These requirements should be used as a guideline for theater performance space. The Minnesota Ballet realizes that not all theaters can accommodate all these needs and we are willing to discuss this with you.
The floor should be resilient (air space beneath it), made of wood and splinter free. The Minnesota Ballet requires the laying of a marley floor over this wood and tours with its own marley.
Width is 60 feet from wall to wall. Proscenium width 40 feet for repitore shows, 50 feet for Nutcracker. The depth should be at least 30 feet from stage edge to the last backdrop. Sufficient legs and borders will be used to create at least three wing positions. The back wall should be covered by either a cyclorama or a black curtain. For shows that require several backdrops (Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty) a fly system will be utilized. The fly system will have sufficient space above in the loft for the drops to be removed completely from the stage (40′- 60′). Cinderella requires a minimum stage right wing depth of 12 feet. The Minnesota Ballet adapts our show to best fit into your theater.
The theater, stage (including off-stage wing space), the dressing rooms, and all equipment shall be ready for use and cleared of any storage equipment. All theater space will be completely at the disposal of the ballet company for the entire day of each performance, and for one to four hours (depending on the show) after the performance for load-out. The sponsor shall guarantee security of the dance company’s equipment in the theater at all times.
Please have the theater heated a few degrees warmer than normal (75 to 80 degrees). The dancers often mention it’s cold in the theater because of the type of clothing they wear. Expect to be asked about the heat.
Costume Info: For productions where local children are involved (Nutcracker, Coppélia) the Minnesota Ballet will provide the costumes for all local children. Items not provided by the Minnesota Ballet are: tights, dance shoes and leotards. The Minnesota Ballet charges a costume cleaning and maintenance fee of $25 per student either paid by the presenter or collected from the parents by the presenter. There will be no eating in costume allowed, and all costumes are never to leave the theater. Children’s costumes will be chosen and fitted by the Minnesota Ballet’s Wardrobe Mistress. For these productions a local wardrobe crew member will be needed for the costume fitting, all rehearsals and shows. Also needed for the local children will be adult supervisors in the rooms (Nutcracker needs a minimum of four), and at least two adults to escort the children to and from the dressing room to the stage.
A minimum of two dressing rooms adequate for ten (10) people. These rooms will be clean, have mirrors, and have close, easy access to back stage. Preferably the dressing rooms will have some type of monitoring system so that the onstage action can be heard.
Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty require the two rooms mentioned above and a third dressing room for 2 with a mirror and good lighting.
Nutcracker requires a minimum of 6 rooms:
A total of three (3) dressing rooms for the Minnesota Ballet company able to comfortably fit 5 people each.
Two (2) rooms, a boys’ room and a girls’ room, for the local children who are in the production. The children’s dressing rooms will need an adult supervisor provided by the presenter. There are possibly up to 58 local children in one cast; we require at least a minimum of 4 room supervisors and 2 adults to escort the children to and from the dressing room. These adult supervisors can be parent volunteers. Nutcracker also requires a room (1) for costumes because local children need fitting into our costumes.
In situations where the theater is located in a school and the dressing rooms are actual classrooms, the rooms need to be available for the entire duration of the Minnesota Ballet’s time in the theater, including rehearsal days. A person with decision-making authority shall be accessible for consultation with the dance company at all times.
1) A cooler with ice is required during every rehearsal & performance for use in an emergency.
2) It is also required to have a dozen bottled waters for the dancers first thing in the morning of each day in the theater and to be restocked in the evening, along with a box of tissue.
3) A fruit and cold cut tray is appreciated. Hot water and a variety of tea with sugar and honey is also appreciated.
4) When the Minnesota Ballet performs two shows in one day (a matinee and an evening performance) a full hot meal will be provided by the presenter between performances, unless discussed with the director in contract negotiations. The Minnesota Ballet would prefer to have a room to eat this meal that is apart from where local children are eating. Menu choices will be discussed with Cheryl Podtburg, Stage Manager, a few months in advance of the production dates.
The following are minimum lighting needs: Some stages may require a larger inventory.
1) Eighteen (18) dimmers, in working order, with cross-connect or re-patch possibilities. Minimum capacity of 1800 watts.
2) Thirty (30) ellipsoidal spotlights, each to be equipped with C-clamp, color frame, and safety cable.
3) Eighteen (18) additional lighting instruments with at least 500-watts capacity. These also will be equipped with C-clamp, color frames, and safety cables.The Minnesota Ballet has an inventory of lights that could be brought on tour. The Minnesota Ballet’s lights are a stage pin plug.
