STAGE MANAGER GUIDELINES
Brief Outline of Duties
The stage manager begins the production period by providing administrative support to the director before and during auditions. The stage manager serves as the hub of information throughout the production process: taking notes at rehearsal and production meetings, distributing daily reports, giving/receiving messages. When the stage manager begins to call the show during tech week, the primary focus of his/her responsibility changes from administrative support to technical coordination of all production activities. The director and various designers determine the nature and timing of the cues, but it is the stage manager who is responsible for seeing that those instructions are carried out.
A. Read the script to get a full understanding of the play.
B. Attend pre-rehearsal production and design meetings, record what happens and later distribute production meeting reports to the production team (these meetings will be run by the director).
C. Organize and help run auditions according to the director’s format.
D. Arrange to get stage manager keys from the theatre faculty.
E. Discuss with the director his/her particular rehearsal procedures.
F. Obtain a ground plan from the technical director showing the location of furniture and all scenic elements.
G. Tape out floor of stage or rehearsal space.
A. Once rehearsals begin, production meetings are run by the stage manager, who types an agenda, records reports, and later distributes copies to the production team (all designers, director, technical director, crew heads, and post one on call board for the cast and crew).
B. Type a contact sheet listing names and phone numbers of all members of the production team. Distribute to entire team.
C. Provide properties master with complete list of properties and unique specification by beginning of the second week of rehearsals.
D. Request rehearsal props from props master and rehearsal costumes from the costume coordinator. They will pull them. You will be responsible for them getting to and from rehearsal, as well as their care.
E. Sweep floor and set stage for rehearsal each night.
F. Assist the director in starting rehearsal promptly.
G. Make note of all blocking and blocking changes as they occur in the prompt book.
H. Complete and post a copy of the rehearsal report each night, and personally communicate messages to appropriate production personnel affected by a decision during that rehearsal (a deleted prop, an added rehearsal, etc.). You are the hub of information.
I. Strike all furniture and rehearsal props each night from the stage and place in an organized manner off stage.
J. Turn off lights and lock up.
K. Check in with the technical director at least three times a week to communicate messages and receive instructions.
L. Maintain a positive attitude at all times. Set the tone for a friendly, efficient, and successful rehearsal process.
Before Technical Rehearsals
A. At Paper Tech, place all light, sound, and fly cues into the prompt book.
B. Place the following items in the prompt book also:
1. Costume changes
2. Scene shifts
3. Prop changes
4. Special effects
C. Meet with the technical director, designers and director to establish the format for the technical rehearsals.
D. All level changes, entrances, and exits must be marked with glow tape.
E. Instruct cast and crew in safety procedures.
F. Enforce safety rules backstage and understand you are responsible for backstage discipline.
Technical and Dress Rehearsals
A. Post sign-in-sheet to include full cast and crew.
B. Collect valuables from actors and lock them away safely.
C. Sweep and mop stage prior to each dress rehearsal.
D. Get presets from all crew heads before starting tech rehearsals.
E. Visually check stage for preset.
F. All backstage traffic patterns must be clear and safe for passage.
G. Make sure there are no unauthorized personnel backstage, in the control booth, dressing areas, or green room.
H. The stage manager is responsible for all of the following:
1. Calling of all cues
2. Places for actors prior to entrances
3. Safety backstage
4. Scene shifts
5. Costume changes
6. Lighting cues
7. Sound cues
8. Fly cues
9. Special effect cues
10. Presets from all crew heads
11. Blocking, lines, etc.
12. Noise level backstage and on headsets.
I. Final Dress is to run in absolute performance conditions. Also, intermission procedures need to be established during technical rehearsals.
A. Unlock all stage areas.
B. Check sign-in-sheet one hour prior to curtain for cast and crew.
C. Check presets and house.
D. Call “house conditions” thirty minutes prior to curtain and notify House Manager immediately.
E. S.M. or A.S.M. must remain on headset at all times once “house conditions” are called.
F. Inform actors of time:
1. 30 minutes
2. 15 minutes
3. 10 minutes
4. 5 minutes
5. PLACES (at 3 minutes to curtain)
G. Communicate with the house manager to establish curtain time and possible holds five minutes prior to curtain.
H. Follow procedures established during technical rehearsals and begin calling the show.
I. After house is cleared, preset stage for next performance.
J. Check with all crew heads and make note of any problems during performance on the performance report. Distributes copies to the production team and post a copy on the call board.
K. Secure all stage areas and turn off lights.
L. Stage Manager is to be the last person to leave the theatre each night.
M. During the run of the show meet with the T.D. to establish a strike meeting with crew heads and post strike assignments.
N. All rented scripts and scores are to be collected, checked for marks and given to the faculty director.
A. Conduct roll call at the end of strike and submit it to the T.D.
B. Return keys to the theatre faculty.