Everything you've ever wanted to know about Chandler Center for the Arts

Archive for May, 2011

Coming up at the Center

Do you hear that?  It’s quiet…too quiet.

Well, maybe not too quiet (that would be creepy) but no extra noises and no singing. How boring.

Thankfully though, our summer camps start-up in two weeks, so I’ll have something else to listen to besides my keyboard clacking.

Our summer camps are basically Glee Camp with a sugar high. There are two camp sessions, but each camp does something different. Camp 1 starts in two weeks and the play is awesome. (And no, I’m not telling you what it is. I’ll let the kids spread that message because they’ll probably be talking about it non-stop.) 

Camp 2 is still getting ironed out, but it is a totally different play than the one for Camp 1, which is good because we have several kids who love us (well, our camps anyway) so much that they want to stick around all summer. That camp starts in July and is only 2 weeks.

Both camps have acting, singing and dancing, although not every part has all three, so if there are campers who love dancing and acting but aren’t so sure about the singing parts, they can tryout for the part that has the best fit for them. The last thing we want is for our kids to feel uncomfortable*, so we make sure that there are parts for everyone.

The flip side of that is that if a camper REALLY wants a part, they’re going to have to work for it! That’s the point of the auditions, Kristen (our amazing camp director) wants to help our campers put on the best performance possible, so she’ll go over what to work on the first day of camp.

Between now and then? Enjoy the silence, because it doesn’t last long around CCA.

*Because no one wants to be that kid standing on stage in the middle of practice and have a massive case of stage fright over take them. Happened to me when I was 10, and my mom has pictures. Talk about bad news bears.


We’re looking for a fabulous House Manager! Know of one?

If you love the magic of show nights, then this might be the position for you (or a friend). We’re looking for a House Manager to work with our Front of House Coordinator.  Check out the job description below, and if know that you fit the description, email devauhr@hotmail.com. If you’re lucky enough to already have your dream job, then feel free to pass this along.

Job Description-Part Time

Title:                            House Manager           

Reports To:                  Front of House Coordinator

Hourly Pay:                  $10.50 per hour/ 12-18 hours per week

This position is a part-time, non-benefited position with no set hours.  Primary work functions happen on Friday evenings, Saturday’s and Sundays. Under direction of the Front of House Coordinator, this position monitors and oversees front of house activities during events at the Chandler Center for the Arts.  The House Manager performs patron and volunteer relations work for the Chandler Center for the Arts.  Responsible for recruiting, training, assigning duties, scheduling, evaluating and supervising volunteer ushers; conducting pre-show briefings with ushers; facilitating a smooth efficient flow of patrons entering and exiting the theatre; arranging accommodations for groups with special needs; resolving customer complaints related to seating and related areas; reporting safety incidents; coordinating house opening with backstage management; and performing other duties as required including but not limited to assisting with recruitment, orientation, volunteer appreciation events, and proper implementation and enforcement of emergency procedures.


Minimum Qualifications Required

– Any combination of training, education and experience equivalent to graduation from high school or GED. 
– 1-3 years customer service experience that includes use of phone and personal computers.

Preferred/Desirable Qualifications

  • Six months experience supervising volunteers
  • Practical knowledge of theatre operations
  • CPR/AED training
  • Willing to work long hours and/or split shifts.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

(List may vary and is not exhaustive and may be supplemented as necessary):

  • Excellent customer service and communication with the public, internal and external clients.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, even temperament, ability to supervise effectively
  • Responsible for training, assigning duties, scheduling, evaluating and supervising volunteer ushers.
  • Tracks hours for all volunteers for the Arts Center through a computerized system.
  • Prepares written general correspondence, documents and reports.
  • Provides on-going training for volunteer ushers and conducts pre-show briefings.
  • Arranges accommodations for groups with special needs.
  • Facilitates patron flow entering and exiting the theatre.
  • Coordinates house opening with backstage management.
  • Resolves patron complaints
  • Assists with marketing and promotional tables as needed.
  • Reports and follows through on safety incidents and/or concerns

Assists with the sales of merchandise for traveling artists. Collects house percentage of merchandise sales with vendors. Collect, count and turn in money for sale of cookbooks, mugs, posters, etc.

Performance Competencies

  • Maintain a professional image
  • Efficient organization
  • Build strong relationships to provide a harmonious environment
  • Responsive and considerate of the customer’s needs
  • Ethical considerations in all duties
  • Maintain a high standard for FOH and volunteers as ambassadors of the Chandler Center for the Arts

 

Please submit a resume by email, fax or mail by 5pm, June 13, 2011:

Devau Human Resources

720 E. North Lane, Ste. #1

Phoenix, AZ  85020.

