Author Topic: New to the Industry  (Read 2344 times)

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New to the Industry
« on: Aug 10, 2007, 09:51 pm »
I have always been interested in the performing arts, and recently, our church congregation have decided to write and produce a musical. I was offered the positions of not only the director, but also the playwright and stage manager. I am hoping that any experienced professional stage manager or director can lend a hand in telling me what are the basics of producing a musical and things that I need to watch out for.

I am not a professional of industry and is doing this as a personal interest. This musical will be small and free so I want to produce a low-cost musical. Because our first performance will be at the church, the stage will not be professional. However, I want to learn as much as I can about stage management and production management. We have one year to produce it.

Any suggestions and ideas will be greatly appreciated.


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Re: New to the Industry
« Reply #1 on: Aug 11, 2007, 01:30 am »
Would you assume the role of all three - playwright, director, and SM?  Or would it be one of the three?  It makes a big difference!  :)
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt


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Re: New to the Industry
« Reply #2 on: Aug 11, 2007, 03:40 am »
I would be assuming the role of ALL three. However, there will be another assistant director, ASM and producer working with me. Our resources are limited at the moment so we are taking on more roles.


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Re: New to the Industry
« Reply #3 on: Aug 12, 2007, 11:24 am »
How big is the congregation? I'm assuming a large one if you're able to do a musical using the members of the church. As a precaution, this will take way more time than you're planning on - especially if you're doing all three. If it's a large enough congregation to be able to afford it, I would strongly recommend asking for some form of stipend from the church, even if it's just $200. It will make them appreciate what you're doing a bit more. Some churches even pay their sound techs, and people like being techs at those churches because they're treated properly. At my church, I never got a penny for the countless hours of work I put in around services, and people seemed to think I was essentially slave labor. They'll treat you better and make sure you get what you need if you're getting paid a little bit.

That having been said... at your first meeting with your production team (you, ASM(s?), assistant production managers, etc.) explain to them that even though this is a very informal setting, you do have expectations (at which point you'd lay out your expectations for timeliness, as well as what you expect from each person individually in terms of commitment to the production) and for the sake of your sanity, the sanity of all those involved, and the project itself, that the expectations must be met. Doing all three is a HUGE chunk to bite off, and you're going to need to learn to rely on your assistants and not try to do it all yourself (which is my tendency).

What type of musical will this be? Will you have a full blown orchestra/band, or just be using CD recordings? Is it going to be entirely original (including music) or is it going to be a conglomeration?


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Re: New to the Industry
« Reply #4 on: Aug 16, 2007, 08:58 pm »
While the church is big, our Chinese congregation only has about 150 members, and because we are only producing a musical with the youth group, there is only about 20 of us. Since the last time I was here, I have delegated the role of stage manager to someone else. I am now just the producer and director. We also have a producer/assistant director, and a separate stage manager.

We are not planning to do a big musical as it should go on for about an hour. I am planning to cast multiple roles to each of the actors, because I am planning to include a small choir and a small band (keyboards, drums, guitar and bass). The good thing is that we have the band and choir at hand, so all I need is for people to act.

This musical will be original in concept and plot. I will write the script and dialogue. Because of time constraints, and not having the required talents of songwriting, we are singing already known Christian songs and hymns. We will have CD recordings at some stages of the musical but most of it will be live. Unfortunately, due to language constraints, we are performing this in Chinese only.

We are all doing this for free. But our church is kind enough to provide us with many of the basics that we require. I will also be relying on my assistants to help me with a lot of the different aspects of the musical. I can't wait for our production next year.  ;D


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