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Technical Design & Production

What we are looking for

The Technical Design & Production (TDP) department recognizes that very few high school students have extensive back-stage experience.  Ellington is looking for students with a passion for theater, music, art, dance and all aspects of live events. Successful students are mature, they are detail oriented, disciplined and have the ability to stay focused.  Students must be on time, able to follow directions, work in a team environment, and accept constructive criticism.

What to bring/how to prepare

Some materials must be submitted prior to the interview so that our staff will have adequate time to review them in advance.

The following materials must be submitted at Ellington by 11:59pm on Wednesday, February 1, 2017:

  • A Statement of Purpose that expresses your interests and goals. Help us understand why you’d like to pursue Technical Design & Production.
  • A resume detailing any artistic involvement, technical or production experience, volunteer efforts, and other extra-curricular activities.
  • A letter of recommendation from a mentor, employer, director, etc. that tells us why you would make a good candidate for Ellington as a member of the Technical Design and Production team.

All written materials completed by the student must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman font. Materials must be received by the deadline and may be:

  • Emailed to, or
  • Hand-delivered to the Ellington front office, for Admissions, or
  • Mailed. Mailed materials should be sent to:

Admissions Director
Ellington @ Garnet-Patterson
2001 10th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

For the audition interview, you must bring

  • • An original portfolio of your work that highlights your stage-related interests and skills. Examples of work the portfolio might contain are:
    • Drawings or paintings from arts classes (not necessarily related to technical design),
    • Three-dimensional work, models, sculpture, collages, designs
    • Sketch books,
    • Visual examples showing your training, graphic abilities and artistic vision,
    • Items from a production you have worked on, including:
      • Photographs or playbills from the production,
      • Run sheets, order of services (church), playbooks.
      • Production drafting, scenic, costume or lighting examples, (plots), renderings and sketches, sound/video recording samples. Other examples of previous experiences are welcomed.
      • Sketchbooks, preliminary sketches (your process)
      • Prompt books/ including: Rehearsal/Performance Reports, Cue Sheets, Blocking notations.

The audition process itself

The interview for the TDP department is done in two phases. Students first participate in their interview, bringing their portfolio paperwork with them and having sent the other required materials in advance.

Students who have a successful interview are then invited to participate in a shadow workshop. Shadow workshop students will either work with current TDP students in the production of a performance, or in a class setting that simulates these experiences. The shadow workshop gives the student a chance to see what is truly involved in Technical Design and Production, and gives us a chance to see how well the student works with others, stays focused, and accepts direction.

Note that these shadow workshops may begin in the late afternoon and continue into the night-time. This is a realistic experience for TDP students. In the event that the shadow workshop involves a performance at Ellington, parents/guardians of the applicants will be given two complimentary tickets to the show their child shadows, so they can enjoy the performance and discuss it afterwards with their child. Ticket availability is limited for some productions and will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis.

Have a successful audition

  • Arrive early. Punctuality is essential in the arts world.
  • Pay attention and stay focused in your interview and on your shadow days.
  • During your interview, feel free to take notes – this will help you be prepared for your shadow day, and show us that you are serious.
  • Be prepared to discuss why you are interested in Technical Design and Production.
  • Accept direction well.
  • Be a team player
  • Keep eye contact.
  • Present yourself well – dress neatly, speak clearly and confidently.


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