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This section is provided to give members and nonmembers alike a working knowledge of the conditions of employment and an overview of the rules and regulations that guide the operations of Local 354’s Hiring Hall and its function.

Tulsa Stage Employees was founded over 100 years ago and is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States and Canada. It is known by the abbreviation "IA Local 354."

IATSE #354 is a nonprofit labor organization, whose purpose is to better the working conditions and financial compensation for stage technicians. 

Election of officers is held every three years. The currently elected officers of the local are:

President: Paul Clear 

Vice-president: Doug McKissick 

Business Representative: Tab Birt 

Secretary: Emerson Parker 

Treasurer: Matt Reed

Sergeant-at-Arms: Gary Griffith 


The appointed officers of the local are:

Assistant Business Representative: Joshua Boatman

The executive board is made up of the President, Vice-President, Business Representative, Treasurer, and Secretary. Their job is to assume responsibility for the operation of the local between meetings.

The business agent is charged with the day to day operation of the local and the hiring hall.

The assistant business agent is charged with assisting the business agent in setting calls.

Tulsa Stage Employees has working agreements and/or contracts with:

  • The Cox Business Center

  • The Mabee Center

  • The Tulsa Performing Arts Center

  • The Tulsa State Fairgrounds

  • Tulsa Opera Inc.

  • Tulsa Ballet Theater Inc.

  • Celebrity Attractions

  • Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust


Call: The time set for work to begin. Technicians are expected to be on the job ready to go to work at the call time. Putting coats away, getting tools, going to the restroom should be taken care of before the actual call time. Tardiness can result in being replaced on the call. Always check with the call steward for the next days or follow up calls.

Load-In (or Take In): A call set for taking a show from the truck into the building or production space. Normally all departments will load-in together. There are circumstances where the show is not loaded in its entirety but in sections or by departments.

Load-Out (or Take Out): A call set for taking a show from the production space and putting it back into the truck. Normally shows are loaded-out following the last performance. Some productions may load-out the following day.

Pre-Hang: A call set for hanging lighting equipment, scenery, curtains, and other material that may need to be placed in the theatre or production space before the actual load-in.

Carpenter: A stagehand who assembles hangs and arranges scenery for a production.

Electrician: A stagehand who assembles hangs and arranges lighting equipment or electrically operated items for a production.

Sound Technician (Audio): A stagehand who assembles hangs and arranges sound equipment for a production.

Flyman: A stagehand who operates "the rail." Primary responsibility is for raising and lowering lighting and scenery suspended by a "fly" system.

Weight Loader: A stagehand who loads or unloads the counterweight inside the arbor of the fly system.

Props: A stagehand who is responsible for all "properties" in a production. This also includes setting up tables and chairs, draperies and care of the decking or floor of a production as well as orchestra setups.

Truck Loader: A stagehand who is responsible for unloading and loading trucks.

Forklift Operator: A stagehand that is responsible for operating the forklift and moving elements using a mechanical device.

Up Rigger: A stagehand that is responsible for attaching wire rope and chain motors (hanging points) for temporarily suspending sound or lighting or scenic elements to a building and/or installing "fly systems." Works in the attic or the Grid.

Ground Rigger: A stagehand that is responsible for making up wire rope connections and attaching chain motors to "hanging points." Works on the ground or deck.

Steward or Job Steward: The stagehand designated as "in charge" of the call. The steward is responsible for making sure the number of hands called are present, keeping accurate record of hours worked, doing billing if necessary, giving call times to the crew for next days work on extended calls. This is the key person on the call. If you have a question, this is the person to ask. It is the steward’s responsibility to represent the crew in any discussion or dispute with management or to convey problems for additional discussion to the Business Agent or his assistant.

Assessment: Each stagehand working under a Local 354 agreement pays four percent (4%) of their gross earnings as a referral fee for the employment referral.

Dues: An amount paid quarterly (currently $45.00 per quarter but anticipated to increase to $50.00 per quarter in early 2002).

Initiation Fee: A one-time fee paid when a person becomes a member of IATSE Local #354 (currently $500.00).



Each stagehand working a call is expected to bring the following hand tools to the call:

Also beneficial:

  • Work gloves

  • Pliers or Channel Locks

  • 9/16 socket with ratchet

  • A cordless driver/drill can be beneficial on some calls


Our primary and foremost concern is and always will be safety. This means your safety as well as the safety of others. In theatre, "others" not only includes your coworkers but also extends to the staff, audience and the public-at-large. The theatrical industry is inherently dangerous and its historical record justifies erring on the side of caution.

