To oversee the management of the HopKins Black Box (HBB) and lend support to the faculty and students who do research there, we rely on a cooperative of largely volunteer staff and support members. Since faculty have a long term career stake in the success of the HBB, they shoulder the main staff positions while students assume various supporting roles in light of their interests, schedules, and degree demands.
The producing director oversees all operations associated with the HBB with the aim of upholding the integrity and reputation of the HBB, the Performance Studies program, and the Department of Communication Studies at LSU. She/he: (1) coordinates the work of the staff, the HBB Advisory Board, and the directors/producers so that their work is completed in an effective, efficient, and equitable manner; (2) serves as the faculty representative on the HBB Advisory Board; (3) contracts and schedules the residencies of guest artists or delegates the responsibilities to other faculty members; (4) oversees HBB accounts, guided by the Administrative Specialist in the CMST department; (5) oversees the management of the HBB facility, equipment, and inventory; and (6) handles any sticky issues that may arise.
The HBB manager is a paid position, equivalent to one-half an instructor line in the CMST department and appointed by the departments chair. She/he: (1) manages the scheduling of the HBB and the back-up rehearsal space in 151 Coates; (2) oversees, so as to insure, the safe and orderly use of the HBB, 151 Coates, all storages spaces, equipment, and other inventory; (3) manages the upkeep and repair of the HBB, its equipment, and other inventory; (4) coordinates the schedules and workloads of the support staff, which includes box office personnel; (5) trains or makes sure individuals are trained to use the equipment; and (6) serves on the HBB Advisory Board.
The director of public relations manages the publicity associated with the HBB season of public performances. She/he: (1) produces and distributes the seasons calendar; (2) sets deadlines for directors regarding their submission of PR materials; (3) edits the materials; (4) contacts media representatives and submits press releases and PSAs to them; and (5) returns the poster and program copy to the director who is responsible for copying and distributing them.
While directors/producers bear the ultimate responsibility for meeting the needs of their shows, the HBB generates support staff in the following ways: (1) Each season, those who direct or produce a show in the HBB are expected to provide technical support to another show or shows in return for assistance on their show. See the HopKins Black Box Directors Contract. The type and scheduling of support is determined in consultation with the HBB manager. (2) The HBB manager organizes and oversees undergraduate students who are interested in doing backstage work in exchange for a one-credit practicum or three-credit independent study. (3) Faculty, students, and an occasional partner or friend often volunteer their assistance . . . just because.