Seeking Wardrobe Assistant/Props Procurer for PURE NATIVE by Vickie Ramirez
Updated: May 25
AlterTheater develops and produces plays written and performed by the best established and emerging storytellers, presented where people live, work, or play. AlterTheater has been commissioning, developing and premiering new plays in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2008. Its AlterLab playwright residency focuses on writers from underrepresented communities: 85% of writers are women and ⅔ of writers identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigeneous, People of Color). While our cohorts are multi-ethnic, we’ve supported more Native playwrights than any other demographic (30%). AlterTheater’s mission has always been about telling stories in places where people are; for 15 years, the company performed in highly visible, non-traditional spaces, primarily storefronts in downtown San Rafael’s pedestrian shopping district. In 2014, we began a “mobile storefront model”, touring work between San Rafael storefronts and A.C.T. 's storefront space, as part of the now-defunct ArtShare.
AlterTheater seeks to create a more just, more equitable community by:
supporting the creative growth of theater artists from historically underrepresented communities;
telling stories that reflect the full complexity and diversity of our community; and
sharing stories with our full community, in places where people are.
Recent Challenges and Opportunities
In partnership with The Parsnip Ship, AlterTheater produced an audio play version of Andrew Saito’s Br’er Peach, which “toured” BIPOC theaters in 2021 and is now available on TPS’s podcast platforms. In Spring 2022, AlterTheater filmed an adaptation of AlterLab play SNAG by Tara Moses, adding to AlterTheater’s digital offerings.
The pandemic shut down theaters a few weeks before AlterTheater was scheduled to start rehearsals for our first touring project to Native reservations, PURE NATIVE, a new play by Vickie Ramirez. As part of the tour, AlterTheater planned to hold intergenerational acting workshops. In August 2020, Alter’s Native artists designed a weeklong virtual playwriting class that has expanded into our Arts Learning Project for Native Youth, which now includes an in-person, 5-day sleepaway summer camp on a college campus.
Producing in a rented physical space for a limited audience is incredibly expensive. We think the way forward is to lean into deeper partnerships with other organizations. With this in mind, we have been cultivating several relationships with theater companies, community organizations, and educational institutions.
As we emerge from this year of paused productions, AlterTheater is considering how to continue serving and expanding our community of artists and audiences. Alter’s future programming will deepen its focus on social justice work using theater as a tool for change. We will produce a mixture of live, in-person events and hybrid asynchronous performances, including radio or audio plays. We will also continue to develop and expand intergenerational opportunities among professional Native performing artists and Native youth through our Arts Learning Project for Native Youth and other initiatives.
PURE NATIVE marks AlterTheater’s first time since Feb 2020 performing with live actors in front of live audiences. PURE NATIVE is also the first Alter show that will be performed outdoors, first in the Upper Grove of Cal Shakes (marking the first use of Cal Shakes’ new rehearsal deck as a performance space), and then in a downtown San Rafael park.
PURE NATIVE features an all-Native cast, telling a contemporary Haudenosaunee story. The script is available by request.
AlterTheater works under a distributive leadership model, with an ensemble sensibility. We engage in consensus-based decision-making, and also provide opportunities for individuals to take ownership of their own projects, using our company’s values as their guide.
Cofounded by five artists, including two Native American (Onondaga and Chiricahua Apache/Tohono O’odham), AlterTheater has always centered Indigenous voices and practices. Located on Coast Miwok land, AlterTheater creates work in consultation with our local elders, as evidenced by our decade-long partnership with the Marin American Indian Alliance (president: Sky Road Webb (Coast Miwok)). A BIPOC majority company, our Board is 85% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color). We believe in telling stories by, for, and with our community. AlterTheater resides in a community that was built on dispossession and land theft, but despite generations of erasure and genocidal practices, Coast Miwoks continue to live and work in Marin County, along with descendents of Californios. In recognition that our country was built on a legacy of land theft and labor theft, and that anti-Blackness is woven into the very foundation of our society, at AlterTheater we center the emotional and spiritual well-being of Black and Native people.
The Wardorbe Assistant/Props Procurer will work with costume designer Iakowi:he’ne’ Oakes (Mohawk), who is based in NY, to help execute the visual look of the show onstage. Contract term is 6/13/22 - 8/7/22.
Roles and Responsibilities
Provide support to costume designer, including measuring actors, fitting costumes, making alterations
Review the props list with the director and producer
Working within the budget, procure all props (utilizing partnerships with other theaters to borrow from their stock)
Review or suggest changes to the budget
Prep props for actors
Submit receipts, list of donors or special thanks to Producing Artistic Director
Contribute to a safe and equitable working environment
Work in accordance with AlterTheater’s core values of centering the spiritual and emotional health of Black and Native people.
Work with Tour Manager to upkeep costumes, repair props if needed, and coordinate transfers between tour locations
When production wraps, clean and return all costumes and props
An excellent communicator
Able to work under pressure while creating an emotionally and physically safe working environment
Demonstrated commitment to anti-racism
Must be fully vaccinated (including applicable booster(s)) against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
We believe that people who have worked in theater, film, new media, television production; people who have trade experience; people who have studied theater or film in college; or people with a passion for arts and crafts, who have attended trade school in carpentry or fashion; may have complementary skill sets for this position.
Compensation and Benefits
$15/hour, for an expected total of 60 hours.
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California Shakespeare Theater
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Applications and Inquiries
Please email a resume and cover letter to: email@example.com with the subject line: Wardrobe Asst/Props.