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Trucks and Set Builds

  • 1.  Trucks and Set Builds

    Posted 08-02-2020 18:23
    I'm curious if any of you out there have had success teaching theater at high school without owning a pickup truck of your own? I teach at a school with no tech director. For a variety of reasons, I may need to get rid of my truck, but am nervous about not having it when it comes to set builds. Are any of you in a similar situation? If so, are you able to remain sane without a truck?

    Paul Hill
    Drama Director/Teacher
    Puyallup WA

  • 2.  RE: Trucks and Set Builds

    Posted 08-03-2020 08:01
    My local Home Depot delivers to government institutions for free. I try to not abuse it and just get one big delivery each semester. Not sure what businesses are up there, but Home Depot and Lowe's both only charge $80 for delivery, if you can't get them to do it for free.

    It takes some planning to know what you'll need in December when you place the order in August.

    Break legs!

    Michael Tarver
    Central Gwinnett High School
    Lawrenceville GA

  • 3.  RE: Trucks and Set Builds

    Posted 08-03-2020 09:23
    I have taught for 47 years and have only had one truck during that time.  To be honest, there is always a parent who will help out if you need a truck.  Usually, stuff like lumber, I just have it delivered.  Depending on where you live, and because it's for a school, sometimes they will deliver for free.

    Terry McGonigle
    Operations Manager, John Legend Theater
    700 S. Limestone, Suite A
    Springfield, OH  45505
    937-505-2944  (office)
    937-505-6155  (high school classroom)
    479-430-4878  (cell)
    District Website:

    PLEASE NOTE:  This message and any response to it may constitute a public record, and therefore may be available upon request in accordance with Ohio public records law (ORC 149.43).

  • 4.  RE: Trucks and Set Builds

    Posted 08-03-2020 09:43
    I have had a truck on and off during my 40 year career.  It is surely more helpful to have one...but talk with the maintenance department at your school and see what they have available.  Since selling my truck, I have made use of trucks and vans owned by the school (district).

    Kurt Knoedelseder
    Theatre Director/Theatre Manager

    DeSmet Logo

    233 N. New Ballas Rd  |  St. Louis, MO 63141

    P (314) 567-3500, ext. 1297  |  W

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  • 5.  RE: Trucks and Set Builds

    Posted 08-03-2020 10:05
    Hey Paul!

    For big set pieces we're borrowing, I will often have to borrow a truck from a student or a student's family member. I make sure to talk to the families if students are going and have them sign a waiver to drive for a school related activity. As for building materials, we have Home Depot or Lowes deliver materials to us. We've forged a relationship with their commercial ordering department and always talk to the same employee - he knows us by name! - when ordering lumber, metal or hardware we need. Then we schedule a deliver and the students all unload the truck! Each establishment also gives us a school discount so it works out well.

    I hope that helps a little!

    Tami LoSasso

    Theatre Educator, Lakewood High School

    Senate Sponsor, Lakewood High School

    Chapter Director, Colorado State Thespians


    2019-2020 Season

    Actor's Showcase - February 7, 2020

    West Side Story - March 11-14, 2020

    James and the Giant Peach (unified) - April 16, 2020

    An Evening of One Acts - April 24, 2020

    for tickets, CLICK HERE!

  • 6.  RE: Trucks and Set Builds

    Posted 08-03-2020 11:59
    I have done it before. I used to only have a Ford Focus, and while I could load that thing to the gills, it was not  truck. I did sometimes rent the truck from Home Depot-$20 for 75 min if I remember correctly. If you are able to plan ahead efficiently, I've also had Home Depot deliver, but it's like 80 bucks, so use it sparingly and try to get everything you need at once if you go that route. You might be able to have a parent help out as well.
    Josh Belk
    Director of Theatre
    Bear Necessity Theatre Company
    at Palmer Ridge High School
    (719) 867 8102

