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The Stage Manager's Toolkit

Book Description

As a Stage Manager, you are responsible for organizing rehearsals, running performances, and keeping everyone and everything on track and in sync. To do the job well, you need to be a communication wizard—able to collect a wide range of details and share them as effectively as possible. The Stage Manger’s Toolkit is more than another overview book which generalizes how to be a Stage Manager. It presents the day-to-day duties in detail—discussing not only what to do but also why. Focusing on communication best practices, the book explores objectives, paperwork, and the questions that need to be asked in order to ensure a smooth production whether on Broadway, at a university, or somewhere in between.

  • Introduces strategies for sharing information both in person and in writing

  • Explores how document design can enhance the accessibility and effectiveness of your reports, charts, and lists

  • Contains principles for web-based information sharing as well as hard-copy paperwork

  • Provides customizable paperwork templates on the accompanying website, allowing you to put the ideas to work on your own show

Other features:

Organized based on the chronology of a typical theatre production: pre-production work, rehearsals, the tech period, performances, and post-production duties.  In each section, the book outlines the objectives for the stage manager and the communication techniques that will ensure success.

Provides examples of paperwork a stage manager commonly works with, including variations for plays and musicals, shortcuts for shows on an abbreviated time table, and strategies for maintaining consistency and legibility.  The book highlights differences the stage manager may encounter when working on professional and academic productions.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Introduction: The Stage Manager as Communicator
  9. Chapter 1: Avenues of Communication
    1. Face-to-Face Communication
    2. Written Communication
  10. Chapter 2: Principles of Document Design
    1. Identifying Your Audience
    2. Page Layout
    3. Fonts
    4. Color and Shading
    5. Accessibility
    6. Continuity
    7. What’s in a Name?
    8. Ready to Begin
  11. Chapter 3: Pre-Production
    1. Given Circumstances
    2. The Calendar
    3. Analyzing the Production
    4. The Character/Scene Breakdown
    5. Meeting with the Director
    6. Meeting the Production Team
    7. The Prop List
    8. Auditions
    9. The Contact Sheet
    10. Thinking about the SM Team
    11. Next Steps
  12. Chapter 4: The Prompt Book
    1. Organizing the Prompt Book
    2. Preparing the Prompt Script
    3. The Script for the Musical
    4. Ready for Launch
  13. Chapter 5: Rehearsals
    1. First Rehearsal
    2. Table Work
    3. Music and Dance Rehearsals
    4. Blocking
    5. The Daily Call
    6. Conflicts
    7. Fittings
    8. The First Run-Through
    9. The Rehearsal Report
    10. Production Meetings
    11. Scene Work
    12. Adding the Elements
    13. Updating Paperwork
    14. Concluding Time in the Hall
  14. Chapter 6: Technical Rehearsals
    1. Creating the Tech Schedule
    2. Types of Tech Rehearsals
    3. Preparing for Tech
    4. Technology for the Stage Manager
    5. Working with the Crew
    6. The Preset List
    7. The Shift Plot
    8. Paperwork Variations
    9. The Costume Plot
    10. Cueing
    11. Stepping Up to Run the Show
    12. Rehearsal Reports during the Tech Period
  15. Chapter 7: Performances
    1. Previews
    2. Refining Your Routine
    3. Opening Night
    4. Working with Front-of-House
    5. The Performance Report
    6. Changing Personnel
    7. Maintaining the Artistic Integrity of Your Show
    8. Working with Understudies
    9. Emergency Plans and Problem-Solving
  16. Chapter 8: Next Steps
    1. Moving the Production
    2. The End of the Line—Or Is It?
  17. Epilogue: Final Thoughts
  18. Appendix
    1. Actors’ Equity Association
    2. The Stage Manager’s Kit
    3. Emergency Announcements
    4. More Paperwork
    5. Web Resources
    6. Suggested Reading
  19. Notes
  20. Author Biography
  21. Index