STAGE MANAGEMENT STAGE ONE : PREPARATION
1) Script familiarity
a) - Read it
- Read again after getting to know design and cast
- Read it again making notes / lists about the use of PROPS, LQ, SQ, SFX, SET, COSTUME incl. quick-changes and set changes, and in what act, scene, and on what page they occur. Note repeated use of the same 'item'.
- Sometimes you need to go thru script 7 times, once for the story, and the other times for each list or chart.
- Create individual PRE-PRODUCTION LISTS PER SCRIPT of the content for each area using the prescribed format.
- Examples here FIND WHAT IS WRONG WITH WHICH EXAMPLE LIST!
b)- Scene Breakdown: Discuss with director as to which scene breakdown style they will use.
- If the director is not available, break the play into French scenes and group them into major units.
Class discussion to define: FRENCH SCENES.
- Assume that the initial Sc. Breakdown may change and you will have to redo it, but by then youll know the play well and it will be easy.
2) Production Management aspects
A) Meet with the P.M. and find out about the following:
SM Job Description - At this theatre
- E.g. Who calls Production Meetings? Who takes, types and distributes the Meeting notes?
Get copies of or at least examine the:
- Set Design including Ground plans, elevations, furniture sketches
- Costume Design including Renderings, Sketches, swatches, colours etc
- Theatre floor plan with and without the set on the stage area.
Find out about:
Production schedule - Dates of Rehearsal, rehearsal overview
- Tech schedule dates for tech, previews, opening etc.
- Day 1 schedule meet and greet
- Performance schedule, Matinee times, School Shows?
Rehearsal hall info - Location, address, keys
- Floor plans
- Supplies on hand, and what is needed?
Theatre Info - Communication head-sets, cue lights?
- Wing space & layout, Dressing rooms
Petty cash - Get actual money or account card or procedure.
- Forms to submit receipts
- What is budget and procedure and expectations for spending?
- Where do they have charge accounts? What is their procedure.
Production department distribution list
- Who gets copies of what? on paper or by e-mail? , or what posted where?
- E.g. notes from rehearsal, schedules, lists
Crew list - Names, addresses, phone numbers, E-mail
A.S.M information - Who, job description at this theatre, experience
Coffee routine - Cost, location, preparation, supplies, regular routine.
Photocopying rules - Access code etc.
Communication Access Mail, Fax, E-mail, computer access, ALSO: for actors?
Wardrobe - Does wardrobe already have measurements & photos of cast?
- If not, schedule them for the 1st or 2nd day as wardrobe wants.
Scripts - Does cast have scripts?
- Are they numbered? Who has which ones?; keep a list
- Do designers and tech have scripts, numbers?
- Get SM script(s) do I mark this up or copy it again?
- Get A.S.M and spare scripts
First aid equipment and supplies.
- Who restocks supplies?
- Who is the designated First Aider for the various sites you will use.
- Get fire exit tour and emergency routine - 911 or not?
- Emergency Procedures.Examples here
B) Meet with P.M. and designers re:
Set - Discuss furniture and props
- Refer to plans, elevations and model to learn design details
Costumes - Refer to design renderings, swatches
- Discuss quick changes
Lighting - Learn lighting concept
Sound and FX - Discuss these elements of the show per text and how they are used in this production
3) General Manager aspects
Meet with the G.M. and discuss, get, find out about:
(Keep a chart to track what info you have obtained from the cast and later who needs which documents, especially for large cast)
Cast Info: - Names, perm address, local address, phone numbers, & E-mail
- Local accommodation, who picks them up at train, bus etc
- Arrival dates
- Casting agent information and phone numbers if needed
- Theatre permanent record forms for tax receipts for Feb next year
- Do they have scripts, the correct edition? If not, get scripts for whoever may need them.
Company Information FOR the cast:
- 1st day schedule meet and greet, who is invited, board of directors
- tradition of days schedule, food?, location
- Complementary ticket policy
- T.D.1 forms
- Contracts who not yet signed?
- Lobby and other photos handed in
- Public Relations (P.R.) and bio info required
- Local information sheet See examplehere.
