SWIRNOW THEATER POLICIES

    • The Director and Tech Director of Homewood Arts Programs (HAP) schedule the Swirnow Theater together with input from the representatives of the student theater groups. Approximately one month after the start of each semester, the schedule is set for the next semester. This schedule includes time in the scene shop and the theatre. Any non-SAC theatre group that would like to use the theatre must apply to the Director by the beginning of the semester before in order to be considered before the schedule is set
    • When a theatre group is scheduled, it will have full access to the theater for at least the two weeks before opening night.
    • When a theatre group is scheduled, it will have access to the Swirnow scene shop scheduled at least two – three weeks before opening night. During the first week of this period, the shop schedule must be co-ordinated with any performance or rehearsal schedule in the theatre.
    • As soon as possible, the group should schedule a “pre-production” meeting with the Director and Tech Director. In attendance from the group should be as many as possible from the following: director(s), stage manager(s), producer, tech director, set designer, lighting designer, costume designer, sound designer and any other officers from the group who will be involved. It is fine if this meeting takes place before the set design is finalized.
    • Before access to the shop or theater is allowed, the group must show the Tech Director a production budget, set design, ground plan and audience configuration that have been approved by the group’s Director(s), Producer, Set Designer and Tech Director. The Tech Director of HAP must also approve this design.
      • The budget, design, ground plan and audience configuration must be approved by all of the above and presented to the Tech Director before the group will be allowed to use either the scene shop or the Swirnow Theater for rehearsals. The limit for theatre audience seating capacity in the Swirnow is 145 chairs.
      • Once the design is approved, it is not possible to add performances or previews before the first scheduled performance.
      • Any scenery that is walked on or stood on that is more than two feet high off the ground level must have railings.
      • Unless specifically designed into the audience configuration, there is no standing room for the audience allowed. Audience members cannot stand in the egress between the exit doors and the audience platforms.
    • Before access to the shop or theater is allowed, the group must also provide the Tech Director a list of available work hours for the group’s tech director, set designer and anyone else who plans on working on technical elements during the production period.
    • Exceptions to this schedule will take place only when the Director and Tech Director deem it necessary and appropriate, and the group that is in the space agrees to allow another event to be scheduled during their rehearsal period.
    • Student theatre groups which perform in the Swirnow must provide the following:
      • Producer
      • Director
      • Stage Manager
      • Set Designer
      • Light Designer
      • Sound Designer
      • Costume Designer
      • People to build the set
      • People to help focus lights
      • Light Board operator
      • Sound Board operator
      • Front of House personnel during the shows to take tickets, admit latecomers, handle audience emergencies, etc…
    • Other student Performance groups must provide the following:
      • Director
      • Producer
      • Front of House personnel
      • Someone to run either lights or sound in the booth
    • Members of the group will do the actual building of the set, hang and focus the lights, and program and run the light and sound boards.
    • The Tech Director will supervise all tech aspects of the show and will provide consultation and advice throughout the process of creating the show.
    • The Tech Director does not necessarily have to be present during construction, as long as the tech students are approved to use the tools and shop space. A series of Tech workshops must be taken before approval is given.
    • The Tech Director will not be present during the run of a show, except to see the show as an audience member.
    • Groups may hire non-JHU professionals to help with any aspects of creating the show if they wish. The Tech Director must approve any non-JHU Tech help before they use the tools in the scene shop.
    • The Tech Director must approve the safety of the set design and its construction.
    • Groups must get approval of the Tech Director before taping the floor of the theater. There is no taping of the floor allowed in rehearsal rooms Mattin 101 and 105.
    • Groups may not use any of the Mattin Center furniture as part of their set.
    • Only students who have been approved by the Tech Director may use the power tools in the shop. A series of Tech workshops must be taken before approval is given.
    • Students and non-JHU professionals who work in the shop or theater must have valid accident insurance.
    • Students may not work alone in the theater or scene shop.
    • HAP will provide $200 worth of financial support for each student group production in the theater.
    • Groups will be charged directly for all supplies bought by the HAP Tech Director via his JHU credit card.
    • The Director of HAP will give one set of Swirnow keys to the Stage Manager and one set to the head tech person for each show after they have done a walk through in the space with the HAP Tech Director. Keys must be returned immediately after the closing of a show.
    • J Card access can be arranged for the Director, the Producer, the Stage Manager and members of the tech crew during the time period of rehearsals and performances in the theater. Access will be given after a walk through in the space with the HAP Tech Director. Cast members will not receive J Card access.
    • One person (usually the producer or the stage manager) must be in charge of a contact sheet that includes all personnel involved on the show and is distributed to everyone. This person is responsible to make updates and add new info as needed.
    • Two ongoing email reports are required during the time that a group is in the Swirnow Theater. These reports need to be sent immediately after the build or rehearsal.The first is a “Build Report,” to be sent by the Tech Director. This report must be sent every day there is building activity from the first day that the group is using the scene shop through the final tech rehearsal.The second is either a “Rehearsal Report” or a “Performance Report,” to be sent by a stage manager or the director. This report must be sent after every rehearsal and performance from the first rehearsal through the second to last performance.Examples of the formats for the reports and the information that should be included are available from the Tech Director and will be handed out at the pre-production meeting.

