Author Topic: Miscellaneous: In Need of *YOUR* Opinion!  (Read 2423 times)

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Miscellaneous: In Need of *YOUR* Opinion!
« on: Nov 15, 2006, 12:26 am »
Hey guys,

I am new to this forum and have enjoyed it thus far.

Currently I am working on developing a guide for beginner stage managers for my college because we are having a problem lately with newbies (including me) who have no idea what needs to get done and are really just making it up as we go.

Do any of you have any advice for newbies at stage management that I could add into this book?

Thanks a bunch for all of you help!
« Last Edit: Feb 11, 2008, 01:06 pm by PSMKay »


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Re: In Need of *YOUR* Opinion!
« Reply #1 on: Nov 15, 2006, 10:07 am »
There is so much out there.  I usually start my new stage managers off with chapters from Fazzio's book Stage Management: the professional experience.  There is a lot of good material in other stage management books as well.  This one just happens to fit my methods of working best. A lot of the direction I offer depends upon whether they are just new to stage management or new to all technical theatre.  Lawerence Stern's book has a lot more to offer those with no background in technical theatre. 

Is this book meant to cover all basic aspects and duties of stage management or is it intended to supplement a stage management textbook?  I think that will have a lot of impact on what sort of things you want to include.  If it is a supplement, advice on dealing with extra long tech weeks followed immediately by a weekend run might be useful as well as how to handle a photoshoot with a large cast, what to do when bombarded with questions, how to delegate tasks and to whom at your theatre, how to set utilize your local call board, and any traditions that are unique to your theatre (talk to professors for help identifying these) such as line drills or crew views.



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Re: In Need of *YOUR* Opinion!
« Reply #2 on: Nov 15, 2006, 10:38 am »
Having been in similar shoes not that long ago...

While my college does have a "Student Stage Management Guide," it is essentially a Word document that has all of the text and most of the diagrams you can find in one of the published books on SM - because the Head of Production wrote it. Very helpful (and hey, it's not a cheap book, so the free copy is welcome!!) but 180 pages isn't too welcoming, especially when you've just finished rehearsal, and need to know NOW how to handle a given issue.

Looking back at my first year, I would say that a department cheat sheet would be a great first step - a simple breakdown of who deals with what. A table listing each shop/department head, their email and phone, office/room, and a brief description of what areas they handle. Under department heads, list any assistants. For instance: the costume shop is going to handle building or renting garments; who is the cutter/draper? Who is the stock manager? Who will be on the dresser crew for the show? Is there a person in the shop who deal with anything exclusively - dyeing, renting, etc?

This list would take some time, and probably a good long talk with a production manager or director, to put together, but I imagine it might help.

You could also keep a show journal - document what you've done at the end of each day or week, and include brief notes on whether it was timely, last-minute, etc. I tend to dedicate the last page of my current notepad to "next time I'll do it like this" notes - everything from the layout of the sign-in sheet to snacks for tech to how to call breaks.

Hope this helps - it's wonderful that you are helping to lay a foundation for your classmates and future students. Best of luck.



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Re: In Need of *YOUR* Opinion!
« Reply #3 on: Nov 16, 2006, 12:56 am »
Look at what else is out there for references for stage managers. You will find that they will repeat a lot of stuff in the different books. Look to see what else others have repeated over and over. They will, no doubt, be the most important things. There are already some pretty good resources out there, so maybe making your own might not be the most efficient way. Good luck to you!


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