Author Topic: REPORTS: Performance Reports Excerpted or Made Public  (Read 5303 times)

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klcurrie

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I'm curious to know what others think of this situation.  When working on a comedy which had a post show discussion about writing and performing in comedies, the moderator pulled the paragraph from one of the performance reports about audience reaction and read it word for word.  (the audience reaction information being something that the artistic director requests be included in the reports).  I have since discovered that in the past members of the staff have made performance reports public to others, saying that they had the "right" to do so.  It has always been my belief that these are internal documents used to relay information to the staff and production team of the show and in the case of say a multiuse facility, those that needed information to fix any problems that have arisen.  How do others feel about this information being made public and how would you address the issues with a staff which believes they have the right to distribute the reports at will?


Edit added label to subject line-Rebbe
« Last Edit: Dec 17, 2009, 12:21 am by Rebbe »

theatreannie

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Re: Performance Reports Excerpted or Made Public
« Reply #1 on: Nov 22, 2009, 10:08 pm »
My gut reaction is that it would make me feel a bit uncomfortable, even though I never put anything in a report that couldn't be shared. 

Aerial

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Re: Performance Reports Excerpted or Made Public
« Reply #2 on: Nov 22, 2009, 10:27 pm »
At the theatre I work at primarily, it is understood that performance reports are internal documents.  That said, I still keep an eye on how I phrase things, keeping it all professional (if in a playful tone sometimes) because "internal" can be a broad range.  We've had issues with staff who receive the reports oversharing with staff who do not (like a marketing person saying to an actor "I saw you were late again").  When these issues come up, it usually results in a conversation with the production manager who ends up severely limiting the distribution list for a while.  My production manager has little tolerance for show documents becoming fodder for gossip, especially among departments who only rarely are mentioned in the performance report.  Its an interesting line because while as a stage manager I need to be able to document things like lateness and illness, etc., it can become a bit of a hassle to remember who is on the distribution list, and who needs to be specially included if something in their department comes up.  Right now, we have a fairly broad list because we haven't had an issue in a while. 

missliz

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Re: Performance Reports Excerpted or Made Public
« Reply #3 on: Nov 23, 2009, 11:08 am »
I suppose I'm the opposite- I just assume a lot of people will be reading the report and try to keep it pretty neutral and gossip-free. I've been in situations where one of the actors was also the props person/TD/choreographer and therefore received reports as well. If something came up that wasn't appropriate to share with the group, I send personal emails about it, or just schedule a time to talk. Just seems easier.


That all said, I'm surprised they read from your report without telling you first. That'd bother me.
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

nmno

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Re: Performance Reports Excerpted or Made Public
« Reply #4 on: Nov 23, 2009, 01:49 pm »
I think my future reports would simply read "Good show". 

I too view my reports as internal documents and would be irritated.  Who are these moderators?  Is it the artistic director?  I'd go to my Production Manager to discuss the issue. 

If it continues to be a problem, a possible solution is to do 2 performance reports...  1 that gets sent out to the large distribution list with the "just the facts" information and then a 2nd "private" report to the AD, MD, show director, etc that has the more subjective notes.  It's a little extra work, but this way the AD gets the information they want/need/have a right to, without the literary department intern knowing your take on last night's performance.

Mac Calder

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Re: Performance Reports Excerpted or Made Public
« Reply #5 on: Nov 23, 2009, 01:53 pm »
I have always been of the belief that show reports are internal documents, and quite confidential - because a show report is a log of everything that was abnormal that show - ie that a staff member came to work slightly inebriated etc - things which may result in a warning being given or even dismissal - these are things that have to be in the report, to cover your own backside, but it is something that I don't want every member of the production team to know. So normally I would send a copy to the director and the producer, with individual notes being distributed to the relevent departments.

-Mac

MatthewShiner

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Re: Performance Reports Excerpted or Made Public
« Reply #6 on: Nov 23, 2009, 02:08 pm »
I think any document that I e-mail out is a public document, and could easily be forwarded.  (Look at all of us quoting one-liners from performance reports in other threads).  Ultimately, yes, it would be nice to think that which is report is considered confidential, and kept in house - but the reality is once you send it out, you have no control over the information.

I think it is important to check with your production manager on how the organization views the document.  At my organization, we have a fairly large distribution list for both rehearsal/production reports and performance reports.  I have to be very careful in what information I put in the report. 

If there is confidential information - I will note - there is a HR issue to be discussed, but then keep that information out.  With the new medical laws, I have been very conscious to note things like "personal health concern" or "work health concern" in the report, rather then go into details of someone's medical condition.

Given my position at the theatre, I do remind the staff of the theatre that the information in the report is considered in house and confidential.  (For example, I had someone from marketing joke with an actor about a missed entrance that was noted in the report . . . bad form, bad form.) 

