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Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students

  • 1.  Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students

    Posted 05-16-2016 13:40

    My name is Robert Waller. I am the Arts Education Specialist and CTE-Performing Arts Program Specialist for the Arizona Department of Education.

     

    Recently, the Arizona  State Legislature implemented new requirements related to CTE funding. Specifically, for CTE programs to be eligible for state funding, they must include opportunities for students to earn industry-recognized professional certifications (for example, ASE Certification for students who complete an Automotive program.) As the Specialist for Arizona's CTE-Technical Theatre programs, I have encountered more than a few stumbling blocks in meeting this requirement for Arizona's CTE-Technical Theatre students. Currently, a group of CTE-Technical Theatre teachers are examining the appropriateness of the NCCER Core Curriculum certification as well as the USITT eSET certifications.

     

    Do you happen to know of any other industry-recognized professional certifications that might be appropriate for Technical Theatre students?

     

    Thank you in advance for your assistance and information. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

     

    All the best,

     

     

    Robert Waller, M.Ed.

    Education Program Specialist/Title I

    Arts Education Specialist

    Highly Effective Schools Division

    Arizona Department of Education

     

    Mailing Address: 1525 W. Jefferson Street, Bin 32   |   Phoenix, Arizona 85007

    Office Address: 3300 N. Central Avenue   |   Phoenix, Arizona 85012

    Phone: (602) 364-3015   |   Email: Robert.Waller@azed.gov

     

    http://www.azed.gov/art-education

     



  • 2.  RE: Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students

    Posted 05-17-2016 07:36

    Maybe getting the students OSHA certified? Or some other type of health & safety certification for working in a shop with power tools.

    ------------------------------
    Allison MB
    Theatre Teacher / Director
    Nashoba HS



  • 3.  RE: Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students

    Posted 05-17-2016 08:32

    ETCP Certified Riggers and ETCP Certified Electricians are both industry standard. Their website has practice exams available which would help you gauge their appropriateness for HS students. 

    ETCP - The Entertainment Technician Certification Program

    Esta remove preview
    ETCP - The Entertainment Technician Certification Program
    The new program is in response to an increasing demand within the entertainment industry to establish benchmark standards and define the required knowledge and skillsets surrounding the assembly, use, and disassembly of power distribution systems for a wide variety of entertainment venues and markets. Available 2016 Two Sets of Practice Exams Available!
    View this on Esta >
    ------------------------------
    Patrick McGuire
    Drama Director
    Round Lake High School
    Round Lake, IL



  • 4.  RE: Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students

    Posted 05-17-2016 09:38

    Ah, beat me to it with the ETCP link.   My principal is pushing for certifications for us as well, and I had a hard time getting her to understand that they don't exist, and that in our world, what the paper says you know is much less important than what you've learned working. Found ETCP during my digging around, and plan to use the pre-test in my tech classes.

    There are also Audio Engineer certifications that might be useful.  

    ------------------------------
    Ashley Bishop
    Director
    Birmingham AL



  • 5.  RE: Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students

    Posted 05-17-2016 09:50

    ETCP is not easy. My friend has been an IATSE electrician for the past 10 years and touring for almost 20 and just recently got her ETCP-Electrician certification. I think you're right--the conversation needs to be had that there really isn't a comparable program that's realistic. 

    ------------------------------
    Patrick McGuire
    Drama Director
    Round Lake High School
    Round Lake, IL



  • 6.  RE: Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students

    Posted 05-17-2016 14:04

    Thank you for the information about the ETCP examinations and certifications. They appear to be fantastic for experienced working professionals and college graduates. Unfortunately, the testing requirements for ETCP certifications are as follows:

    • A candidate must be at least 21 years of age
    • A candidate must have 30 points to apply for examinations - where points are given for professional work experience (1 point for every 100 hours), internships, apprenticeships, and post-secondary education

    As such, the ETCP examinations and certifications are impractical (and virtually unattainable) for high school students.

    The OSHA10 and OSHA30 certifications are certainly relevant to just about any professional endeavor, and most certainly to "Technical Theatre;" however, the general opinion is that they are not enough to meet the new Arizona legislative requirements for CTE funding.

    So...the search continues...

    ------------------------------
    Robert Waller
    Arts Education Specialist
    Arizona Department of Education
    Phoenix AZ



  • 7.  RE: Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students

    Posted 05-18-2016 09:13

    USITT has recently released a series of tests called eSet  - Essential Skills for the Entertainment Technician. You can find out more at ESET - Learn | USITT.  It is for the most part online.

    Basic Terms and Safety, Rigging, Lighting and Electrics and Costuming are the first tests available. Additional tests are coming in the next year.

    ------------------------------
    Ellen White
    Outreach & Training Specialist
    Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc. (ETC)
    Middleton WI



  • 8.  RE: Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students

    Posted 05-19-2016 07:24

    Hi,

    To piggy back on what Ellen said, the eSET exams are designed with the recent college graduates in mind. However, they provide good guidance as to what should be taught within any technical theatre program.