Your number one obligation is to always observe common safety practices. If you don’t know, ASK! When you are on-stage or working in an active arena, many things will be going on simultaneously. There may be stagehands working above you and/or below you. Set pieces, sound, lighting equipment and a myriad of other things will be moving around and through your area of work. Keep your eyes and ears open.



Most large stagehand calls dictate working in a specific department for the duration of the show. Depending on your experience, talents and occasionally, desires, you will be assigned to a specific department. Unless you are given instructions to the contrary, remain in that department while working. There may be occasions where another hand may ask you for a quick assist, especially where safety and/or strength are involved. You may offer this assistance but do so and immediately return to your assigned task.



Most show-related paraphernalia will arrive at the venue in semitrailer trucks. "Truck loaders" are responsible for retrieving goods and bringing them to the back of the truck at the dock or ramp. Unless your assistance is specifically requested, do not enter the truck. There is limited room and in many instances, an unneeded hand only hampers progress. Rest assured the truck loaders will call you if your assistance is required. Take the pieces as they come off the truck, follow directions, return to the back of the line.

Be aware that ramps can be dangerous. Heavy equipment wants to go down ramps by itself.



Smoking is permitted only in approved areas and only when you are on a break or have been released to do so

Beverages are not allowed on stage or near equipment. What the traveling crew does is their business; they are responsible for their own equipment.



Props and scenery are for the actors use and the audience to view. Do not use props as your personal furniture.



Stagehands assigned to a "show crew" should always assume that "Show Blacks" are required, whether specifically advised or not. In some instances, certain shows may dictate that stagehands be dressed in costume and should this occur, crew members will be advised and fitted as appropriate. Show Blacks include the following:

  • Black shirt (without lettering and/or printed designs)

  • Black pants (shorts are normally discouraged)

  • Black shoes and socks (no white socks)

In some instances, stagehands may be expected to dress in suit and tie and when this is mandated, a dark suit is suggested.


As a "professional stagehand" you are being compensated for the services you provide. Occasionally a show or promoter may offer reduced rate or free tickets for certain performances. If this courtesy is extended and you’re lucky enough to be privy to it, the call steward or Business Representative will tell you about it. Don’t ask for free tickets when you are being compensated for your services.



If you are assigned a performance position on an arena show, you will be required to display a backstage pass while working in restricted areas. If security personnel challenge you, you must show your pass. Under no circumstances are you to argue or challenge their authority. Politely request they seek the assistance of the union call steward, who will handle the issue. Remain outside the restricted area until you are given specific clearance to enter. Passes are for your use only.



Theatrical Accounting Services Limited (TASL) processes payroll on a weekly basis. As a general rule, checks are only issued after settlement has been received from the promoter or presenter. Unfortunately in some cases you may not be paid for as long as two weeks after an event, but in most cases you will receive your paycheck the following midweek (providing you have completed all necessary paperwork).

Tulsa Opera and Tulsa Ballet process their own payroll.

Tulsa Opera process payroll on a weekly basis.

Tulsa Ballet processes payroll on a Biweekly basis.



Work is assigned on the basis of experience, skills, know-how and availability. The more skills you have, the better your chances to be referred for work.

IATSE 354 has a training program for those interested in acquiring skills or updating current expertise.

How the Referral List Works List Placement

Each individual is placed on the A, B, C, D or E list when they have met the qualifications for that particular list.

Each list is then sorted by the "starting date" e.g. the date the individual was first referred for stage work.

At the end of each calendar year, gross earnings are totaled from TASL, Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Opera and any road work for each individual. The total is used for list placement beginning on July 1 the following year. The list operates on a July 1 to June 30 (of the following year) basis.

Individuals may move up the list when their qualifications change (i.e. from Tech II to Tech I).

Once an individual has been on the A List for five consecutive years, that individual cannot be bumped down the list even if their earnings fall.

Individuals traveling on the road will have their road earnings credited to the annual review.


For example, if an employer requests 16 stagehands, the first person on list A is called and subsequent individuals are called till the call is filled. If the call is not filled, the first person on list B is called and then on through the list. If the call is still not filled, the first person on list C is called and then on through the list etc.

Individuals are expected to stay with the call from the load-in through the load-out unless they are no longer needed after the load-in. If they are available for work, they will be called following the above procedure for the next employer. Call "jumping" is not permitted. Call "bumping" is not permitted.

Each request for labor from an employer is treated as a new call and the cycle begins again at the top of the A list.

Recognizing that there are times when certain skills are necessary for an employer's needs, employers may "request" individuals from the A list. Each "request" will be filled, if possible.

