours per week through semester.
  • Costume shop-work on costume build, shop, alter, maintain, catalogue, and storage; maintain costume shop. Learn costume handling and some sewing, repairing, proping skills. Work on both mainstage shows four hours per week through semester.
  • Lighting shop-maintain lighting inventory, restock reorder shop after studio load ins and strikes. Four hours per week through semester.
  • Electrics crew-hang, cable, focus both mainstage shows during load in weeks. Attend any special lighting calls through semester (clean & order lighting shop etc.) This commitment can be fulfilled only in a small window of time during load in prior to each show and during work notes in tech week. You must be available for most of the work calls during that time. You must have your own crescent wrench.
  • Sound Crew--set up and strike sound, and clear com for mainstage, assist sound designer and sound technicians (if any).
  • Props--work with props master of mainstage shows. Arrange do-fer and rehearsal props, repair/maintain props, some research, shopping, and pick up. Lead crew to help maintain props loft.
  • Publicity Crew--Assist with mailings and postings, maintain database of patrons and subscribers, archiving, graphic design (playbill and promotional materials), web design and maintenance, blogging and overseeing social media for the Fordham theatre program, staff box office during weekly hours and evenings of shows*, house management*, and ushering** must be available for evening performances during the run of show.
  • Run Crew/Crew heads/board ops (crews: wardrobe, stage crew, makeup; board ops -light, sound {if needed}), crew head positions for qualified upperclassmen-Work on a specific crew for one mainstage show a semester. Hours are concentrated during tech and run of the show. Fulfills commitment for one semester. Must be available all tech weekend (typically starting Friday before opening and for all dress rehearsals and performances)
  • Special assistants--as needed for each show or department.

Theatre Minors

Theatre minors who are in Invitation or Acting for Non-Majors will have a similar commitment, but the Co-Lab is waived due to possible scheduling conflicts. They can elect to work on a mainstage crew as part of their commitment, but it is not mandatory (due to possible hardship of having to travel to the Rose Hill Campus after rehearsals and shows). As mentioned, participation as a theatre minor includes a lab-hours commitment as follows:

Four hours per week of service to the theatre community for three consecutive semesters. This includes: 

  • One semester scene shop lab hours
  • One semester run crew lab hours (includes crewing show or working front of house, publicity, box office, etc.) 
  • One semester in electrics or costumes
  • Theatre minors do three mainstage strikes/loadouts. The time spent at strike will not be counted toward the hours of your lab contract.
  • Mainstage Production and Design Assistants and Mainstage Stage Managers
  • Production and design students who assist (assistant costume designers, assistant lighting designers, assistant set designers, and assistant sound designers) on a mainstage show will only need 15 hours of lab hours time beyond their assistantship for that semester providing they have fulfilled their duties as assistants. Preferably, those hours will be dedicated to the other mainstage show that semester. (Ex. assistant lighting designers would give 15 hours to the hang and focus of the mainstage they are not assisting).
  • Stage managers and assistant stage managers on a mainstage are considered to have fulfilled their commitment to the community.
  • Students who are invited to design on the mainstage have their lab hour commitment waived.

Special Notes:

  • If, by the last day of classes in the semester, a student finds him- or herself lacking hours, there may be a special end-of-semester project the student can sign on for to finish out hours. It is not a guarantee that such a project will exist at the end of the semester, or that there will be enough slots to accommodate all students. Such a special project is at the discretion of the faculty. Students should not depend on these projects to finish out their hours. Such projects will be open only to those students who are less than 10 hours deficient. Those who find themselves more than 10 hours deficient at the last day of classes will be considered ineligible with no recourse.
  • Any service contracts given for studio shows is at the discretion of the faculty lab hours supervisor and the faculty in general. (i.e. for SM or board ops)
  • No student or outside director, playwright, or stage manager has the authority to give lab hours or service credit for any work done on a studio show.

Warn/Cut Policy

Fordham theatre program has a policy called warn/cut. In cases when the faculty has doubts about whether a student should continue in their major, they are given a warning. The student then has another semester to dispel the questions. If, after the following semester, the evaluation remains the same, the student has the option of remaining a theatre minor but must declare another major.