TAFF (The Oxford University Theatre Technicians' Society) exists to provide a forum for support, advice and training to technicians working on the technical side of Oxford University student theatre, to encourage safe working practices amongst student technicians and to help foster a greater understanding of technical theatre in the wider Oxford theatrical community.
TAFF exists through a combination of social and theatrical meetings, our annual AGM and our very active mailing list. Generally, people post to the list if they have questions for the many experienced technicians that make up the TAFF membership, to pass on important information or news that may concern Oxford drama, or most importantly to advertise crew positions on upcoming productions - so if you want to get involved with the technical and backstage side of theatre in Oxford, the best place to find opportunities is the mailing list. Anybody may post to the list, but you have to be a member of TAFF to receive the e-mails.
TAFF is run by its governing body which is made up of the Exec, the Committee and our Senior Member. Details of who these people are, and how to get in touch with them, can be found further down this page.
Anybody who is working in technical theatre is placing themselves in an inherently dangerous environment, and TAFF places an emphasis on the professionalism and safety of its members. Our Constitution, Bylaws and Code of Conduct for Health and Safety, all available below, outline both the foundations of TAFF and how members are expected to work. They are essential reading for any techie who is representing TAFF, particularly the Code of Conduct for Health and Safety.
- Constitution (2018-03-01)
- Bylaws (2019-01-18)
- Code of Conduct on Safety Matters (2013-05-30)
- OUDS/TAFF Cuppers contract (2017-05-10)
If you would like to join TAFF and start receiving emails from the mailing list, then please e-mail [email protected] giving your name, Oxford College, and year of graduation.
There is a guide telling you how to use the mailing list here: How to: Post to TAFF
Becoming a member of TAFF automatically includes you in our mailing list, and you will receive all postings. Non-members may also post to the list, though they won't receive other emails posted to it. Click here to post to the mailing list - remember that only unpaid postings are allowed.
Membership of TAFF is also open to non-members of the university, e.g. students from Oxford Brookes University, ex-students who are still working in Oxford theatre. Please contact the secretary about this.
TAFF Committee 2018-2019
The TAFF committee offices are: President, Treasurer, Secretary, Social Secretary, Hires Manager, Other Societies Representative, Freshers and Training Representative, and Senior Member. The committee is assisted by a Webmaster/IT officer.
Email addresses are in the form [office]@tabsareforflying.co.uk
President - Christina Hill, St.Hugh's ([email protected])
Treasurer- Rebecca Carter, Lady Margaret Hall ([email protected])
Secretary - Mark Riley, University ([email protected])
Senior Member - Prof. Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, St Catherine's
Freshers' and Training Rep - Emilia Clark, New ([email protected])
Hires Managers - Thomas Robertson, St Anne's; Cassandra White, St Hilda's; Matilde Soares da Silva, Merton ([email protected])
IT Rep/Webmaster - Sebastian Dows-Miller ([email protected])
Other Societies Rep - Jake Rich, Corpus Christi ([email protected])
Social Secretary - Trisha Hein, St. Catherine's ([email protected])
The incumbent O'Reilly Theatre Technician and University Drama Officer are granted a standing invitation to attend committee meetings in an advisory capacity, but do not have voting rights.
The committee welcome queries of any sort relating to technical theatre and design. The following committee members have volunteered to be the point of contact for questions relating to specific departments. These contacts have been provided for your general information and should not be used to directly or indirectly find crew members for productions. If you are looking for someone to fill a certain role, please use the TAFF mailing list. For general queries, contact the current TAFF President, Christina Hill.
Lighting: Jennifer Hurd - jennifer.hurd[at]exeter.ox.ac.uk
Production Management: Becky Carter
Projection Design: Seb Dows-Miller
Set and Costume Design: Christina Hill
Sound Design: Cassie White
Stage Management: Thomas Robertson
Deputy Stage Management: Trisha Hein
The Committee meet four times a term to dicuss all manner of things. It consists of the elected Exec and a committee chosen by the exec at the start of every Trinity Term. If you have anything you think should be dicussed or wish to attend a committee meeeting, please contact the secretary. The minutes of the previous meetings can be found here: Minutes Online.
Oxford Drama Assests
The ODA is a joint committee consisting of members of both the OUDS and TAFF committtees, managing a fund which is intended to invest in useful practical assets for the use of student drama in Oxford. They do this by funding capital projects and equipment purchases while soliciting funding donations from student production companies. The ODA has funded projects such as the O'Reilly Theatre QLab and video system, TAFF's hazer, and new storage and items for the OUDS Wardrobe. The minutes of the meetings of the ODA meetings are also archived on the page linked to above. If you have a project that you think the ODA could help fund, a piece of useful equipment it could buy or would like to consider giving money to the fund, please get in touch with the TAFF exec.
We currently have money and we want your suggestions for what to do with it. Please contact the treasurer with your ideas.
President - Christina
I'm a fourth year Classics undergraduate working mainly in set and costume design, but I'm also experienced in stage and production management. Being a member of TAFF has formed an essential part of my student experience from which I have met countless brilliant people (as well as the Playhouse dog, Paddy). In the coming year I hope to improve the sense of community within TAFF: I believe that the best creative ideas come out of talking to and learning from other like-minded people and I want people to be able to utilise the TAFF network for this. I want people to feel that socials are not just for TAFF veterans but for all members, and that they can come to the committee with any issue or idea they have, even if it initially seems unfeasible.
