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TD Interview Questions

  • 1.  TD Interview Questions

    Posted 01-09-2019 10:21
    We are hiring an auditorium manager/technical director as a full time position (new position for the district).  I'm on the hiring committee and have been tasked with creating some interview questions to ask the candidates.  I'd love some ideas for questions that will allow us to gain an understanding of the candidate's background, skills, and philosophy as both a theatre artist and as someone who will work with a large group of students. Responsibilities will include training and working with our crew students in our scene shop, supporting the theatre productions as a technical director (mostly building/painting with some design work possible), supporting rentals in the theatre spaces and train students on lights/sound/technical support, and managing the upkeep of our auditorium spaces.  Any suggestions on potential interview questions?

    Sonia Gerber
    Director of Theatre
    Wayzata High School, Plymouth MN

  • 2.  RE: TD Interview Questions

    Posted 01-09-2019 11:43
    There were couple of good threads here a few months ago on this topic, including the huge difference between a TD and a theatre manager. You may want to do a search for them - it'll be a good read. One of the issues covered was having a solid, written job description that could be used during the interview to ask questions.

    Beth Rand, here in the forum, is a great source for information on theater managers, and I wrote a blog post a couple of years ago on TDs and how that job title is used to cover a whole lot of different job descriptions:

    As far as the questions, keep in mind that you'll want to decide up front what you want some of the answers to be.

    George F. Ledo
    Set designer

  • 3.  RE: TD Interview Questions

    Posted 01-11-2019 15:07
      |   view attached
    Yes, I do have a lot of information about high school theatre management.  Thanks for the shout-out George!  As George mentioned, I have posted before on this topic.  I'll give you a general overview here and also provide the links to previous posts for more detailed information.

    I first notice that you are trying to hire a TD and a Theatre Manager in one.  These are two different specialties – and hence applicants will come with different skill sets and personalities. You also mentioned that this person may also be training students. Yes, there is a lot of overlap, but there are specific requirements/duties for each of the three specialties:

    ·       Theatre Manager - management position (may or may not work with students directly) – manages the theater as well as any rentals – a LOT of paperwork, documentation, PR, client relations is involved (not for someone who would rather be building).

    ·       Technical Director - hands-on operations position (possibly/probably works with students directly) – usually building sets, running lights and sound, etc (doesn't have to, or like to(!), do any of the management paperwork for the theatre as a whole).

    ·       Teacher of a Tech Theatre Class – CTE teaching position (works with students directly).

    'Technically' teaching tech theatre – which is a CTE subject – requires a teaching certificate.  A person training and teaching students must be a CTE certificated teacher (like woodshop, culinary, auto, and so on - I can't imagine the school saying, Just let the social studies teacher teach the welding class, it'll be fine...). The Dept. of L&I says that any minor doing the type of labor we do in tech theatre (working at heights, working with 'hoisting equipment', using power tools, and so on) may only do so in a "bona fide vocational program". And in fact, really anyone working with minors in tech theatre (a vocational 'program' – whether a formal class, working on a play, or crewing for an event in the theatre) should be CTE certified. I say "technically" because there are too few schools in the country that know this or heed this regulation.  For a list of "Gold Standard Schools", which will give you some idea of what to aim for, please visit  For information about minors in vocational programs, visit your state's Department of Labor and Industry website.  It may take some digging – you're looking for 'prohibited' activities in the employment of minors, and then look for 'exceptions' which should then indicate that minors can do these activities if they are in a vocational program.

    As well as writing your job description before hiring someone for the job, if the employee will be working with students, one of the conditions listed under "Requirements" should be that they have – or are qualified to soon acquire- a CTE teaching certificate.  (BTW - it is possible to get a CTE certification coming from the industry route, they don't have to have come from the teaching route to teach a CTE course.  But they do have to earn the certification (usually through a community college). Some states will actually grant someone a conditional CTE certificate if their certification is in progress and they are actively taking courses.)

    You didn't mention what the salary will be.  In order to get someone who is going to fill all of your requirements, your salary range should be somewhere in the upper $40k - $50k range - at least(!), with full benefits.  Keep in mind this is a 'middle management' position you are hiring for, and the person should be compensated for accordingly or you will experience a lot of turn over.

    I must say though – kudos to your admin for hiring anyone at all!  Too often it's the Drama teacher who has to wear all the hats. And this is common across the country.  Drama teachers from 15 states have taken my High School Theatre Management online course so far, and the story doesn't change –even though the vast majority of Drama teachers often come from an English/Drama (literature, acting, directing) background, suddenly they find they are charged by their school districts to teach tech theatre and manage their high school theatres, which may have so many events that they are basically run like 'road houses'.  So I'm glad to hear that yet another school is jumping on the band wagon and working towards supporting a better education for their students!

    Here's the links to previous discussions about this subject (if any of these links don't work, you can search each discussion heading on the EdTA website).  Also, I don't have a job description for any of these three specialties per se, but I am attaching a List of Duties for a High School Theatre Manager.

    Theatre Manager Duties/Forms

    Public use of Auditorium

    Theatre Rentals

    CTE Technical Theatre Certification

    English teacher looking to become HQT in Theatre

    Theatre Manager Duties
    See attached.

    Beth Rand, EBMS
    Educational Lighting Designer
    School Theatre Operations Coach
    Westminster, CO


    HS TM Duties.pdf   284K 1 version