Stage Management

PRESHOW

  • S.M. organizes space, props, scripts, etc, for audition.
  • Checks with producer well before auditions to make sure scripts have been ordered, space for auditions and rehearsals have been acquired and that any needed permits have been taken care of.
  • Keeps names, phone numbers, time problems, etc, of all actors and crew.
  • Attends to all the physical requirements of rehearsal ‑ scripts, coffee, taping floor, pencils, rehearsal props and furniture, cleaning up.
  • Attends, or has A.S.M. attend ALL rehearsals to “keep the book”, writing down…

‑ all blocking

‑ all changes to script

‑ if necessary, “french scenes”

‑ all scene diagrams

  • Assembles the requirements for the sound, props and lighting dept
  • Uses a day sheet to keep track of everything that has to be done. There is a sample in the job descriptions menu
  • With the producer, calls production meetings as necessary.
  • Makes sure rehearsal props are provided, and proper hand props are being acquired.
  • Acts as technical director or liaisons with T.D. to ensure progress of events.
  • Acquires and trains crew.
  • Deals with any personality problems, or any other actor problems.
  • Sets, explains and enforces Company rules.

One of the S.M.’s most important functions is to ensure “a harassment free work place.

  • Ensures comfort of cast and crew

‑ coffee and tea supplies

‑ clean, comfy, warm waiting area

‑ clean acting environment

  •  Ensures all aspects of production running smoothly.
  • Calls tech rehearsals, laurelites stage and sets.
  • On tech day, adds lighting and sound cues to the book.

SHOW TIME

  • S.M. takes total control of the show, including starting times, preshow music, FOH, cast and all crew, even those acquired by the producer.
  • You are responsible for the legal minors in your cast and crew. This is a very serious responsibility, and unfortunately, it’s yours and the producers. Parties, obviously, are your main problem. In the case of children, use of a “Backstage Mom” may be needed.
  • Arrives or has A.S.M. arrive before actors makeup call, supplies and makes coffee/tea and whatever else is needed, sweeps stage and wings, ensures sets and props are ready and cast/crews valuables are protected.
  • S.M. “calls” the show .
  • Gives the actors’ warnings ‑ 30′, 10′, 5′.
  • Calls extra rehearsals if necessary.
  • Assures that no one EVER goes through the curtain after the audience is in the house or afterwards until the curtain is opened..
  • Deals with any emergency in a CALM manner.
  • Sometimes runs onstage tech effects.
  • S.M. or A.S.M. should be on headset at all times. No exceptions!
  • Ensures sets and props are properly stored away after the performance.
  • Oversees set changes, props placements, etc.
  • Gives the actors any notes he, or the director, feels are needed.
  • In a long running show, ensures the show stays as directed.

 THINGS TO HAVE ‑ pencils, pens, scotch tape, masking tape, laurelite tape,

spike tape. flashlight w/colored lenses, felt pens, first aid kit, safety pins, sewing kit

and most important, a sense of humour!

 

MOST IMPORTANT THING ‑ THE SHOW IS NUMBER ONE!

 

HINTS FROM A PRO

  • Most important ‑ common sense and thinking ahead.
  • You and you alone are responsible for every aspect.
  • When possible, use two A.S.M.’s ‑ one for props, one to keep the book.  S.M. should absorb the whole thing, and be free to assist and foresee problems.  You cannot see the show if your nose is in the book.

 Your job is to help the actors. It doesn’t matter what you think of them, THEY are the

 ones who have to face the audience. They need and deserve all the help you can

 give them.

  • NEVER ASSUME!
  • NEVER work from memory ‑ always use a list ‑ TOUCH YOUR PROPS.
  • Make sure everybody gets appropriate info ‑ do it yourself.
  • Put EVERYTHING in your book ‑ set change notes, cues and warnings, props lists, warning notes for entrances…EVERYTHING! See below for suggestions on how to mark your script. A SM from a different club should be able to walk into your theatre and call a show.
  • Check your “spikes” before every show. They tend to come off on actors shoes. You may want to staple them down.
  • This Club has a wealth of “sources”. Don’t ever be shy about asking for advise, because you’re the one your actors depend upon.