Running crew

Running crew

Running crew or run crew is a collective term used to describe the members of a technical crew who supervise and operate ("run") the various technical requirements during a performance. The term running crew "generally" refers to all crew members, excluding performers, on a given production, regardless of their location within the venue, but includes only those present during an actual performance.

Technical crew members (technicians), involved in the initial set-up (load-in) or disassembly (strike) of a production that are not involved in the actual performance are not considered part of the running crew. This term is typically not applied to crew or department heads, although there are exceptions. The running crew may also include performers, if they are functioning in technical capacities while offstage.

Crew Positions

A typical running crew will include any or all of the following positions, depending on the nature and size of the production, and the complexity of the technical requirements. Each position is organized by the most common title; depending on the country, type of production, and producing organization, different titles may be used for the same position.

*Assistant Stage manager: Assists the Stage Manager in their duties. Generally one Assistant Stage Manager is in charge of running backstage operation during a show.
*Props: responsible for maintenance and placement of hand props before scenes as well as their subsequent retrieval after the scene.


*Light board operator: operates the lighting control system. Sometimes this is integrated with the show control system.
*Deck electricians: responsible for placing, connecting and/or operating "practical" electrical fixtures or effects.
*Dimmer Technicians: responsible for the maintenance and operation of on-stage dimmer panels during a performance, including "hot" or "live" patching.
*Followspot operator (or spotlight operator): operates a type of lighting instrument called a Follow spot, which allows a performer to be lit evenly no matter where on stage they may go (particularly practical for those performers who are unable to "find their light").


*Sound operator (A1): operates the sound board and/or audio control system specified by the sound designer, computerized or otherwise. Sometimes this is integrated with the show control system.
*Mic wrangler (A2): manages microphones and maintains headsets as a show runs.


*Flymen (or fly crew / rail crew): operate the fly system, a system of ropes or wires, pulleys and counterweights by means of which scenery is "flown" in and out (down and up, respectively) during scene changes.
*Deck carpenters: responsible for moving scenery at the stage level, often by rolling pieces on and offstage to and from the wings.


*Wardrobe: responsible for maintenance and placement of costumes, as well as assisting performers in getting into and out of costumes.
*Wigs/Makeup: responsible for applying or assisting in the application of face and body paints, wigs and hairpieces, etc.

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