602-314-4417

602-314-5033 Fax

devauhr@hotmail.com


Monday Mashup: Sleeping Beauty and a food drive.

I am constantly surprised at the inherent goodness in people. With only a few days heads up, people were more than willing to donate food to help their neighbors in Chandler. I’m not talking about a three year old can of strained peas, but cases and cases of food that people were willing to give up to help someone they may not know.

You guys are amazing. If I could, I’d high-five every one of you that helped out (but that might take days).

Sleeping Beauty was wonderful, but what else could you expect from Ballet Etudes? They were able to turn a timeless classic into a modern masterpiece, all with local talent. Plus, it didn’t feel like a traditional ballet, in the sense that it was a formal event. It was fun, even for people who would rather watch something other than dancing.

The next Ballet Etudes performance at CCA will be The Nutcracker, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait six months before you can see them again. Check out their website and see if they are doing any performances that you might be interested.

And thank you.


Weekend Preview: Sleeping Beauty

Back in the day, it seems like ballet was something that only a select few people enjoyed. Movies show it as people dressing up in formal wear and calling everying “Daaaaahling” with a British accent.

Now, more and more people are going to, and enjoying, ballet. Just look at how well the movie Swan Lake did. Yeah it didn’t hurt that it had Natalie Portman going bonkers on stage, but people come away talking about the actual ballet too.

Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake  are all by Tchaikovsky*, so if you like one then it stands to reason that you’ll love them all. Plus, Sleeping Beauty is performed by people who are actually from Arizona.  The lead is an amazing 17 year old from Gilbert, rather than someone from New York or LA who flys in and performs, then books it out of town.

We have such an amazing array of talent in Phoenix, and I’m so glad that everyone is getting to see just how great our performers are. So come out and support the local talent, and while you’re at it, bring some non-perishable food and help out Chandler.


Chandler needs our help

Usually when I blog, I try to add in some humor or sassy comment to keep you engaged, but I don’t think  I can do that today.

Yesterday we announced that we would be participating in the City of Chandler’s food drive and offering anyone who dropped off food during Sleeping Beauty a chance to win two tickets to see The Nutcracker.

Even if you don’t like ballet, please give us a hand, and drop off some non-perishable food that you’ve had in your pantry but don’t plan on eating. Trust me, we’ll find someone who wants it.

In Arizona, over 800,000 people ( 1 in 7) are living in poverty, and that number is growing. Since the recession, people have had to make choices like, “What gets paid this month, rent or electricity?” or “Can I start eating less to keep the AC running so my kids don’t get heat stroke?”

I’ve known plenty of people in these situations, and they aren’t looking for a hand out, but a way out. If accepting help from the food bank means that all bills are paid in full and they can start getting ahead, then that’s what has to be done. But with more and more people needing help, there is enormous strain on the food banks to help people improve their situations.

Plus, school is almost out. For some kids, that means that the assurance of two meals a day (free or reduced breakfast and lunch) is going away for a few months, so the food banks will have to step in and help make sure these kids get the nutrition they need to start school in the fall healthy and ready to learn.

This is where we come in. If you happen to be anywhere in Chandler and know that you can drop off a pack of juice boxes or a box of granola, please do so. Here is a list of places that you can drop off food, including CCA. Of course, we’d love to see you this weekend at Sleeping Beauty so you can enter the raffle, but really, we just hope to see the community step in and help their neighbors.


Who wants free tickets?

(This week Tech Tuesday is taking a back seat to something much more important, but it isn’t going away forever. Promise.)

Would you like to help Chandler and those without food, and have a chance to win two tickets to see The Nutcracker?

Yes? Good.

For the whole month of May, it’s a head to head food drive smack down between Chandler and Gilbert, and I aim to make sure that Chandler wins. When we do, Gilbert sity council members have to wear Chandler shirts at their next meeting. There will be photos with hilarious captions. I can’t wait.

But we need your help in collecting canned or non-perishable food, so let’s make this interesting. If you come to a performance of Sleeping Beauty May 13-15 and bring at least one canned or non-perishable food item, you’ll be entered into a drawing for two tickets to The Nutcracker (also performed by Ballet Etudes) and two backstage passes. You’re welcome to bring more than one item, but you’ll still be entered into the contest only once. Same goes for attending more than one showing of Sleeping Beauty.

