Author Topic: PM for a devised site-specific piece.  (Read 2614 times)

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javissdaviss

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PM for a devised site-specific piece.
« on: Dec 30, 2013, 08:08 pm »
Hi there,
As part of my degree i have to take part in a 'final performance project' for this i have decided to work with a group of 4 other students/actors on a project.
My role primarily will be the Production Manager for the project.
The performance itself will be almost 100% devised using lots of different techniques in the process.
The 4 actors themselves will be devising the performance, and i assume sharing the role of director equally.
As well as this, the company are looking to make the piece site-specific/sympathetic.
So in terms of my duties there are a few that can be taken from 'straight' theatre and applied here, but obviously given the nature of the rehearsal/devising process and the venue, my role and duties will become blurred at points.
As i mentioned, the 4 actors will be sharing the role of director between them equally, so i'm also myself (rightly or wrongly, i dont know) expecting to take on some sort of quazi-director/producer role in the project, tying together the 4 directors, and overseeing their process trying to make it more productive. Obviously i would expect to have no creative input into the project. Is that getting into dangerous territory?
What is your advice for managing the devising process of a performance? What, if any, should my duties be in this time other than those which would normally be done?
Any advice on working with a company who have joint ownership/director rights over a production?

PSMKay

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Re: PM for a devised site-specific piece.
« Reply #1 on: Dec 30, 2013, 09:24 pm »
Hi!

We've discussed this a few times. You're welcome to get into specifics but here's the beginning of the rabbit hole on our last go around about devised and unscripted theatre.

http://smnetwork.org/forum/stage-management-plays-musicals/devised-theatre-the-how-to/

javissdaviss

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Re: PM for a devised site-specific piece.
« Reply #2 on: Dec 31, 2013, 10:28 am »
Thanks so much for your fast reply!
I've read a few of the previous threads about devised theatre from the forum and they've been quite useful!
My main worry is working with a group with no set director.
As i mentioned in my OP, i understand that the cast of 4 will also be joint-directors of the piece. I'm worried that this could maybe lead to some difficulty for me in taking control of some situations, as in 'straight' theatre you have the director, the SM and then the cast, over whom you have some sort of control and charge.
Do you have any advice on working in this sort of situation?
Where do you think the book should stop in such a production? The ensemble or me?

Maribeth

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Re: PM for a devised site-specific piece.
« Reply #3 on: Dec 31, 2013, 12:44 pm »
I think it's hard for us (as internet strangers) to know what the dynamics of your group project "should" be. It sounds like a very collaborative situation, and it also sounds like there might be non-traditional artistic roles.

I tend to think of things less in terms of being "in control" or "in charge", and more in terms of being a leader of and being responsible to your cast/group. My suggestion would be to sit down with your group at the beginning of the project and talk about how you all envision the collaboration working, and what each of your roles entails. How will group decisions be made? Do you have any limitations (budget, time, venue, etc) that you are working within? How will you as a group best serve your project?

javissdaviss

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Re: PM for a devised site-specific piece.
« Reply #4 on: Jan 02, 2014, 11:09 am »
Thank you both for your input!
I have arranged to have a meeting with the company to discuss what they want from the project,
And as i'll be the only member of the company not expected to have any creative role in the process, what they want and expect from me in my role.
Maribeath's reply actually helped a lot in that aspect, I'll be lending myself and my own set of skills to the company and the project itself to realise what will hopefully be a killer production! And as such, I should think of myself as an enabler for the company rather than as some sort of 'controller'.

javissdaviss

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Duties/organisation Immersive Theatre
« Reply #5 on: Mar 09, 2014, 11:23 am »
I'm working with a cast of three actors for our final graded performance at university, I'm Production Stage Manager on the production.
I'm currently just a bit confused about my role and goals for the future.
The main point of confusion on my part is that the show is going to be completely devised in a 'non-theatre' space (We've found a disused warehouse which we're now using to house the show).
We're in the process of devising the show in the space and i'm just a bit at a loss as to what i should be doing at this point.
I write up 'rehearsal notes' for each rehearsal, although they're not traditional in the sense that there are no scenes or lines to comment on as yet. But other than these notes i'm not completely sure what other paperwork i should be doing.
It's a tricky one because as ever, working in a show in under an educational facility means that production roles aren't really taken to seriously either by staff or cas, and a lot of the rights and responsibilities of a PSM aren't granted to a measly university student!
Any advice on the sorts of regular paperwork/organisation one should be doing in such a situation? (Immersive theatre/devised theatre/site-generic theatre!)

yomanda

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Re: PM for a devised site-specific piece.
« Reply #6 on: Mar 09, 2014, 06:05 pm »

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