I am not familiar with the area that you are located, but I would start by calling any local community theatres. They are usually more than happy to have any kind of volunteer. Actually most of the smaller theatres that I have worked with have been willing to take in volunteers. I would say contact the theatre's Technical Director or Production Manager and tell them a little about yourself and what you are interested in. If they are not able to let you help they might know some place in the area that might be more open. Hope that helps.
I agree. I found the best place to learn is the community theaters. You can build a lot of contacts that way and get outside gigs eventually. And don't be afraid to ask questions. Its better to have stuff done right than to have someone pretend to know what they're doing and let someone get hurt. And as my boss always jokingly says 'Lift with the back, save your knees.' :wink:
If I were you, I would learn a little something about each area that a techie works at (such as sound, lights, etc.). Thats what I did. My best knowledge was with sound because I've messed around with sound boards my whole life. Learn about different connections and what each knob does. Learn the difference between a 25 footXLR sound cable and a 50 footXLR sound cable. Learn about what will happen when you hold a plugged in mic in onehand and hold a door nob in the other. These kind of things are important (except the last two). You can learn about this stuff on this website. Or maybe you can go to your local library and check out books about it. Every little thing that you learn about now, will make it much easier when you enter high school.
One of the things I hate when having volunteers is if you ask them if they know how to do something, and they say yes and go off to do it for you, then an hour later come back and ask you how to do it... they have successfullly just wasted an hour of time, which in bump ins can sometimes be important.
Instead of pretending you know what the tech is talking about, ask what they mean, and if you need it ask them to show you how to do it. Id much rather show someone how to do something, taking 5minutes as oppose to taking 1hour for them to try and stuff it up!!!