Never said they were the best. Just the most common and they are the most easily accessible to most of us. That's also why I suggested the local companies because they will almost definitely be cheaper but I can't recommend which one to use since I don't know who works in EzBrEzPSM's area. Also for the multitude of reasons you listed why using a national company for a "local" delivery makes little sense.
This is a massive failure on the house staff. I don't know what rules are in place there, but I can't imagine any house I'm working in allowing an active heckler during a theater performance.
Stand up comedy? Ok sure. That goes with the territory, but at the same time a stand up has the freedom within their act to put a heckler down verbally. That will usually turn the audience against them.
However what I think is a large issue that needs to be addressed (again) is the concept that actors think they need to present a unified front. What's not covered in the initial article that I saw, but saw in others written, Lacy's actions and the actor who played Brick quitting resulted in the show being canceled. I personally would be livid if my paycheck went poof for no other reason than someone couldn't stay on stage and keep their cool. Good for the two actresses who spoke out against this and shame on John Lacy for lashing out at them.
He should know better. Stay on the stage. You have power there. Don't run into the crowd. Let the house staff take care of it. Stop the show. Call for house. Humiliate the drunk. Never leave the deck.
Well there's your easy way out of finishing the production. Call the Fire Marshall and report unsafe conditions. Boom. Closed show!
Wet floors are no excuse to not retape. If you have blood clean up daily (by the way....your show sounds like a real pick me up!) mop at night, leave it overnight to dry and retape the cable in the evening at show call. If the director requires you to mop preshow, there are other tapes that work in wet environments that can keep the cable down like Vinyl/Dance floor tapes. The onstage issues and safety really falls under your role as stage manager and not a designer or producer. They may have made the mess, but it's up to you to make sure your cast in safe.
I don't mean to sound harsh but when it comes to safety after a certain point it's no longer a producer/designer issue and someone has to take control and do what needs to be done.
It's not unheard of in my experience for this to happen. It's not a good thing by any stretch of the imagination, but not unheard of. Think of it this way: if the designers and producer have been working together for years but the stage manager seems to cycle every show they gain comfort speaking to a consistent person. Once again, it's not a good thing. It just is.
One of the best ways to diffuse it is to ask them to CC you to emails. Frame it that you aren't seeking the answers yourself and you're ok with them talking to the producer. You want to be CC'd to make sure the questions are being answered. In doing so, you get your answers and they're still talking directly to the person they're comfortable with, but now you're not trying to break them of habits as much as alter them.
Never in my experience. as stated already, there are exceptions to the rule but I'd say the rule is no bump outside of the union.
My understanding of the PA was to be low level but gain experience and that is your payment.....kinda like being a college athlete. You work your tail off, and your reward is the experience and the memories you take with you instead of something worth while..........like money.
Honestly, in my opinion there isn't much to run per se. Design meetings are for the director and designers to talk and bounce ideas around and hear potential pitfalls. The only thing I've ever really done in design meetings is set an agenda (Sets, Lights, Costumes, Sound, and Props usually...others as needed). Beyond that, all I ever really do is wrangle conversations if they go off the tracks. Also preventing side conversations. Side conversations in design meetings are no good because people are having conversations that potentially more people need to be hearing.
Arrange a meeting with the actor, director, stage manager, picky actor/ professor and yourself. Let picky actor bring up concerns and have a discussion. Remember, it's unwise and unprofessional to challenge a director in the room repeatedly especially when you're trying to teach students how professional plays work. This picky actor probably wants to talk to their colleague about this but may not know how to broach the subject.
If you present this to the Sm and director as a conversation you'd like input on, the final decision will still rest where it always belongs: the director, but now the picky actor may have a better understanding as to why it is the way it is.
Something to mull over in your head: actors who react poorly about props are occasionally uncomfortable somewhere else in the production. They will elect to try to control something (ie props) to regain a modicum of control.
Directors can be in the booth all they want but only if they are silent IMO. I don't want to hear an exasperated sigh, nor do I want on the fly notes.i am my own worst critic already and I know when a sequence goes wrong. I've never cared for directors who work this way. In my early career, i once asked a director why he doesn't go up during a performance to give the cast notes and asked for the same respect during a run. You'll be shocked to know that didn't go over well.
you can't be argumentative because it gets you nowhere and will only make the director push harder. Offer them a spot in the booth with the condition that you'll take notes following the performance. You'll be happy to discuss it after the fact but during the run is not the time. If they aren't willing to give you that respect, they can't be in the booth. Is not fair to you to have the director breathing over your shoulder during a run. Especially if you're open already. If you're open and they are critiquing you on the call of the show now they obviously didn't do a good enough job communicating their desires during tech, or you misinterpreted their notes during tech.