    Students taking the first test (which is free) will need to know quite a bit about the stage union, work rules, national safety standards as well as basic knowledge of the theatrical space and systems. Upon completing that test, the ensuing tests ($40.00 each) delve into more specific areas. For each of these areas, there is a practical exam that must be completed successfully before the student will receive a certificate. The first practical exams were given this past March at USITT in Salt Lake but there is discussion about other venues/conferences to be included as testing sites.

    I helped write the Lighting and Electrics test with USITT's approval, beta tested it with my advanced high school tech students. They did fine but then again, I knew what was on the test and prepped them adequately.

    Another alternative is the Nocti Exam developed by NYC schools about ten years ago. You can find info

    at http://www.nocti.org/PDFs/Technical%20Theater%20Assessment%20Blueprint.pdf

    They are designed for high school students as the boundary exam (CTE) in tech theatre. They are a bit "old school" but carry the type of evaluative rigor that may be pleasing to administrators and giving your students something worthwhile to work toward. The test is online but there are discipline specific practical tests as well.

    Thanks,

    Dana

    ------------------------------
    Dana Taylor
    MSD of Mt. Vernon
    Evansville IN



  • 9.  RE: Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students

    Posted 6 days ago
    Hello,

    Totally late to this thread, but I just took over the theatre job at my school...was wondering if you had any up to date tests/certification links for me and the high school kids....
    Thanks in Advance for any help you can give me
    Brandy Snyder
     Bsnyder@lcps.net

    ------------------------------
    Brandy Snyder
    Theatre Director
    Las Cruces High School
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students

    Posted 05-19-2016 11:09

    First, I am very pleased to hear that the Arizona Department of Education even has a CTE-Performing Arts Program Specialist. You are way ahead of most states! Too many states have their heads stuck in the sand about what that looks like. But, yes, regardless of state, there certainly is a lack of (dare I say the word) ‘standardized’ training for high school tech theatre students. ETCP is well recognized but it’s a bit “TMI” for student who are only(?) operating a fly system. And as someone has mentioned, USITT’s eSET is an awesome new program, but it is geared more towards college students, although it could still be applicable to high school vocational tech theatre students – if the right person is hired to teach them (therein lies the rub in many states too). It’s also my understanding that USITT is working on reaching out to high schools. In the meantime I’ve found that I have had to create my own training programs, not only for theory, but for safety (something not recognized by a lot of school district administrations!). In particular I developed a training program, tracking system, and safety rules, for students using the fly system. PRESETT has a certification in high school theatre management, which could be suitable for juniors and seniors who were vocationally inclined and looking for a way to make a living in tech theatre. For the scene shop – have a look at your school’s woodshop CTE requirements and use those (such as training and tests on all power tools). I’m a lighting designer by training and trade, so I’ve created a lighting workshop, but that’s only one aspect of tech theatre. So I’ve also had industry professionals come in and do trainings and workshops. For instance I’ve had a ETCP rigger come in and teach my students how to use the fly system, and I’ve had a local sound engineer come in and teach about the theory (physics!) and practice of sound. It’s true that there are no industry standard certifications at the high school level and people seem to piece-meal their programs together. There are also textbooks out there about tech theatre, but they are few and far between. Several copies of “The Stage and the School” was given to one high school theatre I was managing when it was built, but the administration never hired a tech theatre teacher to utilize it, let alone insisted on any sort of theatre program sadly. If you google “school theatre” or other similar phrases some book ideas come up. So, all this is to say that I have no solutions either, but that I am glad that this conversation is happening, as I think the tide is changing, as more and more districts build these state-of-the-art theatres on their high school campuses and only then discover they don’t know how to run them. I think through our continued discourse a solution will arise, which will lead into action.

    ------------------------------
    Elizabeth Rand
    Founder and Executive Director
    www.PRESETT.org
    Woodinville WA



  • 11.  RE: Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students

    Posted 05-19-2016 15:39

    Thank you all for the very helpful information regarding Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students. I am proud to be associated with such a distinguished group of talented and generous professional educators.

    All the best,

    ------------------------------
    Robert Waller
    Arts Education Specialist
    Arizona Department of Education
    Phoenix AZ



  • 12.  RE: Industry-recognized Professional Certifications for "Technical Theatre" Students

    Posted 05-20-2016 14:43

    While Oregon doesn't have a comprehensive tech training certification either, Stagecraft Industries has an employee named Craig Austin (he does most of the rigging inspections and work in our state and many others) who has created a seminar in Rigging Training that he comes to our schools and offers. Our district has covered the cost every few years and the teachers and head tech students are invited to attend. It is in counterweight basics and safety, hanging hardware, load management on the rail, procedures, etc. Working with that kind of professional group could also help in the development of CTE standards or assessments or resources? It certainly has been beneficial for us.

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    Julianna Gibbons
    Salem OR