MTC expands behind the scenes


Production Department adds staff, opens new facility and invests in new equipment

MILL VALLEY, CA—Marin Theatre Company is expanding. Not only has the company added a sixth production to its programming for the 2011-12 season, it is also growing behind the scenes. Opening its 45th Anniversary season this week with August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, the Mill Valley-based theater has invested over the past year in all technical aspects of its productions, including scenic, lighting, properties, sound and costumes. As a result, MTC’s Production Department has grown, adding two full-time and two part-time staff positions and opening a new scene shop facility in Oakland.

“All of these new resources – staff members, shop space and equipment – allow MTC to more fully realize the artists’ work and the playwrights’ visions,” Production Manager Jennifer Gadda said. “With new, dedicated workspaces for costumes, props and scenery, we are able to stretch our resources further and accomplish more – including a sixth main stage production. New sound and lighting equipment also allows us to execute the designers’ visions with greater precision. All of these improvements deepen the immersion and the engagement of our audiences in the magic of theater.”

In July, MTC added two full-time staff positions to its Production Department – Assistant Production Manager and Costume Shop Manager – and two part time staff positions – Deck Manager and Assistant Lighting Designer. Doug Frazer, who had served as MTC’s Master Electrician since 2008, was promoted to Assistant Production Manager. Mia Baxter, who served MTC in the part-time position of Wardrobe Supervisor during the 2010-11 season, was hired as Costume Shop Manager. Travis Rexroat, a recent graduate of San Francisco State University who also worked at MTC as an over hire electrician during the 2010-11 season, was hired as Master Electrician. Gadda created the two new part-time positions for two talented young crew members – stage manager Michelle Smith and designer Krista Smith – who are both recipients of Theatre Bay Area’s 2011 Eric Landisman Fellowship, which honors the memory of Eric Landisman and his work by supporting the development of emerging Bay Area designers and technicians.

In January 2011, the MTC’s Production Department moved its scene shop from a cramped 700 sq. ft. workspace located backstage of the 24-year old theater complex on Miller Avenue in Mill Valley to a 5,500 sq. ft. warehouse in northwestern Oakland. Since converting the warehouse into a scene shop, MTC has built and painted three sets there – Fuddy Meers, Edward Albee’s Tiny Alice and the current show, Seven Guitars. The constraints of the previous space restricted the number of carpenters and painters who could work at one time and slowed construction speed, whereas the new space is large enough to support separate paint, woodworking and metalworking stations, plus an office. The former backstage scene shop has been converted into dedicated workspaces for properties and electrics.

MTC has also completed three other major technical upgrades at its Mill Valley location: the conversion of an attic storage space into a functional costume shop, the installation of a new state-of-the-art audio system from Berkeley-based Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc. and the acquisition of new lighting equipment, including lighting instruments, a lighting control board, and special effects haze machine.


Celebrating our 45th Anniversary this season, Marin Theatre Company is the Bay Area’s premier mid-sized theater and the leading professional theater in the North Bay. We produce a six-show season of provocative plays by passionate playwrights from the 20th century and today in our intimate a 231-seat proscenium theater. We are committed to the development and production of new plays by American playwrights, with a comprehensive New Play Program that includes at least one world premiere each season, two nationally recognized annual playwriting awards, new play readings and workshops by the nation’s best emerging playwrights and a leadership position in the National New Play Network. Our numerous educational programs serve more than 6,000 students each year.


Sasha Hnatkovich, Communications Director
(415) 388-5200, ext. 3313 | email

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