Author Topic: PROMPT BOOK: Copying scripts  (Read 10601 times)

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theatrelvr92

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PROMPT BOOK: Copying scripts
« on: Aug 09, 2004, 01:47 pm »
Hello!

I have a stage managing question for you.

I know that you're not legally supposed to make copies of the script for the prompt book but most sm's do it anyways because it's easier to work with. I'm currently working for a theatre company that will not allow the stage manager to copy the script. Do you any have any suggestions on how to take blocking and keep all the tech cues straight in a 5x7 bound book? Where everything has to be erased at the end of the run! What do other stage managers do?

Thanks!
Marta  :lol:
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 10:09 pm by PSMKay »

Debo123

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Copying scripts
« Reply #1 on: Aug 09, 2004, 02:31 pm »
Type it up?

FallenRain

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Copying scripts
« Reply #2 on: Aug 09, 2004, 03:19 pm »
I would find this situation extremely frustrating.  I've very anal about my paperwork and my book and can't stand it when things aren't "pretty" or aren't exactly as I like to have them... I know, I have what we like to call "the problems" :)

Anyways, if they won't let you photocopy the script, see if they'll let you destroy the book.  This would be a very time consuming process but if I were in your situation I would probably pursue this vs. having to keep my prompt book in a 5x7 script.

Decide where you would like to have that 5x7 block of script oriented on the page.  For simplicity, let's just say you'd like it smack dab in the middle.  Grab a stack of white paper and cut out a 4.5x6.5 box in the center.  Take one page of your script and paste it over the hole.  Voila, you can see both sides of your script and you have room to write all around it.  I think you get the point.  If you're working for a place that needs to return the scripts after your production, you of course will not be able to destroy a copy to do this.

I'd probably talk to the producers again to figure out what the concern is here.  What if you suggested that you make 1 photocopy for your book and then gave it to them to destroy after the show closed?  Of course, they'd destroy all records of their production, but maybe they'd go for it.  After all, if they're returning these scripts after the show anyways, they'd need to return your one and only copy of the prompt book.  I've never worked for a theatre that had this kind of restriction and I hope I don't have to anytime in the near future!

Good luck!

loebtmc

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Copying scripts
« Reply #3 on: Aug 09, 2004, 04:09 pm »
that's actually the old way to do scripts, before xeroxing was so prevalent - the SM copy was broken up and pasted in the center of a piece of paper -

either I got two copies and pasted on on a page, period

OR

I had to cut that center hole out and tape the page in the middle, so I had the surrounding area for notes and blocking.

It was a pain in the patoot - but we had no choice -

after all, you need a place to write all those things on the page - in fact, I think that's where I started carrying two scripts - one was the lblocking/ prompt/notes script and the other the one I called from -

these producers are either paranoid for all the wrong reasons or being too cautious for their own good. Cuz either way, you can't work in the rent-and-return script - between all the things you need to write in and what will be far too much erasing afterward, which causes as much destruction to the paper, there is no way that script you in the present or will be useful to anyone else when you're done.

KC-SM

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Copying scripts
« Reply #4 on: Aug 10, 2004, 02:15 am »
Wow, what a restriction!

You have to erase everything at the close of the show?

Scripts are usually given to the theatre with the notes intact - for archival reasons, or if they ever want to remount the show as reference.
                                      -KC-
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ChaCha

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Copying scripts
« Reply #5 on: Aug 10, 2004, 08:59 am »
personally, Id say this is one to fight about with the producer! You can't do the job with those criteria in any sensible way (not  without being unbelievably inefficient  and without it consuming masses  of your time anyway). so either you dont do blocking ?!
or they buy you 2 copies of the script to break up and paste on blank pieces of paper  as decribed here by previous correspondents. Perhaps your employer dosen't  really understand your role/ the role of the prompt copy and will see reason if you explain the problems.
If they say no deal and that that's how their last stage manager did it, then perhaps you should ask to speak to that person and see how they coped.
Good luck!
ChaCha

nmno

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Copying scripts
« Reply #6 on: Aug 10, 2004, 03:26 pm »
I agree with ChaCha; find out how they expect you to do your job under the circumstances (of course, putting it more diplomatically than that).
Also, WHY is it an issue with them?  Have they been burnt in the past?  Can they write to the publisher and ask permission?  I think I remember from Stern's book that some publishers give an exception to stage managers.
Personally, I'm curious, what kind of theatre is it?  Is it a community or professional theatre?

