The Guild Program is one of the things that makes All-of-us Express Children’s Theatre a truly unique experience for the youth involved. It has been an AECT mainstay since the beginning, allowing participants to gain a deeper appreciation of all aspects of theatre and setting AECT apart from other youth programs.
When not on stage, participants can work on a variety of crews. Sets, Props, Costumes, Makeup, Lights, Sound, and Puppetry Crew (available for select shows only) are Guild Crews. A Guild Crew is a crew in which participants can earn different badges. The progression of these badges goes from the lowest level, Apprentice, through the Journeyman level, and to the highest level, Master.
In order to earn different badges, participants must hone certain skills, like craftsmanship, organization, and leadership. These skills vary depending on the crew, but once a participant earns their Master Badge, they can take the Youth Crew Head position and oversee a crew themselves. The Guild Program allows for a unique perspective on the inner workings of the theatre and its backstage environment.
All youth members begin working on their Apprentice Badge when they are placed on a crew—no special sign up is required. If they are interested in going further into the Guild Program, they should speak with their Crew Head for more specific information. Crew Heads will be glad to help with any questions, and there is also a Guild Program Handbook linked below to help with more specific questions and information.
There are also Directing and Stage Management Guilds, which a youth member can join upon earning an Apprentice Badge in either Sets or Props, Costumes or Makeup, and Lights or Sound (this is explained further in the Guild Book).
Those interested in Directing or Stage Managing should speak to the AECT Artistic Director, Liz Cooke, for more details. Aspiring Assistant Directors and Assistant Stage Managers must complete an application (available from Liz) to be considered for these Guild positions. Prerequisites, expectations and the time commitment for these roles are explained in the Guild Book.