Treasurer - Becky
I’m a fourth year undergraduate studying Maths and I got involved in Oxford drama as a first year. Initially I was mostly doing stage management, and then I moved onto production management, mostly working in the Playhouse and the O’Reilly. I hadn’t done any technical theatre before coming to Oxford, and I hope that we can continue to ensure TAFF is welcoming to newcomers in the coming year, and provides opportunities for anyone to get involved, regardless of their background. It's important to me that TAFF is a welcoming community which supports people throughout their experiences, as well as providing plenty of opportunities for people to come together and share ideas - all the best shows start as a conversation in a pub!
Secretary - Mark
I’m a fourth year Computer Science undergraduate. I’m not much involved in designing shows these days, but in my first couple of years here, I specialised in sound design. Previous to being TAFF secretary, I was Hires manager and Venues advisor for two years and I’ve worked in many technical roles in shows in and out of Oxford. I’ve met many great friends through TAFF and I look forward to seeing a new generation of TAFF working together to achieve ambitious challenges on shows. Having worked in a fair number of Oxford venues, including well-used ones such as the Playhouse, BT and O’Reilly, and lesser-used venues like the Pichette, Sheldonian, or New Theatre, I hope to be able to pass down some useful wisdom on working with new equipment and troubleshooting – there’s nothing I love more than fixing something that’s broken!
Hires Manager - Thomas
I’m a second year English undergraduate. Before coming to Oxford, I had little experience of technical theatre, but I went to the TAFF social event in Freshers’ week and have met lots of lovely people who have helped me get into technical theatre. My main area this year has been stage management but I’m also really interested in set design and am in the early stages of exploring this role. I’ve learnt that there are many people there to help bring your ideas onto the stage, even if you don't think something will work. By joining the TAFF committee, I want to help people the same way TAFF members have helped me this year and encourage more students to get involved in design roles.
Hires Manager - Cassie
I'm a Music student in my third year, and most of my production experience in Oxford has been doing sound design and composition, although I still have soft spots for acting, directing, and pit band playing. Before Oxford I'd never done sound before, and now I've had experiences designing shows at all of the major student venues (which were definitely worth sacrificing a year of my degree for). While on the TAFF committee, I want to make the props store as easy to use and efficient as possible, so that finding props becomes as pain-free as it can be!
Hires Manager - Matilde
I'm a second year mathematician at Merton College. I'd never done technical theatre before and since coming to Oxford I've mainly done stage management. I very much enjoy learning about all aspects of theatre though, so I'm looking forward to try working in other departments. My favourite thing about TAFF is how welcoming it is to everyone interested in technical theatre regardless of experience, so my main objective for the year is to help everyone feel that they can get involved in Oxford drama, even if they've never done anything like this before!
IT Officer & Webmaster – Seb
I’m a third year linguist, but as you may have guessed I also spend an unnatural amount of time every term in various theatres around Oxford. My principal focus in Oxford is lighting, having lit shows in the Playhouse, O’Reilly, BT, Pilch and a number of other venues, but my training is actually in sound, and I’ve mixed musicals in venues such as the O’Reilly, and have done larger shows outside of Oxford. My main motivation for being Webmaster this year is that I will be on my year abroad from September 2018, and I don’t think I could cope with the withdrawal symptoms otherwise!
Freshers & Training - Emilia
I’m a third year PPEist, although my degree has become more of a hobby that I occasionally do around producing and dabbling in marketing when need be! I was on the acting side of things pretty much exclusively until I got to Oxford, at which point I was sucked into production and have never looked back. I have produced at both the BT and the Pilch, and will be producing at the Playhouse in Michaelmas, so I can (hopefully!) answer any questions you might have, and do my best to help you avoid the many, many (many!) mistakes that I made along the way…
Social Secretary - Trisha
I am a second year Master’s student in Linguistics. Before coming to Oxford, I had the opportunity to work at a regional theatre in Seattle, starting out as an intern in company management and casting, and then later working full time as the Company Manager. In between, I took contracts in marketing, ticketing, production, and front of house, so I have done nearly every non-technical job there is in theatre. While going back to school to work on languages, I decided there was no better time to try the technical backstage positions that I’d been dancing around for so many years, and TAFF has given me that opportunity. In just two terms, I have learned how to manage a wing during a large-scale musical and even how to call a show from the DSM box. I’d like to make sure anyone who wants to join TAFF knows how easy it is to try new areas of backstage theatre, with or without experience.
Other Societies - Jake
I’m a second year PPL undergraduate and I’m so excited to be on the TAFF committee this year! Both before coming to Oxford and since I’ve been here, I’ve tried my hand at so many aspects of theatre, from acting to directing and deputy stage management to lighting design. I’ve also seen from all sides just how important good communication between technicians and others is to so many brilliant shows that get put on here. I’m still in the early stages of learning about the different venues and nuances here in Oxford, and deciding which roles I like best! TAFF has been a terrific way to do all this, and I want people to feel that between OUDS, TAFF and OUFF, it is easy to ask and learn from each other, as well as to organise socials that don’t divide technicians from actors.