Ever wondered what a callback or a run crew is? We thought we would assist you and your students in better understanding some common terminology used in theatre and clear up some of the confusion.

Artistic Crew

Consists of parents, students and teachers who are responsible for production, directing, set design, posters and program design, website, PR, video, house managing, and photography.


Assigned days when a student reads, sings, and dances for directors to see if they fit a character needed for a show. Audition dates are announced ahead of time to give students a chance to prepare. Students should come with audition forms, a headshot, and music if needed. Parents and friends are not permitted to watch auditions.

Black Box Productions

Black box theatre consists of a simple unadorned performance space, usually with black walls and black floor, minimal or no props / costumes and loose seating which allows the entire space to be adapted to the artistic elements of the production.

Bound For Broadway

An end of the year performance by the Repertory Theatre class featuring songs, monologues and performance art. No  reservations or tickets are required to see the show.

Business/Sponsor Ads

Ads placed in the program by a business which promotes the business while helping to fund student trips and performances. Forms for placing an ad can be found on the NCHS theatre NorthCentralTheatreorg.

Call Blast

Written and recorded by the students, approved by administration and sent to all the North Central Families. We use call blasts to advertise our shows.


Anyone who is considered for a large role in a show will be called back. The student will be responsible for picking up a call back information packet from one of the directors and preparing material for the call back. Ensemble members will not be called back but may still receive a part in the show.


An information meeting about a show before auditions. It is recommend that the any student wanting to audition for a show attend the call out.

Candy Gram

Available for purchase at the concession stand for $1 each these notes are written by fans of the actors or stage crew and will be delivered with candy to the students at the end of the run. TOPPS supplies the candy.

Cast Party Chaperone

Parents who volunteer to chaperone the cast party and may be asked to bring food or help with beverages, and help the host clean up after the party.

Cast Party Host

This is a parent of one of the cast, crew or orchestra members who volunteers to open their home for the party. The host is responsible for designating what the chaperones and students bring to the party, (food, drinks, ice, cups, plates, etc).

Cast Party

Party for the cast, crew, and orchestra members of a show to celebrate a job well done. The cast party is held at the home of one of the students. Chaperones attend, directors may or may not attend. Directions to  cast party will be given to everyone.


A private time immediately before a show where the cast and /or crew stand together, talk and support each other. The director may choose to speak to the group.


Sold before the start of the show and during intermission. We sell candy and water, theatre stickers and photo DVD’s which include still pictures, a copy of the program and the poster and in some cases the curtain call.

Friends of NCHS Theatre

Designates someone who has donated money to NCHS Theatre, and will be listed in the program and on the website.  You will find forms on our Friends of NCHS Theatre page.


Used for auditions. Headshot should be a picture of the student that looks like the student. (For example don’t bring a picture of you with long hair if you’ve just cut your hair short.) Your headshot does not have to be professionally taken.

International Thespian Society

The International Thespian Society (ITS) is the Educational Theatre Association’s student honorary organization. ITS recognizes the achievements of high school and middle school theatre students. Since 1929, EdTA has inducted more than 2 million Thespians into ITS. This number continues to grow, with more than 36,000 students from around the country being inducted each year.

Kim Hopkins Memorial Award

Awarded by TOPPS leadership to a parent for their outstanding contribution to TOPPS. First given in 2012 in memory of Kim Hopkins, an enthusiastic, dedicated volunteer and mother of theatre student Grace Hopkins. Kim passed away after a long battle with cancer during Grace’s senior year.

NC Auditorium

Seats 1442 people and is located in B Hall just off of the Student Center on the north side of the school. When seeing a show in the auditorium please enter the building through doors #31 or #4. Please make sure to verify location information and download directions before the show.

One Acts

Three or four short student directed one act plays usually 20 – 30 minutes in length. This is a great opportunity for new drama students to audition as the shows are in the middle of show choir season and Descant and Counterpoints are unable to participate.


Performing Arts Classroom, seats 289 people, located off of G hall, on the south side of the school near the natatorium. Shows in this venue are general admission, no assigned seats. Come early for a good seat and enter the building though door #11 or #24.

Parent Ads

Ads in the shows program congratulate, honor or surprise a cast, crew or orchestra member who is participating in the show. Parent ads may be purchased by anyone, (grandparents, extended family, co-workers). Forms are available on the website at NorthCentralTheatre.com. The purchaser is responsible for writing the content of the ad. Parent ads are due approximately 2 weeks before the show to allow time for printing in the program.

Pit Orchestra

Special orchestra chosen by audition. Information will be given to the students regarding pit orchestra in their orchestra class.

Q-2-Q or Cue to Cue

Type of technical rehearsal intended to allow the technicians and stage manager to rehearse the technical aspects of a performance. Performers do not typically rehearse entire scenes during Q-2-Q but instead only perform actions or dialogue that are used by the stage manager as a marker for when they initiate technical sequences.

Run Crew

Students responsibilities on run crew include stage managing, light board operation, sound board operation, deck managers, deck crew, fly crew, properties head, properties crew, wardrobe, hair and makeup. Application forms for Run Crew are given out by the technical director.

Silent Auction

The TOPPS silent auction is held in conjunction with the Musical and is TOPPS largest fundraiser of the year. We need everyone’s help to make the silent auction a success. As a member of TOPPS you will be asked to help! See the Silent Auction chair for more details.

TOPPS Scholarships

College Scholarships awarded by TOPPS to seniors involved in theatre. Judging of scholarship essays is done by an outside 3 person panel chosen by the director. Scholarships are awarded in the spring at the Theatre Awards Banquet.


Theatre Organization of Panther Parents, formed in 2002 by Mr. Steve Spence. The purpose of TOPPS is to support and promote any activity which serves the best interest of the NCHS Theatre program, its directors, its programs, and its students.

Tech Dinner

Meal provided to students and made and served by volunteers. Usually consists of pasta, salad, bread, dessert and water. Only one Tech Dinner is served per show, usually on the Monday of Tech Week or for lunch on Tech Saturday.

Tech Saturday

The Saturday before the show. Actors must attend but it is run primarily for the lighting and sound technicians. See Q-2-Q.

Tech Week

The week just prior to the opening of the show. Rehearsals are usually long and everyone in the show is required to attend.

Theatre Awards Banquet

End of the year celebration. Anyone who has be in a show at NCHS is invited to attend, this includes cast, crew and pit orchestra. There are skits, awards, induction into International Thespian Society and more. TOPPS scholarship winners are announced. The banquet usually includes a pitch in dinner.


Online service used to purchase tickets for shows via the website using a credit card.

VIP Room/Section/Ticket

A VIP upgrade will get you priority seating in the auditorium and tickets to the VIP room at intermission where there will be cookies and lemonade. There is an extra charge for VIP tickets and it is not available for all shows.

I am a BIG fan of musical theater. North Central musical productions compare with the best I have seen in the last 50 years!

C E Quandt