      Each report should be sent to the HAP Director, the HAP Tech Director, all group board members, and the complete contact list (including tech and actors) for the production. It is assumed that these reports are read by everyone who receives them.

      If the two reports are not emailed by 6am the following morning, the group can lose access to the Swirnow Theatre and/or scene shop for the next scheduled use.

  • On the Tuesday night of tech week, group members must stack up all the audience chairs before they leave the theater for the night. The HAP Director will request that a JHU custodian come that night and vacuum the audience platforms. If the chairs are not stacked, the group will be responsible for cleaning the platforms themselves. The group is responsible for re-setting the chairs into their audience configuration and for cleaning the chairs before opening night.
  • Posters for the show may be given to the HAP Director for placement in the glass cases in the Mattin Center. No posters may be placed on the glass doors or windows of the Mattin Center.
  • The cast and crew of each show are required to stay after the final performance for strike. The strike will start as soon after the audience has left. The strike is supervised by the HAP Tech Director, who will decide when strike is completed. The Tech Director will determine which elements, including sets, props, lights, and audience chairs and platforms will be struck. This decision is based on the Tech characteristics of the outgoing show and the incoming show.
  • No photo calls are permitted after the final show, so that strike may start in a timely manner.
  • All “group” belongings, such as costumes, props, group owned scenery, and all personal belongings of the cast & crew must be removed on the final day as part of strike. The only exceptions are if the Tech Director has granted storage permission at least one week prior to final day of run.
  • No food or drink (except for water bottles) is allowed in the theater, scene shop, green room area or the dressing rooms. Food is only allowed in the Silk Road cafe. Please do not place your feet on the chairs, or allow the audience members to do so.
  • No smoking or open flames are allowed in the Swirnow Theater, either during rehearsals or on stage during a show. If smoking or flames are essential to the dramatic content of the show, arrangements must be made with the Tech Director, who will consult with staff in the office of JHU Safety & Environmental Health Services. Together they will determine if special permission can be granted for an appropriate substitute effect.
  • Smoke and fog effects must be approved by JHU Safety & Environmental Health Services. To date this approval has not been granted.
  • No deliberate breaking of real glass or pottery is allowed in a show. Breakaway props which look real but do not cause safety issues can be purchased.
  • No alcohol or illegal drugs are allowed at any time in the scene shop, the theatre, or at any rehearsal in the Mattin Center.
  • No type of real gun or weapon is allowed on campus. If a student theatre group wants to use a prop gun, sword, or weapon in a campus production, a representative from the group must get prior approval to use the prop from both the Tech Director and JHU Security. It is required to have the actual prop to show the Tech Director and Security when you are seeking permission to use it. Permission must also be granted for any sounds that the prop makes when used. The prop must be kept in a locked box and a notice must be placed in the program that a prop gun or weapon will be used in the play.To have a prop gun or other weapon approved, take it during normal weekday business hours to the JHU Security Office in their Remington offices. You can show it to either Dennis Rosemary or Mark Long. One of them should be available. If you wish to make an appointment, call 410-516-4600 beforehand to set up a time.There is no guarantee the prop will be approved. If it is not approved, either another prop must be presented for approval, or any stage action relating to the prop must be cut from the production. It is recommended that when the group is considering choosing a play in which the use of a gun or weapon is integral to the action, that it get approval of the prop before the choice of play is confirmed.The group must inform the Tech Director of the final decision from JHU Security.
  • During the period a group is using the Swirnow Theater and scene shop, the facilities will be available from 8 am – 12 midnight. All rehearsals and tech work must finish by midnight.
  • The Swirnow scene shop is not to be used for construction of sets for Arellano Theatre or to work on something for a show that the group is currently producing in another space. Also it should not be used by a group that is not currently using the Swirnow Theater. The only exceptions to this will be for construction of a specific small set piece or prop that is given prior approval by the Tech Director and is built under the direct supervision of the Tech Director.
  • Before each dress rehearsal and performance, the Stage Manager is encouraged to collect valuables from each actor and place them in a secure lock box. HAP is not responsible for loss, damage, or theft of any personal items or items that are being used for the production.
  • A MD law requires a place of assembly with more than 50 people to have a crowd manager. The student producer (or other person who will make the pre-show announcement and be on site for the full show) needs to announce to the audience before the show about emergency exits and no food or drink in the theater. Current policies about certification for crowd management are under review.
  • The Producer and Stage Manager of each show are responsible for informing all cast and crew members of these policies.
  • Any group or individuals found ignoring these policies will receive appropriate disciplinary action.

These policies are subject to revision.