  • 7.  RE: Trucks and Set Builds

    Posted 08-03-2020 12:20
    For years and years, I always had a pick up truck and would run to get this that and or the other thing.  Then we decide to go electric for our home transportation, and I sold the pick up truck and got a small 4 x 8 trailer that folds up and sits in the garage.  We also found that we used the truck less and less at home and I only used it at work a few times a year.  I order a lit of things to be delivered.  There is a small fee, but if I plan, I can get most of what I need ahead of time.  It's worked out pretty well so far.  If I need a piece of 1 by or something, I'll just throw it in the car or bring the trailer

    Michael Johnson
    Trinity NC

  • 8.  RE: Trucks and Set Builds

    Posted 08-04-2020 11:25
    I found that there was a parent with a truck or a faculty member with a truck we could borrow. Of course a lot of the coaches had "trucks" but they weren't real trucks for real work, just big, massive show-pieces! LOL
    I usually would purchase from Lowe's or Home Depot. Lowe's had a truck I could rent but I couldn't reserve it and had to hope it was available when I got there. Yeah, frustrating.
    Finally, we hired a /2 time theatre teacher and he was very detail oriented and he called around to local lumber yards and found one that was cheaper than Lowe's and HD and would deliver orders of $100 or more. AND it was a local business, which I like to patronize more.
    Try looking around and see if you can get a discount in exchange for a program ad. Or asks parents if they know of a good source. Turns out one parent worked at Lowe's and was a big D&D fan. He ended up drawing the map for She Kills Monsters.

    John Perry
    Retired Theatre Teacher

  • 9.  RE: Trucks and Set Builds

    Posted 08-05-2020 18:22

    I am finding this thread interesting as I follow it because I have kind of a different situation.  Usually, I can find a parent or staff member with a truck when I need it.  So I think you can probably get by without a personal truck.  However, what makes my situation a bit different is that I am not allowed to pick up items personally at Lowes or wherever I want to purchase items from.   Only the custodial department can charge items at Lowes, so for lumber, plywood, paint, and other larger items, I always have to submit a request for a purchase order with a list of the supplies I need, and then the custodial department picks up the items for me.  For the most part, that works out okay, but once in a while they do come back with something different than what I had asked for.  Usually, it is not so far different that I cannot use it though, and I make do.  Don't get me wrong, there are times when I suddenly realize I need something or I am doing some personal shopping and run across an item that I need.  So I buy it out of my own pocket and then submit receipts for reimbursement when the show is over, which I am sure many of us do.  However, by law I cannot be reimbursed the tax, of course.

    Anyway, I am wondering if other drama teachers and sponsors face a similar situation.  There was a time that my name was on the list with permission to charge, but for some unknown reason, that was changed several years ago.  I'd be interested in hearing from others what rules their schools have for securing materials.  I apologize if this is a bit off topic, but I thought I would give my take.

    Thank you,


    Kenneth Robinson
    English 11/Speech Teacher
    Drama Club Sponsor
    English Department Chairperson
    Wapahani High School
    10401 E. Co. Rd. 167S
    Selma, Indiana  47383

  • 10.  RE: Trucks and Set Builds

    Posted 08-05-2020 08:36
    ​Good morning Paul,

    I echo what has been said in the thread. We worked our a deal with our local Enterprise Truck Rental. They rented us the truck in exchange for an ad in the program.

    Good morning Paul,

    I echo the others in the thread, there are multiple options. We actually worked with our local Enterprise and they rented us a truck in exchange for an add. 

    ​Good morning Paul,

    I echo what has been said in the thread. We worked our a deal with our local Enterprise Truck Rental. They rented us the truck in exchange for an ad in the program.
    ​Good morning Paul,

    I echo what has been said in the thread. We worked our a deal with our local Enterprise Truck Rental. They rented us the truck in exchange for an ad in the program.

    Crit Fisher
    Lighting/Sound Designer
    New Albany High School