Author Topic: PEOPLE: Stage Manager having to DIRECT!  (Read 2794 times)

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PEOPLE: Stage Manager having to DIRECT!
« on: Oct 12, 2007, 06:36 pm »
Hey y'all.
I'm stage managing (for the first time) a mainstage show at my college. My director felt ill on monday, so we cancelled rehearsal on Tuesday. On Wednesday i found out
a)she wouldn't be there for the rest of the week, (which was good, she really needed rest)
b) the guest director to fill in couldn't be there until Thursday
c) I could either cancel rehearsal AGAIN or run rehearsal myself.

Since i have a pretty good (in my eyes) directing background myself (from high school, but really professional work) I felt OK directing the rehearsal for a night.
But the new director came in, and i had a meeting with him before. He said he would just basically babysit the cast until the real director gets back.
All of a sudden, he starts directing the actors in ways that does NOT maintain the integrity of the show.
I believe it is my job to MAINTAIN that show, but how can i politely and professionally stop him from adding his own artistic views onto the show when I feel they are wrong for the production?
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 01:13 am by PSMKay »
Circus Performer by Night, Stage Manager by ... um also Night


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Re: Stage Manager having to DIRECT!
« Reply #1 on: Oct 12, 2007, 07:49 pm »
Take extensive, but objective notes on the rehearsal and everything that occurred, and provide copies to all members of the production staff and both directors.  The show isn't yours to maintain until it opens - until that point you're facilitating communication between all areas of the staff and preparing yourself and the backstage elements so that you can successfully maintain the show once the director leaves

If the directors have a disagreement about the interpretation of the script they need to work that out between themselves.  All you can really do is provide them with some notice with *maybe* some strong encouragement that a conversation between the two of them is in order.  If you try to step in and direct, you'll wind up stepping on both of their toes. 


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Re: Stage Manager having to DIRECT!
« Reply #2 on: Oct 15, 2007, 02:47 pm »
This is one of those weird, gray areas ... We're there to protect the vision of the director, but now there's a different director, even if for a week or so.  The most important thing you can do now is support a positive environment.  The confusion and frustration you're feeling is probably being felt by your cast as well.  One of the best things you can do to protect the show overall is to not sweat the change and keep a positive attitude.  Maybe a couple fabulous discoveries will be made and incorporated when the other director comes back ... maybe they won't come back ... maybe everything will go back to exactly how is was ... Our job isn't to predict or control next week, it's to make today go as smoothly and professionally as possible.  This is a great opportunity for you to make a really positive impact on the atmosphere at rehearsal and, therefore, the production in general.


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