Volunteer backstage

Answer a creative call

Upcoming Work Calls

Spring Shows Build & Paint Calls

  • 1:00-4:00 PM, Feb. 13-14, 2024
  • 1:00-4:00 PM, Feb. 19-22, 2024
  • 1:00-4:00 PM, Feb.26-29, 2024
  • 1:00-4:00 PM, Mar. 18-21, 2024
  • 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Apr. 8 – 11, 2024
  • 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Apr. 15 – 18, 2024

Help assist our technical directors create the sets of Beautiful: The Carole King MusicalIvy + Bean the Musical, and The Play That Goes Wrong! Click here to sign up

Crew for Dragons Love Tacos
Want to be part of the magic behind the scenes? We are looking for people interested in volunteering for backstage crew for Dragons Love Tacos. If you are interested or want more information, please email volunteer coordinator Derek Phelps at dphelps@dmplayhouse.com.

Volunteer Makeup Artists Wanted!
The Playhouse is on the lookout for committed volunteer makeup artists for our upcoming production of Dragons Love Tacos. Under the guidance of our costume designer, Jessica Van Essen, you’ll play a key role in transforming our actors into whimsical Dragons.


  • Work closely with the costume designer to create a simple yet effective dragon makeup look.
  • Help teach the actors how to apply their makeup for the show. 


  • Availability for rehearsals and performances Feb. 25-Mar. 3, 2024. Please provide your availability and potential conflicts during this period.

If you’re ready to contribute your talent to this enchanting production, please email volunteer coordinator Derek Phelps at dphelps@dmplayhouse.com.

How would you like to be involved in the 2023-24 Season?

2023-24 Season Shows include:
Our Town, Feb. 2-18, 2024
Dragons Love Tacos, March 1-10, 2024
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Apr. 5-21, 2024
Ivy + Bean The Musical, May 3-12, 2024
The Play That Goes Wrong, May 31-June 16, 2024
School of Rock, July 12-28, 2024

Backstage Crew: Join the team to shift scenery and props, run lights, or run sound. These crews start working with the cast a week before opening, and then at each performance. Interested? 

Production Team: Are you a stage manager or interested in learning how to be a stage manager? Have you designed and gathered props or are you interested in this? 

Set Build/Paint: We put out calls for volunteers to help build and paint scenery. If you’re interested in working in the scene shop for an afternoon, a week, or more, 

Costumes: Do you have sewing skills? Are you interested in learning how to be a dresser, the volunteer who helps actors with fast changes backstage? Contact Angela Lampe, associate artistic director.

Be sure to sign up for our email notices. Check the Volunteer Opportunities: Backstage/Technical email option.

Creative calls are times when volunteers and Playhouse staff work together to build the set; paint set pieces, floors, and backdrops; assemble rigging; build and augment props; and build costumes.

  • Learn new theatre skills and meet other Playhouse volunteers! Feel free to bring some friends and work for a few hours.
  • You must be at least 16 years of age to work independently in the shop. Those as young as 14 can participate in creative calls if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Students: Remember, this is a fun and easy way to get those volunteer service hours needed for church or school. Bring your form to be signed.
  • Please come dressed for the job. That means closed-toed shoes and clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or getting paint on.
  • Please reference our Shop Safety Rules posted on the shop office door when arriving.

New Volunteers
Feel free to join us in the shop anytime during posted build hours. You do not need to sign up or contact us beforehand. We ask that you please observe all safety rules while working in the shop. In order to give each volunteer proper recognition for their work we ask that you fill out our volunteer time sheet located on the door of the tool cabinet. 

Backstage Volunteer Positions

Set Crew

Volunteers who enjoy building and painting will enjoy the opportunity to construct sets. The set crew assists the technical director in constructing and painting the set and large prop pieces. There are jobs for the skilled carpenter, but set and prop construction is also a great place to learn some basic carpentry skills. Training is provided to those without experience.

Base coat paint and detail work is needed on each set. Accomplished artists are welcomed; however it is not necessary to have experience. Volunteers are trained on the detail set work. The variety in experience levels of painters provides a great opportunity to work together to learn new techniques and share ideas.

Time Requirement: At the discretion of the volunteer.

Run (Shift/Fly) Crew

This is the perfect opportunity to learn and experience what happens behind the scenes during a theatrical production. Run crew members are responsible for changing the set during scene breaks and at intermission. Crew members may also be called on to use the fly system to change scenery that is flown in from above. In addition, the crew is used to set furniture and large props both backstage and onstage before and during performances. The run crew is led by either the stage manager or the shift captain (assistant stage manager). As a crew member, you will receive ample hands-on training before going “live” in front of an audience.

Time Requirements: One to two weeks prior to opening, generally in the evenings and at all performances (15-25 performances), as scheduled.

Light Hanging Crew

Prior to a show’s opening, each light instrument must be hung in a specific location, focused in a particular direction, colored with a specific color, and plugged into a power source. The lighting crew assists with this process by moving lighting instruments and focusing them as directed by the lighting designer or master electrician. Hand tools are used and, in most cases, it is necessary to climb ladders in order to reach the instruments. Teamwork, initiative, and an ability to follow instructions are basic requirements.

