FAQ

HRDC Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club?
Founded in 1908 as the Harvard Dramatic Club, the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club is an umbrella organization for campus theater at Harvard College. The HRDC directly oversees two student productions on the Loeb Mainstage each semester, including the annual Fall Visiting Director’s Project, and about five to eight productions in the Loeb Ex, a blackbox space. Additionally, the HRDC organizes Common Casting, Backstage Week, and numerous other events, including panels, master classes, and formals. It also works to connect students to the professionals at the nationally regarded American Repertory Theater, with whom the HRDC shares the Loeb Drama Center.

How is the HRDC an “umbrella” organization?
Theater at Harvard offers an incredibly diverse array of experiences. From Shakespeare to all male drag musicals, we have a theater organization for everyone. A comprehensive list of theater and film groups on campus can be found here. In addition to mounting four shows on the Loeb Mainstage and ten to sixteen shows in the Loeb Experimental Theater each year, the HRDC serves as a resource for all theater at Harvard and liaises between campus theater and the university at large. Therefore we also function to unite and advocate for the various disparate theater groups on campus.

Does the HRDC have a constitution?
Yes! And you can read it right here.

Who runs the HRDC?
The Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club is run by an executive board that consists of eight undergraduates. The positions on the board include the President, Vice President/Mainstage Coordinator, Ex Coordinator, Treasurer, Technical Liaison, Publicity Coordinator, Campus Liaison, and Historian.

How is the Board elected?
Elections are held every Fall. Only undergraduate members of the HRDC may vote in elections.

Can I run for the HRDC Board?
Anyone who has been involved with a campus production that cast through Common Casting or had a Board Liaison can run for Vice President/Mainstage Coordinator, Ex Coordinator, Treasurer, Technical Liaison, Publicity Coordinator, Campus Liaison, and Historian, but only someone who has already served on the HRDC Board for a year can run for President. Find out more about each position by reading about the Executive Board and looking at the position descriptions in the HRDC Constitution. Also, be sure to email the current board member in the position to learn about what they do! We highly encourage anyone involved in theater to run for the board, even if they have never worked in the Loeb. The HRDC is an umbrella organization and we like to include people from throughout the community to keep our perspective on campus theater diverse.

Who is a member of HRDC?
All Harvard undergraduates who have participated in an HRDC production within the past calendar year are considered members of the HRDC. HRDC productions are defined as any production that either casts through Common Casting or has an HRDC Board Liaison. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact the Board.

What is a Board Liaison?
A Board Liaison is a member of the HRDC Board assigned to a particular show. Liaisons for all shows serve as a resource for any questions or issues that may come up in the production process. Additionally, Liaisons for Loeb shows ensure that shows fulfill caveats under which they were conditionally granted performance space, ensure that key design and budget meetings occur with Loeb Technical Director Kat Nakaji, and are present at the show’s load-in and strike. Any concerns about a particular show, whether from within the cast and production team or from another source, should be directed to the show’s Board Liaison. Shows in the Loeb, Agassiz, Farkas Hall, and Adams Pool are automatically assigned a Board Liaison.

My show takes place in a non-traditional theater space and we don’t have a Board Liaison. How can we get one?
Contact the President at president@hrdctheater.com to be assigned one!

Where are the campus theaters located?
The beauty of Harvard theater is that it happens everywhere, from established theater spaces to various nooks and crannies in Harvard yard. The four major spaces are the Loeb Drama Center located at 64 Brattle Street, the Agassiz Theater located at 14 Mason Street in the Admissions Visitor Center, Farkas Hall located at 12-14 Holyoke Street, and the Adams Pool Theater located at 15 Bow Street in Adams House. Feel free to contact a member of the Board for more precise directions!

How do I get involved with HRDC? 
If you’re a Harvard undergraduate or a member of the local community, it‘s easy to get involved in campus theater. If you’re interested in acting or performing, visit the Information for Actors page to learn about our audition process, Common Casting. If technical theater and design are more your calling, email the Technical Liaison at tech@hrdctheater.com to be put in touch with production teams looking to fill staff roles. For information on applying to direct, visit the Information for Directors page. Other opportunities such as Observerships on professional shows and workshops are advertised over the HRDC Newsletter, which you can sign up for here. If these resources do not suit your needs, please feel free to contact a member of the Board for advice!

What if I want to direct/design/act/work backstage but I don’t have any experience?
The degree of experience across the HRDC community is extremely varied, and theater makers of all skill levels are sure to find a place. The only space which excludes first-time directors is the Loeb Mainstage.

