Posted September 30, 2021

LaGuardia High School Technical Theatre Teachers

Position: Teacher of Technical Theatre: Scene Shop and Scenic Technology


The role of Scene Shop and Scenic Technology teacher takes lead on teaching safe practices and use of all scene shop and related tools, equipment, and materials. In addition, they are responsible for teaching concepts related to how scenery can function in theatre spaces and how challenges are met with solutions ranging from simple tried and true methods to cutting edge, recently developed methods for moving and manipulating scenery as designed.

Courses taught include Stagecraft, Production, and Career and Financial Management. Units within these courses include general safety, the safe and proper use of tools employed in the construction of theatrical scenery, hand drafting, CAD Drafting, jobs and roles of the scene shop, basic finance concepts, paying for college, career development, portfolio development, among others.

The Curriculum continues to be under development as the program evolves to support its goal of creating energetic young theatre practitioners in the fields of stagecraft and design.
The teacher will have the opportunity to design and supervise the installation of school productions in the role of “Technical Director”. This is provided for additional compensation under the rules for per-session negotiated by the UFT.

LaGuardia High School hosts the first Career and Technical Education (CTE) Technical Theatre program in New York City. It is a four-year program designed to develop specific skills related to theatrical production with the intention to prepare students to enter the industry’s workforce, but also to prepare students for the option of further educational programs.

Students participating in the program attend a block of 3 periods per day, five days per week. In this block, students student both stagecraft and design classes and the production class where work commences on our school’s productions. The coursework is meant to be rigorous and demanding.

Students are also expected to participate in afterschool activities related to the development of our school productions. Students also participate in work-based learning activities through internships, job shadowing and other related experiences as part of their education. These are typically held off-campus at partner worksites and are funded by state and federal grants.

There are 6 teachers currently leading the program. Each teacher is responsible for oversight of their discipline’s shop area. They are also provided opportunities to practice their industrial profession within the school’s production programming. This team of teachers is highly supportive of one another. They have all transitioned from the professional industry into these teaching roles.

Teacher days at LaGuardia High School are 6 hours and 50 minutes. Teachers are responsible for five periods per day, five days per week. A duty-free lunch period and a prep period are contractually guaranteed. Additionally, one period is designated for assigned service to the school which is typically set aside for small group activity and shop maintenance.

LaGuardia High School produces 5 major theatrical productions per year including the annual all-school musical, an operatic production in the large theatre, and three smaller plays or musicals in our smaller theatre. There are two dance concerts each year and approximately 20 music concerts all supported by the students and faculty of the Tech Theatre Studio. Additionally, the studio supports our drama students
in class-based performances and club activities.

Additional opportunities are offered throughout the year including positions for the annual musical and Spring Drama Festival shows. Additional compensation is offered for these positions through a program known as “per-session”

All compensation is determined through a United Federation of Teachers (UFT) collective bargaining agreement. Information is available publicly at www.uft.org. Membership is not required. The salary scale is determined by many factors including education and years of service or experience. For more information, contact the UFT.

Candidates should be able to exhibit both experience in the field and a strong background in training. Degrees from theatrical technical production programs are considered, but not required. Knowledge of underlying principles and concepts is the requirement.

Interested parties should contact G. Benjamin Swope at gswope@schools.nyc.gov

Certification

All teachers in the public school system must be certified by the New York State Department of Education. Career and Technical Education teachers are allowed pathways to certification to allow classroom work to begin immediately. The Transition A pathway has a number of options which consider experience and education in the required documentation to the state. This allows 3 years to complete the
requirements for “initial” certification. More information is available at NY State TEACH website.