I.A.T.S.E. 354 Call List Requirements

You must meet all the listed requirements to be on a specific list.


  • Available for work as a full-time stagehand (no full-time job or business interest).

  • Classified as a Tech I.

  • Earned over $15,000 in the previous calendar year through 354’s referral list.


  • Available for work as a stagehand most of the time (part time job or 24 on/48 off).

  • Classified as a Tech I, or a Tech II (Apprentices are automatically placed on the B List).

  • Earned over $5,000 in the previous calendar year through 354’s referral list.


  • Available for work frequently (Part-time job or 24 on/48 off)

  • Classified as a Tech I, Tech II or a Tech III

  • Earned over $2,500 in the previous calendar year through 354’s referral list.


  • Available for work part-time (Full-time job or Student is acceptable)

  • Classified as a Tech I, Tech II or a Tech III

  • Earned over $1,250 in the previous calendar year through 354’s referral list.


  • Not qualified for A, B, C, or D lists. New Starts, no previous referrals through 354’s list.


Appeals as to list placement may be made to the Executive Board of the local.

An appeal from the Executive Board decision may be made to the membership of the local.

Referral Rules 

All employees referred by the hiring hall must be properly attired and carry the necessary tools to the job, for which they are referred. Referents who commit acts of dishonesty, drink alcoholic beverages or use controlled substances on the job or who report to work under the influence of alcohol, or controlled substances, shall be subject to suspension or termination from the job referral procedure. Referents shall refrain from any acts or conduct, which would be considered just cause for suspension or termination under general principals of labor arbitration.

The Local has the right to discipline, suspend or drop any individual from the referral list for non-payment of referral fees, absenteeism, dishonesty, drunkenness, incompetence or insubordination

The steward on the call shall be primarily responsible for reporting any infractions of the above regulations; however, any person may do so.



Any referent that fails to report to work on time and is deemed by the Steward to be unexcused, will automatically receive a letter informing them of their tardiness. Any fines that are levied are payable in full within 30 days of notification date.

Offenses are cumulative over a rolling 12-month period.

The first unexcused offense will warrant a written warning.

The second unexcused offense will warrant either (of the referent's choosing) (1) removal of referent from the call list for one call or (2) a $50.00 fine. Fine must be paid within 30 days of notification.

The third offense will warrant the referent being called in front of the Executive Board and either (of the referents choosing) (1) removal of the referent from the referral list for a period of three calls or (2) a $150.00 fine. The fine must be paid within 30 days of notification.

The fourth offense will warrant the referent being called in front of the Executive Board and removal of the referent from the call list for a period of one year. The one-year suspension begins on the date of the referent's appearance in front of the Executive Board.

Any referent that fails to report to work or walks off a call and is deemed by the Steward to be unexcused, will automatically receive a letter informing them of their failure to report.

Offenses are cumulative over a rolling 12-month period.

The first unexcused offense will warrant the referent being called in front of the Executive Board and removal from the referral list for a period of three calls.

The second unexcused offense will warrant the referent being called in front of the Executive Board and removal from the referral list for a period of one year. The one-year suspension begins on the date of the referent's appearance in front of the Executive Board.



Any referent that, after receiving a one-year suspension, returns to work and again has offenses that would warrant another one-year suspension shall, instead, be removed from the referral list permanently.

Appeal Process 

Any referent who disagrees with a decision of the Steward or Business Agent, any disciplinary action, their industry seniority date, list placement or any other matter regarding the administration of this job referral procedure shall notify the President of the union of their desire to appear before the Executive Board to appeal the matter in question. The President, or his designated representative, shall give due notice to the appellant in order that he or she may attend the next regularly scheduled Executive Board meeting in order to present his or her case. If the referent fails to appear, the Executive Board will decide the case in his or her absence.

The Executive Board shall decide all matters brought before it. The referent may appeal the decision of the Executive Board to the membership at the regularly scheduled monthly meeting immediately following the Executive Board session at which the case was heard. By secret ballot (with the Executive Board abstaining), the membership will vote to uphold or reject the Executive Board decision. It shall take a two-thirds majority to overturn the Executive Board decision.





Loading Dock Telephone: 596-2390 (inside)

Loading Dock Telephone: 596-2391 (outside)


Stagehands normally meet at the loading dock just off

     Cincinnati Avenue between 2nd & 3rd Streets.


Stagehands normally meet at the loading dock just off

     Cincinnati Avenue between 2nd & 3rd Streets.



Stagehands meet inside the loading dock.

