I cannot agree more that the first lesson, day one, before they do anything, is PROFESSIONALISM. And a positive thing to point out so it isn't just a list of rules and so they don't think they are getting reprimanded before they've done anything : If you act like a pro and pick this up quickly, then there are MANY career opportunities, more for Technicians than for Actors or Designers. If you can learn to work together like a well-oiled machine and learn how to share important information with eachother, then you will be better at any job you'd want to have. Theatre teaches you how to cooperate.
Also, in terms of having limited resources, do you have a Freecycle Group in your community? (Yahoo Groups). Also check with drycleaners and tailoring shops, they may have old equipment when they upgrade and may give it away if you can transport it (especially if you can give them a tax-deductible donation form), also, periodically drycleaners have unclaimed and abandoned clothing they need to get rid off. Bridal and Tuxedo shops, as well, occasionally have old floor samples to clear from inventory. My high school got a huge donation one year, and all those dresses came in handy for the Spring Musical. Develop relationships with any other non-profit or community theatre in the area. Many community theatres have even less storage space than High Schools. If you can offer them storage space, they may offer you free rentals of what they have.
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