Author Topic: Talking to a group of campers about stage management  (Read 3112 times)

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Aerial

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Talking to a group of campers about stage management
« on: Aug 09, 2007, 02:05 pm »
Next week and the following, I have to go speak to a group of campers at a theatre camp that our local touring house hosts every summer about stage management.  These kids range in age from 8-18, are predominately girls, and are there to perform. Most have no idea what a stage manager does. I talk to each group for 15-30 minutes.  I did it last year, and sort of plowed through it, but I would love to know if anyone has any ideas on how to make what we do seem more interesting to these kids.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

PSMAK

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Re: Talking to a group of campers about stage management
« Reply #1 on: Aug 09, 2007, 06:50 pm »
I suggest bringing some props with you. Meaning a production book they could see, maybe if the theatre you work for will allow you to borrow a headset, your kit. Visual aids usually work will with kids.  And start from the moment you get hired to when you have to move on to a new job, step-by-step (in the time alloted).

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loebtmc

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Re: Talking to a group of campers about stage management
« Reply #2 on: Aug 09, 2007, 08:38 pm »
I am a huge fan of interactive classes wherever possible - altho of course it all depends on the ages of the kids. I have had great success with bringing script pages from the shows they will be seeing and/or working on (as actors or as techies) and asking them to pull out the SM-related stuff: Props, costumes, set pieces, gags, etc - what does an SM need to know abt, be aware of. Now, mind you, I selected script sections that were heavy on at least one or two aspects of production, but it was great to see them challenge themselves to look at a script and try to read it the way we have to.

And of course, we spent something like 30 minutes on "I'm sorry, I made a mistake and it will never happen again" - finally I had them try to write down blocking, which was a real challenge to kids who don't know how to focus on many things at once and still write down where who went.

Aerial

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Re: Talking to a group of campers about stage management
« Reply #3 on: Aug 15, 2007, 07:31 pm »
Thanks for all the advice.  I had my first day of it today (4 groups in 1 hour).  There were two high school age groups and 2 middle school age groups. I talked through the process from pre-production through performance, then had them ask questions. This kept the 2 high school groups occupied for the whole time...they got it a little more.  With the 2 middle school groups, I played a script analysis game that I'd worked out.  I had 6 of them read 4 pages the "sad Crachit" scene from Christmas Carol (including stage directions) aloud, and I had another 5 hold up signs I had made, whenever they heard something that sounded like it fell into their category (props, sound, lights, scenery, costumes).  With one group, the game went really well, with the other, not as much(but it still took up the time...). 

I didn't have my kit with me today, because I forgot to bring it home from the theatre last night, but I'm planning to take it with me next week.

Rhynn

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Re: Talking to a group of campers about stage management
« Reply #4 on: Nov 11, 2007, 10:10 pm »
I'd use these girls who are here to "perform" to come up and perform a few pages while you call cues.  If you can get some help and are in a performance space, have lights and sound and deck respond as you call, so the girls will see the lights change, the sound come one, the scene change happen as it is called.  Then you can take a volunteer and see if she can call the cues.
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