     Enter through the large gate on the North side of

     the arena and veer left towards the security

     entrance. Once inside you will be checked in and

     be given further directions.



Stagehands normally meet at the north end of the

     arena just off the loading ramp.


Stagehands normally meet on the stage.


Stagehands normally meet on the West Side of the

     building by the designated hall-loading door or

     inside the designated hall.




Stagehands normally meet at the West End of the

     arena just inside the loading ramp. Use the

     security door on the West End of the arena.


A TV production facility located directly East of

     the Mabee Center.

Stagehands normally meet at the south side of the

     connection point between the Mabee Center

     and the Baby Mabee. Use the security entrance

     next to the loading door.


ARENA (Pavilion)

West side of Fairgrounds, 17th and New Haven

Stagehands normally meet at the north end of the

     arena just off the covered loading ramp.

     During the fair, plan ahead, parking can be

     hard to find especially close to the "Pavilion."

     The Fair Parade takes place the 1st Saturday

     of the fair at 10 AM and can block traffic to

     the Pavilion.




1610 South Boulder

Stagehands normally meet at the south end of the

     building where the loading ramp goes to the



16205 East Marshall

I-44 EAST to 161 E Ave, turn north under expressway,

     at stop sign turn west, at next stop sign turn right

     (north). After you pass the "Quality Check" dairy

     immediately turn right. 3rd building on the left,

     yellow and stone.




4512 S Peoria

Stagehands normally meet at the West Side of the

     building at the loading dock. When this area is

     locked, use the main entrance.





81st Street and Highway 169

Stagehands normally meet at the loading dock at

     the south side of the building. The PACE is located

     in the southeast corner of the campus.




Located on the NW corner of 11th Street and Harvard.

Stagehands normally meet at the loading dock on the

     East side of the building. Use the security entrance

     next to the dock.


Located on S Gary just off of Harvard between 5th and


Stagehands normally meet just inside the dock on the

     South side of the building. Park in either lot in front

     of the building and give any tickets you may receive

     to the steward.


Located at the corner of Reconciliation Way and

     Boulder, just north of downtown.

Stagehands normally meet at the loading dock on the

     West side of the building. Parking lot space must

     be kept open for trucks to get into the loading area.


Historical Background

     The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States and Canada was originally chartered by the American Federation of Labor as the National Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees in 1893. Our name has evolved over the course of more than 100 years of geographic and craft expansion as well as technological advancement. The current title, adopted in 1995, more accurately reflects the full scope of our activities in the entertainment industry. Since the birth of our organization, the stage hands and movie operators have been joined by a great variety of other crafts persons in the numerous branches of the entertainment industry; including motion picture and television production, product demonstration and industrial shows, conventions, facility maintenance, casinos, audio visual, and computer graphics, to name a few, all banding together to achieve the maximum of unified strength.

     In 1893, show business was confined almost entirely to the stage. During the next twenty years, the stage carpenters, property men and electricians pioneered a drive for union recognition in the theatre - and finally established their craft as one of the highest paid and most respected in America. The first Canadian local was admitted in 1898 and we were designated as an international union. Beginning in 1908, soon after the birth of the film industry, projectionists throughout the continent were brought into the I.A. fold. Again a battle for recognition was fought and won. Later, in the 20's, union benefits were extended to Hollywood studios and the vast network of film exchanges throughout the United States and Canada. And finally, as soon as commercial television got a start, the I.A. took its natural place in this newest field of visual entertainment.

     Today, in legitimate theatres, concert halls, art and cultural centers, auditoriums, arenas and other similar facilities, as well as on industrial and other types of shows that travel from one city to another, I.A. members play an essential role, serving backstage as lighting technicians, carpenters, special effects technicians, riggers, prop handlers, audio visual technicians, wardrobe personnel, make-up artists and hairstylists, and in the front of the house as ushers, ticket-takers, doormen and maintenance employees.

     IA members are also integral to the production, distribution and exhibition of film and video. Among the classifications of workers we represent in this field are art directors, story analysts, animators, set designers and set decorators, scenic artists, graphic artists, set painters, grips, electricians, property persons, set builders, teachers, costumers, make up artists, hair stylists, motion picture and still camerapersons, sound technicians, editors, script supervisors, laboratory technicians, projectionists, utility workers, first aid employees, inspection, shipping, booking and other distribution employees.

     In television, the combined crafts of stage and screen are utilized. Carpenters, electricians, property men, and other crafts persons who had begun their careers in the theatre or film production applied their skills to the new medium and helped the IA extend its jurisdiction. In addition to the traditional crafts, masters of numerous additional techniques are needed to bring live, taped and filmed programs to the public. Thus the traditional stage hands, projectionists, sound service engineers and recording engineers are now supplemented by IA video engineers, audio engineers, transmitter engineers, videographers, maintenance engineers and a host of other television technicians.