- Maps of city, to rehearsal hall
- Events in community, other show in the theatre
- Theatre rules smoking, parking etc.
- Pay day info
- Transit information
- Dressing room, washrooms/showers etc
- Day off
- Performance schedule
- Mail received at theatre for company members?
Once you have notes of all the answers to all these questions, you can get some paper-work done.
Start stage management paperwork as follows:
4) Prompt book - Dividers for Contact info, Daily schedules, Notes, all other Schedules, and all production departments
Prompt Script - Punch holes (reverse holes and text pages for right-handed S.M.s
- Dividers for acts, scenes
- Scene tabs (once scene breakdown is approved by Director)
- Divide pages cues, props, blocking.
- Number lines
- Highlight stage directions and character names
- Pencil in LX, sound and other cues
- Rough indication of 5 min to end of each act
2 suitable latecomers calls
5) Other lists, forms and plans
Distribution List See an example
Lists Per Script - Props list
Examples - Set list
- Costume list
- Lighting list
- Sound list
- Other FX
Preliminary Props Preset Example
Prepare 8 x 11 floor plans for props preset (CAD)
Measure blueprint to tape out floor, or use CAD plan
Make mini plans for blocking (CAD)
For documents that will be regularly used *, create a blank format that is ready to use daily or as needed.
Make Rehearsal Schedule Daily*. (Rotate pdf to view) Example
Make Rehearsal Schedule Overview Example
Make Performance Schedule (Sample included in Overview samples above)
Make Rehearsal Notes* Example
Make Production Notes* Example
Make Show Report* Example
Type up - Company List (w/o private info) (see next example)
- Cast and Company Contact Sheet Example
- Company Local Info Sheet as required Example
- Scene Breakdown
- Rehearsal Schedule Overview
- Performance Schedule
Prep callboard documents on this list of things to post on a call board: Example (This also included Rehearsal Hall prep.)
- Daily Rehearsal Schedule
- Rehearsal overview
- Phone list or Company list if the Call board is public.
- Emergency numbers
- Tech schedule
- Performance Schedule
- Sign in chart
- Bus info
- EQUITY (C.A.E.A.) notices as required by Equity - Extraordinary Risk, No Harassment.
- Message area
6) Prepare for rehearsal / do the following more active jobs:
Work with ASMs, props staff, costume staff and others to do these jobs.
- Pull rehearsal props and clean them for use
- Pull rehearsal costumes
- Visit rehearsal hall and clean it for use Example
- Go shopping get all supplies not at theater or rehearsal hall (check with P.M before spending money)
- Prep callboard. Example
7) Meet with A.S.M. (& AASM).
- Orient them to the show in general.
- Give them scripts or resources to develop scripts. (Check if Left-handed)
- Learn their strengths.
- Give them notes on here to use as a starting point for developing a team approach to the work at hand.
- Involve them in as many of the above jobs as possible as soon as you have them available..
8) Make up packages for actors with:
- Scene breakdown Example
- Phone list Example
- Company info sheet - pay day. comp policy, etc. (See example in class exercise.)
- Local info sheet Example
- Rehearsal schedule (See schedules)
- Rehearsal hall info
- T.D.1 if required
- Theatre perm record form Example
- Equity travel expense form
- Equity voluntary medical form and envelope Example
- Performance schedule (See schedules)
- Bio to be checked
- List of info needed from them
Use 9 x 12 manila envelopes or Theatre info / media folders
Phone / email actors
Confirm - Rehearsal dates
- Day 1 schedule
- Location of day 1 meeting
Tell - Day off
Get - Their address in town
Ask - Allergies or medication / condition (bee-stings, epilepsy, food allergies, carry kit/pen?)
- Special needs
- Any thing else we should know
Post day 1 schedule and meet and greet invitation in theatre, at the rehearsal hall and possibly in Admin offices.
Prepare list of the following info to tell actors day 1:
- Location of rehearsal hall yes tell them again
- Day off
- Pay day
- Comp. Ticket Policy
- Schedule overview
- Other shows in the theatre
- Rehearsal hall info (i.e. fridge, near café, etc)
- Coffee routine