B. STAGE MANAGER
B.1 General Responsibilities.
The Stage Manager is a key position in any successful theater production. The position has a unique function because it serves the dual function of assistant to the director and production staff during the rehearsal period and then becomes the person in charge of the production during the actual performance. Each production will make different and unique demands of the Stage Manager. The role of Stage Manager is especially important and difficult in educational theater. The duties and responsibilities listed here are, by the nature of the position, incomplete; they serve as a guide to help create a successful experience.
The SM, stage manager, will be the key assistant to the director; however the SM is also serves as an assistant to the designers, technical director, costume shop supervisor, director of theater, conductor, and all other staff positions. Daily contact must be maintained with the entire production staff in order to communicate all of the various bits of information pertaining to the production. The SM will be responsible for the creation and distribution of the Daily Rehearsal Report and the Performance Log. The report serves as a two-way communication between all members of the production staff. The SM should deliver the report in person in order to answer questions and gather information. The report should be delivered each day before the production shops open.
The SM will be issued any required key by the Technical Director.
The SM will maintain the Production Call Board, posting notices for cast and crews. The call board must be kept neat so that information is not lost in a clutter of useless postings.
The SM will help with the auditions as required by the director and director of theater.
The SM will create a Company Roster that will contain accurate information as to assignment, address, and phone number of each company member. This should be completed at the initial Company Meeting.
A primary duty of the SM is the creation of the Prompt Script. The SM will prepare a prompt script that will eventually contain all blocking notations, plus cues for lights, sound, shift, orchestra, and what ever is necessary for the production. This “bible” must be created with care so that anyone would be able to assume the position of SM and call a successful performance.
The SM will maintain a Production Book that will contain all information necessary for the production: Company Roster, production and rehearsal calendars, prop list, Daily Rehearsal Reports, Performance Logs .... any and everything pertaining to the production. This production book must be brought to every production meeting.
When rehearsals move into technical rehearsals, the SM will run the rehearsals. The SM will schedule paper techs prior to the first tech rehearsal. The SM will maintain the show throughout the run of the show, as rehearsed.
Preparation for rehearsals. The SM is responsible for taping out the set on the floor of the rehearsal room. Obtain a dimensioned ground plan from the designer. Obtain supplies from the Technical Director; 50 ft. tape, spike tape, etc. After the rehearsal process, the SM is also responsible for removing all tape from the rehearsal floor.
The SM is responsible for gathering, storing, and returning all rehearsal props and rehearsal furniture. A list of rehearsal props should be created by the director and SM.
The rehearsal props and furniture must be pulled by the SM and the designer or Technical Director.
Before rehearsal. Arrive 20 to 30 minutes early; or earlier as needed. The space should be ready 15 minutes before the call time. Unlock doors. Turn ON appropriate lights. Do NOT turn on lights that are not needed. For example, in the Bruder Theatre, DO NOT use the PANIC SWITCH to turn on the house lights. Use the dimmer controls; 1-3 @ 90%. Check that the floor is clear and safe for the action required. Check that any scenery or set piece is ready to be used as required. Check that any recorded music or a piano is ready for use. Check that all props are ready for use. Check that the production desk is ready (if needed).
Beginning of rehearsal
During the rehearsal
End of rehearsal
The duties and procedures of the Stage Manager will vary with the nature of the script, production, rehearsal, director, and designers. A good Stage Manager must be able to adapt to the needs of each production. When an ASM is available, use that person to assist with routine duties. Both you and the ASM must attend production meetings.
B.3 Safety and Security
A. Building security guidelines
a. Check that all props and intercom headsets are stored.
b. Position the ghost light.
c. Check that all cast and crew have signed out.
d. Check that all doors are locked
e. Check-out with Campus Police; phone 5337.
5. Anyone remaining in the building must have a Late Pass and check-in with Campus Police; phone 5337.
C. Fire, evacuation of the building.
D. Tornado, storm warnings.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE HANDBOOK AS A PDF FILE.
Download "Chicken Soup for the SM's Soul" by Nate Brauner (Class of '06)
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Updated 7/20/05 10:17 AM