Photography by Leaetta Mitchell

Backstage Theatre: Classes & Apprenticeships

Set Builder Apprenticeship

Teacher: Gary Loddo
Ages: 13 - 19
School Year
Various times


Have you ever wondered how a spectacular set comes together for a theatre production Are you creative, hard working and like a challenge, but would rather be back stage than on stage The BEAT Children's Theatre Set Builder Apprenticeship might just be the experience for you! Come work with BEAT's set builder, Gary Loddo, our set painters and volunteers to help design and build a full set for a BEAT production, as well as working back stage as part of the set crew. Admittance to the program is by Application and Interview, and spaces are limited. Register online to begin the application process and contact Angie Neumaier ( to inquire about the next step.

The BEAT Children's Theatre Set Builder Apprenticeship program was created to encourage young people who have a passion for the theatre arts, but no desire to perform on stage. This program will offer students the opportunity to explore their own creativity and increase their skills and knowledge as they help create the world in which stories take place on stage.

Through scenic design, collaboration with the directing team and scenic crew, scenic painting, working with volunteers and taking on the responsibility of working as stage crew and maintaining the set during the run of a show, our Set Building Apprentices will learn all about theatre production from behind the well as discovering their own capabilities. These students will learn hands-on skills that will open doors for them in other work environments.

The Set Builder Apprenticeship program is intended to be for students who are willing to commit to a program and work hard. The entrance to the program will be through an application and brief interview process to help determine that the student and the program are the right fit. Each student will sign on for an entire production.

Spaces are limited to ensure the quality of one-on-one training and hands-on opportunities. (2-3 students for a smaller mainstage production, 3-4 students for a larger mainstage production)

The Set Builder Apprentice is expected to commit to the following:

  • Attend initial set planning discussion(s) with Director, Set Builder/Designer, Production Coordinator (2-3 hours)
  • Attend a minimum of 3-4 rehearsals to observe blocking and set change needs and to visit with Director (6-8 hours)
  • Attend a minimum of 3 build/paint days with Set Builders / Painters to receive training in, and assist with construction and painting (15-20 hours)
  • Attend all performances from Call Time through Clean Up and participate as part of Set Crew where necessary, as well as maintenance of set (ie. work with Set Builder to evaluate if set pieces require repair after each performance) (28-35 hours = 8-10 performances)
  • Participate in Load-In and Load-Out (moving set to and from the BEAT studio and performance venue) (12-15 hours)
  • Follow-up interview at the end of the program

Requirements for participation in the Set Apprentice program:

  • Applicant must be between the ages of 13-19
  • Some familiarity with tools is great, but not required (instruction in use of tools will be provided)
  • Applicant must be able to make the above listed commitments
  • An enthusiasm for stage craft
  • A solid work ethic and commitment to safety and security
  • Applicant parent / guardian must also sign program commitment agreement and waiver

BEAT Children's Theatre will provide:

  • Adult oversight and instruction in Set Design, Set Building and Set Painting
  • All necessary tools and other materials***
  • All necessary safety equipment and safety instruction

Tuition for the Set Builder Apprentice program: $250

Acceptance into the Apprentice program runs the full length of a production. Students may reapply for subsequent productions and will be considered if they met all of the commitments of the prior program.

*** Students under the age of 18 will not be allowed to use power tools without express permission of parent(s) / guardian(s). Tool instruction will include measuring devices, hammers, screwdrivers, levels, t-squares, pliers, manual staple gun, painting tools, etc. Instruction will also include some work with design-based computer software, hand sketching / design and model making. Parent(s) / Guardian(s) may opt to allow instruction in power drills and palm sanders. BEAT will not allow students to use other power tools as a part of the program.


Stage Management Internship Program

Teacher: Megan Merydith
Ages: 13 - 17
March 25th - May 19th
Various times


The BEAT Children’s Theatre Stage Management Internship Program was created to encourage young people who have a passion for performing arts but are not interested in participating onstage. Instead, this program will offer students the opportunity to experience being a part of the Production Crew for the mainstage production of Oliver! at Summit High School. This program is designed for students also planning to complete BEAT’s “Intro to Technical Theatre” class over spring break, but students who are not able to attend the spring break class are also welcome to apply to the internship and may be accepted if they demonstrate adequate prior experience in technical theatre or as part of a stage crew.