Time Requirements: Work calls as set by the lighting designer or master electrician

Light Board Operator

During dress rehearsals and performances, the light board operator runs the computerized light board to properly light the performances. In virtually all scenarios, the board operator will be “on headset” with the stage manager who will “call” the show (tell you when to go to the next light cue). You work as a team ensuring properly-executed light changes. A commitment to teamwork, ablity to work under pressure, and effective communication skills are necessary for this position.

Time Requirements: One to two weeks prior to opening, generally in the evenings and at all performances (15-25 performances), as scheduled.

Followspot Operator

Another way to get introduced to the theatre is by being on the followspot crew. This crew operates the followspots which are used primarily in musical productions. Working with the light board operator and stage manager, you take your “cues” from the stage manager as to when and where your spot is used. And yes, the master electrician will provide training on how to run the instrument.

Time Requirements: One to two weeks prior to opening, generally in the evenings and at all performances (15-25 performances), as scheduled.

Props Master/Mistress

Are you good with your hands? Creative? Are you able to see treasure in a pile of junk? Do you enjoy visiting antique stores and flea markets? Then you may have the skills necessary to be a props master/mistress.

A property (“prop”) is anything that is not attached to an actor or part of the set. The props master/mistress, then, is responsible for finding, borrowing, buying, or building all the “dressing” on the walls and the hand props used by the actors. This may also include real food or drink. The props master/mistress may work alone, or may have a crew to help them, depending on the show.

Time Requirements: The amount of time spent building, buying, or acquiring pieces depends on the complexity of the show, and may be done at your own pace. Because the props master/mistress is part of the design team, you will be expected to attend the weekly production meetings which generally start one-to-two weeks prior to auditions and run through tech week. Additionally, you are expected to attend rehearsals from time to time, working with the directors to make sure the props you’ve provided work. You are also expected to attend all technical rehearsals and all performances unless there is a props crew.

Props Crew

The props crew works directly with the props master/mistress to obtain the properties needed for a production, as well as helps during the show. In some instances, the props crews may be called upon to help the shift crew during scene changes.

Time Requirements: One to two weeks prior to opening, generally in the evenings and at all performances (15-25 performances), as scheduled.

Costume Crew

Similar to set crew and run crew, there are two basic areas in costumes that need volunteer assistance: sewers and dressers.

Sewers are instrumental in building costumes as well as putting the finishing touches on projects. Anyone who can sew, from simple alterations to full-scale construction, is welcome to spend time in our costume shop.

Dressers help make costume changes during performances. They may also help put on wigs or help change costumes during quick scene changes.

Time Requirements:
Sewers: flexible.
Dressers: One to two weeks prior to opening, generally in the evenings and at all performances (15-25 performances), as scheduled.

Stage Manager

The stage manager (SM) assumes the responsibility for the smooth and efficient preparation and execution of all aspects of a production including all of the details of auditions, rehearsals, and performance preparation. During the rehearsal process, the SM keeps a record of all the movement on the stage, and a running list of anything added that is not in the script, and prompts the actors with lines during the early rehearsals. During the performances, the SM may “call” the show. This requires wearing a headset and guiding the light and sound board operators through their cues. The SM also acts as a coordinator to distribute information about the progress of the production to all members of the company.

Becoming a SM usually involves prior experience or being involved in previous productions at The Playhouse over an extended period of time. If you are interested in stage managing a production, you are encouraged to first get involved on a production team and serve as assistant stage manager. Once you have a solid understanding of how shows are managed at The Playhouse, you will be encouraged to consider stage managing a show. Detailed training will be provided prior, during, and after your production experience.

Time Requirements: You must be available for all production meetings, auditions, rehearsals, technical rehearsals, promotional events (as needed), and the production run itself (15-25 performances). In general, the rehearsal process is six to eight weeks, six nights per week, two to four hours per night. In short, it is not unusual for a SM to spend 15 hours per week in rehearsals or meetings.

Assistant Stage Manager

The assistant stage manager (ASM) is the stage manager’s (SM) assistant and often serves as the shift captain. During rehearsals, the ASM may take notes and help place rehearsal set pieces. During the production, the ASM stays in contact with the SM and supervises the shift crew to make sure set changes are handled in a timely manner. After the performance, the ASM is responsible for checking dressing rooms for orderliness, and set pieces and props to insure that they are properly stored and in good condition.

Time Requirements: You should be available to assist the SM for any rehearsal-related tasks including running rehearsals and be available for the production run itself (15-25 performances).

Audition Crew

Whether the cast requirements are small or large, volunteers are always needed to help with auditions. This is especially true when auditions are held for musicals or casts with children. The audition crew manages the registration process, which includes distribution of forms, checking folks in, and being available for general questions about the show and the rehearsal process. They work directly with the show’s stage manager.

Time Requirement: Three to five hours on audition day and possibly the one to two days following for callbacks.

For more information about volunteering backstage at The Playhouse, contact Derek Phelps, volunteer and production coordinator, at 515.974.5356.