centaura

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realted prompt book question
« Reply #7 on: Aug 27, 2004, 06:53 pm »
Greetings,

I had a related question to the prompt book question in this thread.  For my few years (10) working as a SM, I have always taken for granted the fact that the theatre kept the stage manager's prompt book at the end of a run.  I have also always taken for granted the fact that actors are ignorant of this basic fact of SM life.  I am currently working for a theatre that not only do they not want to keep the prompt book, they are trying to convince me that I'm crazy thinking that that is the standard.  They are a small company suddenly grown big who still think small - they do not really understand what a SM does or how to use one.

So, as I have not worked for a great many different theatres, I was curious.  Is it the standard that prompt books are the theatre's property at the end of a run?  Or are they correct in saying that I'm crazy?

-Centaura

Michael

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Copying scripts
« Reply #8 on: Aug 27, 2004, 07:11 pm »
I've only SMed for a local community college (for almost three years) and in all the reading I've done, it always says the prompt book is the property of the producer. However, the college theatre dept. has always let me keep my prompt books. I guess I'm spoiled; I have a great collection of books from all my shows so far. I'm moving to NYC in February 2005 and I'll just have to get used to not keeping my prompt books anymore.

smejs

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Copying scripts
« Reply #9 on: Aug 27, 2004, 08:48 pm »
I have tons of old prompt scripts from my college days and non-Equity assistant days........but it's an Equity rule (at least in the LORT book) that the production script remains the property of the theatre.

I do of course, keep files of stuff on my computer, so I can "keep" those...but I'm not one who puts the calling cues in my computer

SM_Art

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I've always...
« Reply #10 on: Aug 28, 2004, 12:18 am »
I've always kept copies of my calling script, whther it's the 'original' or acopy thereof.  Most theatres at which I've worked have NOT asked for copies of the script, but when they do, I copy mine and give them the copy.  Usually they only want it for files, and don't care if it's the original or not, and I prefer to keep mine, with all the color coded crap I put in it, rather than a black and white copy.  Nobody's ever complained....

Art

Didaskalos

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Copying scripts
« Reply #11 on: Aug 28, 2004, 11:17 pm »
Write or call the publisher and ask for permission.  If you're doing a musical, MTI and Tams-Witmark are sometimes a little tense about the issue, but I have occasionally secured permission from them as well.   The other major publishing houses WILL allow you to make an SM copy as long as you secure permission from them first.  I recommend making a personal phone call and talking to a human being, just to expedite the matter, and then following it up with a letter if needed.
Do it right the first time;  do it right every time.

MatthewShiner

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copying scripts
« Reply #12 on: Aug 29, 2004, 03:16 am »
geeeeez . . . .

Okay, everytime I have discussed this with publishers, as long as your are buying a copy of the script to photocopy for personal use, then you are fine.  It's bad to buy one copy of a script for 12 people and photocopy, but it has always seemed okay to buy a copy, destory it to photocopy and use to put together one version of the run script.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

Risa Comical

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Re: PROMPT BOOK: Copying scripts
« Reply #13 on: Aug 28, 2010, 08:21 pm »
Ok, so I know this is like 6 years old, but I have a story to tell.  My first time SMing, we didn't get the scores timm about a month before the show, even though we had been in rehersal for months already. Luckily there was no inbetween dialouge, so when recording choreography I just matched the movements to the lyrics of the songs. I got to write my cues in a few days before opening night, and on closeing night of a three day 4 show run, while everyone was taking apart the set, I was erasing cues from my promt book.

So at least with musicals, it's possible to take blocking with no script/score at all. Although it would have been very difficult to call the show if I didn't have it.
It all started with a single question... " Hey, do you wanna stage manage JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT!?" Best decision in my life so far...

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