If you have major concerns, putting something in the header of the report - this information considered confidential, and is for internal use only maybe a nice reminder to those reading, this is not to be made public.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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.

babens

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Re: Performance Reports Excerpted or Made Public
« Reply #7 on: Nov 23, 2009, 10:47 pm »
I had a situation a few years ago where I found out that some of my paperwork and reports were being used during the school year in the stage management class of the university the summer theatre I had worked at was affiliated with.  However, I found out that the reports were altered because the production manager who was teaching the SM class needed a "bad" example (specifically, he removed any parts where I thanked people for taking care of notes, etc to make it look like I was rude and demanding to the various department heads and crews).  Luckily, my sound designer/board op was in the class and called him out on it when she noticed that one of the thank you's in response to something she had personally taken care of had been eliminated.

Since then I have always sent out reports in a non-editable PDF file.  I know somebody could still cut and paste them into a Word document if they really wanted to try to trash my reputation, but it gives me a small measure of relief to know that there would be a slightly more solid paper trail if I ever had to contest something like that.

Maribeth

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Re: Performance Reports Excerpted or Made Public
« Reply #8 on: Nov 24, 2009, 04:31 pm »
I had an artistic director quote my performance report in the theatre's blog. It upset me- I don't write anything that I would be embarrassed about having been made public, but I think that performance reports should be in-house documents and not for public consumption, and I also think it would have been appropriate to ask me before including me in the blog. What was quoted wasn't gossip but it was being used to market the show in a way that misrepresented the audience response. (The show wasn't very successful, but he quoted my "audience response summary" which, for one performance, was very positive). Ultimately, I think I let it go, though I spoke with the production manager about it.

After it happened, my audience response notes became more matter of fact- he can do what he wants with the blog, there's no rule against putting report info on it. The only thing I decided I can do is to limit what "descriptive" information I put in it- this theatre views the nature of the reports in a much different way than I do, and doesn't seem to consider them internal documents.

ericjames

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Re: Performance Reports Excerpted or Made Public
« Reply #9 on: Nov 26, 2009, 11:49 pm »
I have always considered the reports confidential, however, I had a reality check a few years ago.  I was stage managing a relatively large musical at a summer stock theatre.  After a performance, my ASM came up to me and said that she believed one of the musicians was intoxicated during the show.  I know that the musician was late to call because he came from a wedding, so the possibility was definitely there.  I talked to the MD about it, and the MD said he was not sure but also agreed it was possible.   There was not any noticeable problems during the performance, but I felt it was something that needed to be noted.  (if for nothing else in the event of future problems).    I put in the report that there was suspicions of the musician being intoxicated, but also that there were no problems.     A couple days later, I get called in the AD/ Producer's office.  He very politely suggested that things of that nature should not be included in reports but rather emailed to the producer exclusively.  Apparently, our TD had read the note and was talking to some locals who happened to be friends with the musician.  Of course the TD shared the note from the report and there was some unhappiness as a result. 

I still consider the reports private, but I have also realized that if something is really sensitive information, sometimes you need to send out a separate email to only the concerned parties. 


deletedoldnotanymore

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Re: Performance Reports Excerpted or Made Public
« Reply #10 on: Nov 27, 2009, 12:05 pm »
How do you guys feel about actors releasing information, though not taken from a performance report, that would be in there?  For example, the actress playing Mother in the current Ragtime revival made a Twitter post about the baby doll breaking on stage.

babens

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Re: Performance Reports Excerpted or Made Public
« Reply #11 on: Nov 28, 2009, 11:17 am »
"I still consider the reports private, but I have also realized that if something is really sensitive information, sometimes you need to send out a separate email to only the concerned parties."

I have done that in the past, most notably while I was in grad school.  I had an actor who had a problem with tardiness.  Eventually the acting faculty confronted him about it and he came after me before a performance because he felt like I had stabbed him in the back or something along those lines.  I explained to him that I put the information in the report and if the faculty notices a pattern and chooses to act on it that is their choice and was not influenced by anything I said.  He chose not to believe me and became verbally, and close to physically, abusive since he felt like he wasn't being treated fairly since other people had also been late on occasion.  That evening my report simply stated that there was a problem with one of the actors and that a separate report would be sent out to those parties who needed to be appraised of the situation (i.e. the acting faculty and head of the department, not the student designers or other staff members who also got the reports).

planetmike

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Re: Performance Reports Excerpted or Made Public
« Reply #12 on: Nov 28, 2009, 11:25 am »
How do you guys feel about actors releasing information, though not taken from a performance report, that would be in there?  For example, the actress playing Mother in the current Ragtime revival made a Twitter post about the baby doll breaking on stage.

I don't have a problem with things like that. Stuff happens, the audience saw that happen, so it's not like it's a secret.

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