Is it a huge time commitment to work on a show? Can I do other things?
You can absolutely do other activities while participating in the HRDC. Your level of participation depends on the role/staff position in the show, time of year, and venue. A show in the Ex is going to be less of a time commitment than a show on the Mainstage, and a lead role is going to be significantly more time consuming than a smaller part. If you want a good, short term commitment, theatrical experience check out the 24 hour play festival, which usually takes place the first Monday of each reading period. Email the current producers at 24hplays@gmail.com for more information.

How can I stay updated about the theater community at Harvard?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter here to receive information about open staff positions, community events, season announcements and much more! The Publicity Coordinator sends out the Newsletter every Monday. If you would like to submit an announcement for the newsletter, you may do so here. Submissions are due Sunday at midnight for distribution the next day.

Question about Common Casting?
Visit the Common Casting page. Still have questions? Contact the Campus Liaison at campus@hrdctheater.com.

I didn’t get a part in Common Casting, but I still want to do theater. How can I get involved?
First off, don’t worry! Many people find it difficult to be cast at Common Casting their first semester and later go on to have very successful college theater careers. The trick is to get to know the community better before you audition again. The easiest way to do so is to provide a show with technical assistance. To do this, contact the Technical Liaison at tech@hrdctheaer.com and ask to be put in contact with shows still seeking staff. If you know what aspect of technical theater you want to explore let the Technical Liaison know so that you can be matched to a show that will best satisfy your interests. If you want to work on a specific show feel free to go through the Technical Liaison or contact the show’s Producer directly to ask about any staff positions that they may be seeking. If you have another idea for how you can get involved with the community, let the Board know! We would love to help.

Does the tech requirement apply to me?
All actors involved in a Loeb Ex or Loeb Mainstage production must provide approximately ten hours of assistance to a different Loeb show other than the one in which they will be performing by:

  • holding a staff position for a Loeb show during the semester, such as costume designer or assistant tech director
  • attending one dress/tech rehearsal and running sound/lights/sets/wardrobe for a minimum of three performances
  • providing a production with other forms of behind-the-scenes support, such as assisting with build or electrics

Actors in non-Loeb shows do not need to fulfill the Technical Requirement. All actors must sign up for a technical requirement position during Common Casting signing period in order to accept a role in an Ex or Mainstage production. If you do not sign up for a tech req position at this time, one will be assigned to you. Anyone who does not fulfill their tech requirement will be unable to audition at Common Casting the following semester. The tech requirement must be filled within the same semester as the actor performed in the Ex or on the Mainsatge. The tech requirement may not be fulfilled through staff positions on shows outside of the Loeb. Contact the HRDC Technical Liaison at tech@hrdctheater.com with any further questions.

Question about Technical Theater?
Visit the Information for Technicians page, attend Backstage Week, or contact the Technical Liaison at tech@hrdctheater.com.

Are undergraduates able to direct shows? How do I find out more information on how to direct a show?
Absolutely! For more information, visit the Information for Directors page.

What if I need help on a show?
You may submit an announcement to the HRDC Newsletter here. Additionally, you should email the Technical Liaison at tech@hrdctheater.com to see if anyone has been looking to get involved in a show.

Can I study theater academically at Harvard?
Beginning in Fall of 2015, Harvard offers a concentration and an option for a secondary in Theater, Dance & Media. Here’s the blurb from their website:

“Harvard’s newest concentration invites students to become art makers and researchers ranging across theater, dance, and performance-based media. Using Harvard’s immense resources, from the Theatre Collection to the Dance Center and the American Repertory Theater, students will learn to hone their creative instincts, work collaboratively in small groups, and participate in professional departmental productions. Our courses range from physical movement, directing and design to creative writing, aesthetics and digital humanities and emphasize the combination of theory, history and practice. Equally invested in technical skills and a broad liberal arts education, the concentration aims to launch a generation of graduates who will use their experience in storytelling, performance, and media for careers inside and outside the arts.”

I’m an HRDC (or HDC) alum and I love all of the theater you guys are doing. How may I support you?
To learn about ways you can contribute to the organization monetarily, contact the Treasurer at treasurer@hrdctheater.com. If you would like to contribute to the HRDC in another way, such as through a masterclass or the donation of memorabilia, contact the Campus Liaison at campus@hrdctheater.com and the Historian at historian@hrdctheater.com. To keep updated on goings on in the HRDC, visit the Information for Alumni page. Thank you!

Question about something we didn’t cover?
Contact the Board! We’d love to help!

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