Master Electrician

The master electrician (ME) works closely with the lighting designer and is responsible for coordinating the crew that will execute the design. The ME needs to have a working knowledge of lighting systems equipment and operation, including the ability read a light plot. The ME will need to be familiar with the chosen venue, including its layout and equipment inventory. Familiarity with VectorWorks software, which is available on a student workstation in the UP offices, is also required.

Completion of specific UP workshops is required for this position. The Yale Drama Coalition and the Yale Dramatic Association are also good sources of support and information.

Four to Six Weeks Prior to Performance

During these early weeks, while awaiting design work completion, become familiar with the performance piece, theater venue, and its equipment and inventory. Use this time to assemble a trained lighting crew.

The following is a sample timeline. Your timeline will depend upon the scope and scale of your production.

Three Weeks Prior to Performance

  • Confirm availability and training, and identify needs of crew members.
  • If needed, request training from a UP Technical Director.
  • Check on progress of lighting design.

Two Weeks Prior to Performance

  • Meet with the lighting designer to review completed light plot, address questions and concerns, and review equipment availability and budget.
  • Resolve any equipment or budget issues with the producer.
  • Establish light circuiting plan.

One Week Prior to Performance

  • Attend load-in planning meeting with production team and establish load-in schedule.
  • Review this schedule with the crew.
  • Check load-in supplies such as gaff tape, markers, tie line, etc.


  • Review load-in schedule with lighting crew.
  • Ensure crew is aware of safety guidelines, dressed appropriately, and wearing required personal protective equipment.
  • Oversee crew work and insure all crew members adhere to safety practices.
  • Monitor progress of crew work and discuss any problems or delays with the producer.
  • Be sure stage is cleaned completely at the end of each work call.
  • Inform producer when work is complete.

Technical Rehearsals

  • Be sure adequate crew is available to keep process moving smoothly. Be sure all equipment is available and ready.
  • Familiarize stage manager with all elements of the installation and coordinate the training of light crew as needed.
  • Oversee focus work call with designer.
  • Lead work sessions as needed to make required adjustments to light plot.

Performance Night

  • Attend performance and be on hand to troubleshoot.


Load-Out / Strike

  • Attend strike meeting to coordinate the load-out process.
  • Coordinate electrics crew work with other crew heads.
  • Oversee electrics crew and ensure good safety practices are followed.


  • Arrange for return of borrowed or rented equipment.
  • Be sure theater is left clean and in orderly condition. Confirm with the theater manager that all work has been completed to satisfaction.