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Coming to Back Stage...

"The reality today is that it costs lots of money to staff your company with well-trained and capable artists...and in light of the debt these students have amassed, I don't blame them for wanting a good job quickly. You can't eat, wear, or drive what's on your resume."

— Professor Henry Grillo, School of Design and Production at North Carolina School of the Arts

"The film industry has vocational schools. It may be time for the performing arts to do the same. Sometimes our elitist way of thinking prevents us from looking at this solution. At CalArts, we have added a certificate program in Technical Studies for just this reason."

— Director of Design and Production Chris Barreca at California Institute of the Arts

"Each year, theatre organizations face aging and smaller audiences. Simultaneously, the theatre's market share of the American public's entertainment dollar continues to diminish. The result has led to an employment situation where work is plentiful, while wages and benefits are minimal at best."

— Prof. Dennis L. Dorn, resident technical director for the Theatre Department at UW-Madison

"I receive about 10 calls each year asking if I have any TDs from our program to fill positions. I usually am able to help with about half of those requests, but last year there was a significant increase in requests."

— John Wylie, technical director and associate professor at Webster University

"I don't get applications for carpenters, stagehands, or seamstresses. Very, very few of the folks coming out of production programs are interested in building scenery."

— Christopher Jahn, associate technical director at Actor's Playhouse in Coral Gables, Florida

"What amazes me is how some of the summer stocks (especially some of the bigger names) seem to worry so little about the quality of life for the folks who are working for them. Folks want to do this, just so long as it isn't abusive and there is at least a modicum of respect for the work they do."

— Dan Hanessian, North Carolina School of the Arts

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