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Tech Tuesday: Scenic Charge Artist


It’s Tuesday again, and you know what that means!? It means that we are going to jump into another element of tech for Tech Tuesday! This is a short series intended to help people understand some of what goes on behind the scenes of a Rose Theater production in order to get things ready to open a show!

Today we are going to be focusing on the job of the Scenic Charge Artist! Our scenic charge artist here at The Rose is Lauren Crabtree. Lauren has worked at the Rose for about 5 years and has dedicated immense amounts of time painting each of the sets that we see on The Rose mainstage!

Lauren took some time out of her day to share with us some of what her basic day looks like during each season! Here we go!

Can you please provide a description of what it means to be the Scenic Charge Artist?

I take the paint renderings that the designer gives me and recreate the image at full scale. To recreate the images I match the colors used in the rendering, draw out, and paint the sets by hand. I am a human photo copier.

What do your daily duties consist of?

· Match color · Buy paint · Prime flats · Paint textures · Paint detail · Clean brushes · Do paperwork · Draw out designers images at life-size scale · Size drops · Paint drops · Pull staples · Keep up drop inventory · Second to last check that nothing is missing for the set · Maintain paint inventory · Talk with designers · Help out where needed

What inspired you to start working in theater? What inspired you to work as a scenic charge artist?

I have always enjoyed the arts in general and working with my hands so when I got introduced to doing the production side of theater in high school it just kind of felt right. Then when I found out that I could make it a career when I was looking for colleges I figured why not go into theater.

As for how I got into being a painter, well it was kind of forced on me since I was one of two students in my theater program who could paint so I kind of just got pushed that way.

Did you go to school for theater?

I went to Southeast Missouri State University for a Bachelor of Fine Arts Theater: Design and Technology.

When/what was your first theatrical experience?

My first experience with theater that I can remember was going to the St. Louis Muny (which is the Municipal Opera Theatre) to see shows during the summer.

What show that you have worked on are you most proud of?

Spamalot, Mary Poppins, and Robin Hood

Was there a moment in your life solidified that you wanted to be a theater artist?

Not a specific one, really.

What is your favorite part of your job as a scenic charge artist?

Seeing the final product.

What is your least favorite part of your job?

Pulling Staples.

If you had any advice for a child who wanted to pursue a career as a scenic charge artist, what would it be?

Always be willing to help out other departments when needed, be willing to do hard work for long periods of time, and remember things will be different for every show you do.



Lauren’s talents definitely don’t go unnoticed. She works on all of the shows for The Rose’s 9 show mainstage season as well as our First Stage series. The productions surely wouldn’t be the same without her!

Thank you, Lauren, for all that you do and for sharing a little bit about what you do!

Happy Tech Tuesday!