4) Adequate spare lamps for all lighting instruments shall be readily available.
5) Sufficient extension cords for complete flexibility for use of above lighting equipment.
6) Headsets or some other means of communication for all necessary crew from back of house (or light booth) to backstage.
A light plot will be provided by the Minnesota Ballet’s Production Manager that will either be drafted directly for your theater and show, or will be a general production light plot that can be adapted to your theater space. Ken Pogin will be in contact with your theater staff a few months in advance about changes and adjustments to the plot due to electric locations and inventory.
Sponsor will provide two good quality speakers, or a house system and stage system. Sufficient power and equalization to allow satisfactory listening. A Mixer to allow volume control and have patch abilities for RCA, Phono, and XLR connections. The Minnesota Ballet tours with a minidisk player and connects it to the house mixer. On-stage monitors are also needed for the dancers. The dressing rooms should have a monitor for onstage sound if they are located away from the stage.
A sufficient number of stage hands will be available for every performance. This crew will consist of the same people for every rehearsal and performance, and all day for load-in and until load-out is complete. Below is a guide as to how many our shows require. A complete list of exactly how many crew members it will take will be given to you after review of your theater tech specs.
The crew should have some basic theater training in use of common theatrical equipment.
A repertoire performance will require 3 or 4 stage hands.
Nutcracker requires 17 stage hands: 9 deck, 6 fly, 1 sound crew, 1 costume crew. That 17 crew does not include children supervisors that are needed for this show: minimum of 4 room supervisors and 2 to escort children to and from the stage. Nutcracker load-in crew is 10 in the morning (8 a.m. to noon) and increases to 15 after lunch (1 pm – 5 pm). If a presenter cannot muster a crew of 15 for load-in, it is possible to split a load in/setup into two days with a crew of 6. We have found that many places have preferred this and that it produces better results for everyone. The Minnesota Ballet would prefer to split the load-in/setup into two days if schedules allow.
The Minnesota Ballet’s Production of The Manhattan Nutcracker uses the orchestra pit lift to assemble the two-story house. If your theater does not have a pit lift or one that drops more than 8 feet, a rental painter’s 6′ scissor lift will be needed for load-in and load-out. A single person genie lift is not suitable for safe set construction.
Cinderella requires 5 stage hands, 1 sound crew, and 1 light crew.
Sleeping Beauty requires 4 fly and 1 sound crew to run the show, and 7 stage hands to load in & out the show.
These schedules are just examples. An actual schedule will be set up on a per-performance basis.
This is a typical schedule for the Minnesota Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker:
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. load-in.
10:30 a.m. doors open.
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. warm-up on stage.
12:30 – 3:30 p.m. company rehearsal (crew needs: sound board, light board, 1 fly).
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. warm-up on stage.
7:00 p.m. tech rehearsal with children (full crew).
10:00 a.m. possible morning children’s performance (full crew). If no morning children’s performance, follow schedule for day #2.
Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty have this typical schedule:
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. load-in.
10:00 a.m. company warm up class on stage
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. company rehearsal (1 fly, 1 sound)
5:30 – 6:45 p.m. warm-up on stage.
7:30 p.m. evening tech rehearsal (full crew).
A Rep show has this typical schedule:
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. load-in.
12:00 – 1:30 p.m. warm-up on stage.
1:30 – 4:00 p.m. rehearsal (full crew).
5:30 – 6:45 p.m. warm-up on stage.
7:30 p.m. performance
The Nutcracker has a pyrotechnic cannon and smoke effects in Act I during the Battle Scene.
Cinderella has one 30-second Pyroflash white smoke in Act I.
Three Virgins and A Devil has three flash pots.
Sleeping Beauty has several flash pots.
Kenneth Pogin, the Production/Tour Manager, has a Fireworks Operator Certificate for both outdoor and indoor/proximate displays issued by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, State Fire Marshal Division. Federal Laws allow local Fire Marshals control over requirements for uses of pyrotechnics for indoor performances. Flash pots do not usually require a permit from the local Fire Marshal, but please call the marshal to double check as well as inform of your intentions to stage a production that uses flash pots.
The Minnesota Ballet reserves the right for two (2) intermissions of 15-minutes each for set and costume changes, dependent upon performance needs.
Video taping of the Minnesota Ballet performances is only allowed with permission of the Minnesota Ballet. For shows such as The Nutcracker, where local children perform and video tapes of the performances are sold to the parents, the Minnesota Ballet shall receive a copy of all tapes as well as 10% of sales.