Interns will learn what the job of a Stage Manager is within a large production through tasks including: communication and collaboration with other members of the Production Crew, working with volunteers, acting as the Stage Managers during each performance of Oliver! and doing at-home tasks related to technical creation and design of the production. Through a variety of different tasks and opportunities, interns will be able to use their own skills of organization and creativity to explore the world of theatre behind the scenes, and to watch how the small pieces of technical work involved in creating aproduction come to fruition to create a magical masterpiece.

This program is designed to offer in-context, situational, real stage management experience through production training in a conducive learning environment. It is intended for students that are responsible, organized, willing and able to work with others, and who are willing to commit to the program and work hard. Entrance to the program will be determined through an application and brief interview process to determine that the student and the program are the right fit. Spaces are limited to ensure the quality of one-on-one training and hands-on opportunities. (3-4 spots are available for the production of Oliver!)

Requirements for the Stage Management Internship Program:
  • applicant must be between the ages of 13-17
  • applicant must agree to the time commitment schedule for the program (below)
  • applicant must agree to complete the program with enthusiasm and positivity
  • applicant must have a solid work ethic and a commitment to safety and security
  • applicant and their parent(s)/guardian(s) must complete the program’s application and agreement/waiver that are provided
Tuition for the Stage Management Internship Program: $250

Each Stage Management Intern is Expected to Agree to the Following:
  • I understand that in order to successfully be a part of this program I must be able to commit to each time on the schedule below.
  • I understand that it is essential that I attend a minimum of one rehearsal each week starting in April to: familiarize myself with the production, communicate with the cast and the Production Crew, and meet with Oliver!’s Production Stage Manager to discuss my responsibilities, the progress of my tasks, and ask any questions I may have about my job.
  • I understand that each week of April I will be given a small take-home assignment related to organization or technical creation and design for the production. I will set aside two hours every week to complete my assignment. I will complete these assignments on time and turn them in the following week at the rehearsal I attend.
  • I understand the responsibility I will be given at the performances for Oliver! If I in any way abuse or do not live up to this responsibility by failing to complete my assigned tasks or failing to communicate appropriately, I understand that my responsibility will be removed and that this may result in me being asked to leave the production and the program.
  • I understand that I am expected to complete my tasks and communicate with others in a positive way, and that  the ability to work well with others is essential to my success in and enjoyment of this program.
Time Commitment Schedule – Required Times:
  • Attend BEAT’s “Intro to Technical Theatre Class” March 25th -28th 1-4p OR demonstrate adequate prior experience in Technical Theatre on application
  • Attend the Stage Management Internship Initial Planning Meeting: March 28th 4:30-6p @ BEAT Studio
  • Attend a minimum of 5 Oliver! rehearsals: 5:30-8:30p @ BEAT Studio (minimum of one rehearsal per week each of 5 weeks between April 1st -29th; i.e. April 3rd, 9th, 18th, 23rd, and May 1st, or any other combination thereof)
  • Attend Oliver! Load-In: May 5th 9a-2p from BEAT Studio to Summit High School
  • Attend Oliver! Tech and Dress Rehearsals: May 6th, 7th & 8th 4:30-9:30p @ Summit High School
  • Attend all Oliver! Performance Dates from Call Time through Clean Up
  • Attend Oliver! Load-Out: May 19th directly after matinee performance from Summit High School to BEAT Studio


Intro to Technical Theatre

Teacher: Megan Merydith
Ages: 11 - 17
March 25th - March 28th
1 - 4pm
BEAT Studio

In this class, we will explore all the jobs and activities that are a part of each area of technical theatre; including lights, sound, set, props, costumes, and being a part of a stage crew or a stage management team. No previous experience is necessary. If you have a kiddo that’s interested in learning what goes on behind the scenes of a show, this
is a class for them!


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