Danny Cook, a stagehand at the Newmark Theatre, has become a Certified Theatrical Rigger through the Entertainment Technician Certification Program. Cook has been employed at Metro's Portland Center for the Performing Arts since 2009 and is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 28, Portland’s theatrical stage employees union. He is the sixth employee at PCPA to be certified by the program.
"We are very proud of Danny’s accomplishment," said Robyn Williams, executive director of PCPA. "The process of becoming certified through ETCP is very strenuous; you absolutely have to be an expert in your field to pass the examination."
While certification is not a requirement, PCPA pays for testing and any costs associated with the examinations, plus recertification efforts on behalf of their employees.
In 2005, PCPA was the first performing arts center in the nation to become an Entertainment Technician Certification Program-recognized employer. Recognized employers are required to follow best practices and encourage their employees to become certified. The safety of PCPA’s crew and performers influenced Williams' decision to enroll PCPA in the program.
"The stage is often the most dangerous place in a theatre," Williams said. "With the ETCP certification process, we know we have the most skilled people making sure our stages are safe places to be."
The Entertainment Technician Certification Program was created in 2005 and is an international program that has brought together an unprecedented group of industry organizations, businesses and individuals to create a program of rigorous assessments for professional technicians. The program focuses on disciplines that directly affect the health and safety of crews, performers, and audiences. The program offers certification for theater riggers and electricians.