Author Topic: Company Management VS. Stage Management  (Read 5194 times)

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Company Management VS. Stage Management
« on: Mar 21, 2006, 10:10 pm »
I am trying to find others experiences with the line between touring Company Management and Stage Management. When it comes to advancing things like water and phone lines. Stage Management decides the dressing room and office assignments, but are they responsible for getting the phone, fax and internet lines run? And does backstage water fall under Company Management or Stage Management? Lastly, Stage Management sets up their call board, do they also set up Company Management? Or are they on their own?


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Company Management VS. Stage Management
« Reply #1 on: Mar 21, 2006, 11:28 pm »
I have never actually seen a CSM touring. Usually, that is the (P|D|T)SM (production, deputy or touring) stage manager.

Usually a show will have a rider which is distributed to all the venues being used which says how much of this, how much of that, what water is need, what specifications the venue needs to meet (including power, internet, phone) - you may have heard one of the most famous rider demand - "A bowl of M&M's, with the brown ones removed" - Van Halens show was apparently so technical demanding in it's day that that clause was placed as article #126 to make sure the rider was obeyed. The rider is usually written up by the company stage manager or the technical director. Then as touring SM, you basically need to ensure the rider is met, and raise hell if it isn't.

Basically, the TSM should be able to walk into the venue, plop the paperwork on the prompt desk and direct the bump-in without having to worry that there are only 120 channels of dimming instead of the 132 requested, that the live internet feed should be a matter of jacking into the network because they have already set all of that up.

This is the sort of heirachy we have in australia anyway, I doubt it will be too different, but the company manager (big boss) resides in the company, they manage the big picture. You, the (T|P|D)SM manage the single show. You need to set up your call board, in collaboration with the CSM (to make sure all times are correct etc). When it comes to the rider being written, you and the technical director tell the CSM exactly what you require, they distribute it to the venue, organise all that junk, and before tour present you with an exception report which may say things like
"Venue A:
*Only has 4 dressing rooms
*No Foyer
*Will have tech guy there to assist with networking
Venue B:

However, you should never see something like

"Venue C:
*Need to hire another 12 channels of dimming"

It is the CSM's job to instead have

"Venue C:
*Need to pick up 12 channel dimmer from xyz, 1231 this street, paid in full"

That said, all companies are different and you need to talk to the people you are working with the find out where your jurisdiction ends, and theirs begins.


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Company Management VS. Stage Management
« Reply #2 on: Mar 22, 2006, 12:32 pm »
It depends on the company.  I toured for years as a combo SM/CM, where I took care of everything.  I'm in a road house now, and today we've got a major equity tour in.  I talked with the stage manager re dressing room assignments and production offices, water, phone lines, rehearsal piano.  I assume that it was the SM who put up their stuff on our call board.  I didn't actually talk to the Company Manager the fist time until last night when he was the last one to leave cause he was still dealing with box office stuff.  The other person who I who I talked to before their arrival was the Head Carpenter.



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Company Management VS. Stage Management
« Reply #3 on: Mar 22, 2006, 05:16 pm »
I worked on a touring show that travelled with its own callboard.  A big foldup thing on hinges that we would place in the hallway.  Company management got one side, and stage management got the other.  Now granted, we had a lot of Little People in the show, and you could never count on a roadhouse having low enough callboards for them to sign, plus we tended to post a LOT of information.  So with Company management, we worked together on the callboard.  It was also nice to be able to place it where we found most people could look at it, rather than what the normal theatre deemed was the appropriate callboard area, and instead we thought would be a great quickchange area.

We actually travelled with a producer, too, and I believe she was the one to set up the phone lines, etc.  And bottled water sometimes is a joint feat to accomplish with the union roadhouse prop guys.



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Company Management vs Stage Management
« Reply #4 on: Mar 22, 2006, 10:05 pm »
I think it all depends on the company - it's things like this you need to discuss at the beginning to see who is responsible for what - as it could always be up for grabs.

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