The flip side is that if, by some cruel twist of fate, Chandler actually loses, our city council would have to wear Gilbert shirts. This weekend is a great way to relax with some classical (not stuffy) ballet and help out your neighbors. What do you say you lend us a hand?


Monday Mashup: Ballet Etudes and Sleeping Beauty

When I was younger, my mom got it into her head that I should take ballet classes even though I was (and lets face it, still am) the least graceful thing to ever don a leotard and ballet flats. Even though I can’t do a proper plie to save my life I still enjoy watching others execute one perfectly, and I’ll get my chance when Ballet Etudes presents Sleeping Beauty this week.

If you’re only familiar with the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty, you’re in luck. It’s the same story done in 4 acts with 4 performances from May 13-15. If you haven’t seen Sleeping Beauty, then I suggest that you break that curse and come watch them this weekend.  Pytor Tchaikovsky wrote it, and if you’re a fan of what he did in The Nutcracker, then you’ll love Sleeping Beauty.

That means this week I’ll be focusing on all things Sleeping Beauty. If I can tack Kevin down, I’ll show everyone what it’s like to be the production manager for a large ballet performance. Plus there are some fun things in the works that could lead to free tickets. So stay tuned, Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter, because you won’t want to miss it!


What lies below?

For this episode of Caitie’s Chandler Crawl, I wandered around under CCA to see what I could find.


Tech Tuesday: Sound Check

“Crest makes good toothpaste.”

That was the first thing I heard over the mics when I walked into the theatre on Saturday. Dean was nice enough to let me crash the sound check for Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, and I had no idea what to expect. My only experience with setting up a band was in high school, when we jammed cables into outlets and prayed we didn’t set the stage on fire.

However at CCA, things are a little more professional than that. Before the band even got on stage to make sure they sounded right, our sound guys did some run through’s, making sure all the mics were working and the monitors (speakers on stage) were hooked up right. This is a video from the main sound desk that shows the guys making sure the drum kit sounds right. Our sound guys needed to make sure that it was loud enough so that the audience could hear the right sounds, but not too loud that it sounded like a bunch of random banging, and the levels on the audio metering scales told them if they were right on the money, or needed to adjust.

Another thing I learned was that for many of the performances here, and especially those with music, there are actually two soundboards. There’s the main one in the theatre that Dean works, and then there’s one in the wings that Steve manages. Dean’s job is to make sure that the audience hears the music right, and Steve does the same, but for each of the musicians on stage. This clip shows just that. Some of the techs were walking around stage making sure everyone was hearing what they needed to hear to perform, and Steve was adjusting on the go.

See how some of the faders (sliding controls) seem to move on their own? They don’t. I found out that Steve can program different channels to have different frequencies (more bass, treble, etc) and then set that channel with those specifications. If he needs more channels, he can move on to a different one  and do the same thing. The movement happens when he switches between channels and the soundboard adjusts to the frequencies he set.

Just think of it this way. I love watching Real Housewives of NYC (no shame), but my Bravo channel has really bad sound quality, so I always have to turn up my TV’s volume. When I set my DVR to record the newest episode, I adjust the sound so my TV’s volume automatically goes higher to record that particular show, but will go lower for the next show I record on a different channel.

The actual soundcheck with the band on stage took 20 minutes at most, because everything went so well during the set up. I was glad because I got to meet more of the sound and lighting crew, and they’re a blast to hang out with.

If there are any questions that you had that I didn’t answer, please let me know! Dean said he doesn’t mind me asking questions, so I’m going to put that to the test. In the mean time, here are some photos I snagged during the soundcheck. I went through two cameras before I got any pictures that would work in some way, shape or form, so if they’re a tad grainy that’s why.

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Monday Mashup: Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars

Saturday night was the last show of our 2010-2011 season, and we went out with a bang with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. I didn’t get any video during the performance, but here is a clip and some photos of the band during the sound check.

The best part about the sound check? (other than learning what the boards do) It was hanging out with the members of the band.  They were all very friendly, but I’ll talk about that more during tomorrow’s Tech Tuesday.

Well, now what? If the season is over with, does that mean that we won’t have Caitie’s awesome posts to look forward to anymore? Will she go away forever?

Nah. I like this place too much to pick up and take off. Sure, Monday Mashups and Weekend Previews will change just a bit, but we will still have tons of amazing performances, including Swan Lake. So go watch Black Swan and then come see it live! Hopefully with less psychosis, but we’ll see.