     Today there are more than 500 local unions affiliated with the IA throughout the United States and Canada. The local unions are the backbone of the IA They are the direct representatives of the membership in all relations with employers. Initially, locals were chartered to represent workers in individual crafts or specific areas of the industry. However, a trend toward combination began years ago with the chartering of mixed locals (Stage Employees and Moving Picture Machine Operators) in the smaller cities. More recently we have created Television Broadcasting Studio Employee locals. These locals offer the advantage of combining all the crafts required for the operation of a television station within a single local union. Similarly, as motion picture and television production has become increasingly mobile, we have established studio mechanics locals throughout North America. Our goal has been to create a structure capable of representing all the workers in our crafts wherever and whenever they're employed.

In the IA we have always understood that our bargaining strength comes from our complete coverage of all the crafts involved in the production of theatrical, motion picture or television products. Our members are involved in every phase of a production, from its conception through every aspect of its execution, we're on the job. That principle of complete coverage and unanimity of purpose has been applied by the IA with ever-increasing success to each new form of the entertainment industry. First it was the stage, then motion picture production and more recently, television. As these different areas of the industry expand and develop, we will continue to assert our jurisdiction. This principle has been essential to our past success and will help ensure our future growth. In union there is strength, and when every branch of an industry is united, that strength becomes invincible.

     It is through our combined strength that we have been able to achieve some of the highest wages and best working conditions to be found among skilled crafts persons anywhere. It is an established fact that union members enjoy wages that are significantly higher than those of nonunion workers. The contracts that have been negotiated by the IA and its local unions contain wages, benefits, and working conditions that surpass that standard. Our members are among the highest compensated union members in North America. While most contracts are negotiated locally or by region, the General Office signs nationwide agreements in cases where they are warranted by the nature of the work involved. Originally these agreements were executed to cover stage hands on the road with traveling attractions, sound service engineers who cover regional areas servicing projection booth equipment, film exchange employees, and specialized TV functions including live shows that move from station to station. In the 1980's the International negotiated the National Industrial Contract with employers engaged in industrial and product demonstration shows. The industrial contract was the first example of an agreement negotiated by the General Office that set conditions for local unions. In recent years our local unions have recognized that regional and national negotiations provide them with far greater bargaining strength. As a result, during recent Conventions, the delegates have empowered the International to bargain nationally with employers involved in motion picture production, amphitheaters, arenas and stadiums.

     In order to protect and expand our bargaining success, it has been, and continues to be necessary to maintain jurisdictional control over the crafts we represent. To do so, the IA has been constantly required to meet the challenges presented by technological developments. Over the years, our ability to adjust to technological change has become one of our greatest strengths. Continuing in that tradition, the IA has been in the forefront of efforts to organize workers in new crafts such as computer generated imaging. Simultaneously, we have continued in our commitment to represent other workers whose jobs have been revolutionized by the introduction of computer technology by providing them with the education and training necessary for them to compete in the changing workplace.

     Throughout our history we have shown a willingness to modify our structure to protect our traditional jurisdiction and accommodate new crafts. But that alone is not sufficient. In recent years, the IA has maintained its position in the vanguard of entertainment industry unions by vigorously pursuing a policy of organizing nonunion workers. On both the International and local levels of our organization, we have reaffirmed our commitment to represent every worker employed in our crafts. Recently we have become more aggressive than ever in our pursuit of organizing nonunion workers. This effort has brought thousands of technicians into the IA and has provided them with vastly improved wages, benefits and working conditions.

     As the industry changes, the IA will continue to employ innovative tactics to ensure that our current membership enjoys the greatest number of employment opportunities while at the same time making membership accessible to all entertainment industry workers regardless of craft or location. Thus far these efforts have proven to be tremendously successful as more than ten thousand new members have joined our ranks during the 1990's.

© Copyright 1997, IATSE All Rights Reserved
Suite 601, 1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
Telephone (212) 730-1770

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(Select any map for details.)

Tulsa PAC

BOK Arena

COX Business Center

Mabee Center


Tulsa Opera Headquarters

Tulsa Opera Warehouse

Tulsa Ballet


Reynolds Center


Tulsa Theater

Smoking and Drinks
Props and Scenery
Show Dress Guidelines
Free Tickets
Backstage Passes
Work Referrals
Removal From Call List
Our Common Venues
Introduction to IATSE
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