This has been a conundrum for our school for 10+ years that has FINALLY (!) been solved/resolved.
The district doesn't really understand what a tech director does and so they always thought the band teacher should have the position and it was a stipend and a class. To make a long story short, our district now understands what a person who doesn't know what they are doing can do to damage a program and facility (and what a qualified person can actually do!) and that we need to hire outside of the current teacher base because the job is so specialized that not every band, drama or choir teacher can do the things required of a tech director.
That being said we have now hired a tech director who teaches the one tech class of 35 students and is in charge of the after school and during the day business in the auditorium that involves outside groups or even district groups (that are not the general theatre classes).
To answer your questions:
1. The lights and sound for inside and outside groups are run by the technical director. If it is just a theatre class that needs the lights turned on the teacher does that on their own. This can be done from backstage so no booth access is required.
2. I am the theatre director and I have never been in charge of the technical direction. This used to be the band teacher who also does marching band at 7am and then may need to be in the auditorium some nights until 9pm or later and so this position became an outside person who organized a tech club of students for after school hours and ran the evening events (both district and outside groups).
3. The current person (who will be leaving in June) was paid a stipend-- nothing to even cover rent or basic needs of a human being-- and was a sub in the district. Now the school district understands (sort of!) that we need to pay a LIVING WAGE to the person who is in charge of this position. At first they wanted to have 5 or 6 people do this job and the current tech director and I said no-- that one person needs to be in charge with a possible back up in case of emergency. So next year the person in the Tech Director position will teach a class (a .something FTE) and will recieve approx. $15-$17 and hour for the after school stuff or any daytime hours that they are here working an event. They will also be in charge of the set design which is an additional stipend.
Pieced together this is a living wage but without benefits. The district also didn't want it to be called a Tech Director as it would be confused with the IT Tech person.
4. The Tech Director is in charge of all events in the auditorium except classes that meet during the day, first round of scheduling the auditorium (they are in charge of scheduling but their is a district person who does the master scheduling) and some major maintenance.
BTW, we are the only high school in town so the entire district (minus one middle school and a few elementary schools) uses the space as the auditorium seats 900ish people. This process has been ongoing for 10 years and we finally broke through the district red tape because we have a supportive, arts-oriented principal and a determined current Tech Director who made a great cast and doesn't take no for an answer.
Hoping for the best for your situation! :)
Theatre Arts Director
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