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Feb 21, 2008, 11:54 am
I am a Stage Manger at Wayne State University and I am doing the last Bonstelle show of the year. I have an outside Director from New York who actually graduated from the undergraduate department here at WSU in 1982.
With my weekly, there is a lot of detail and I'm not sure if it's too long. It is two pages but I am afraid to make it smaller or breaking it down too small, would be confusing. Normally, weeklies are one page and I just don't want to be different but maybe different is okay?

Please let me know what you think!


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Feb 21, 2008, 01:00 pm
I think you'd be better off making it smaller but that's just me.  I don't think they have to be one 1 page but I also don't think you need the title and heading to be so large.  You could also expand your margins to the sides making it fit better.  And personally, I prefer 11pt Font for things like that to make it fit better.  And I also use actor's real names (generally First initial and then the Last name) as opposed to character names but that could be from experience with Chorus musicals where actors don't have a character name.  That way you're not bouncing back and forth between Character names and Actor names.

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Feb 21, 2008, 01:09 pm
My weeklys were long like that too, but only because the director wanted multiple rehearsals so they ended up being 2 soemtiems 3 pages.  But it was smaller font.    But I agree that the heading doesn't need to be so big. 

Museum Week 3 Working Copy 2-13.xls
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Mar 17, 2008, 11:04 pm
I agree with the formatting suggestions, but I also think that your schedules need to be as long as they need to be. I try to keep my schedules to one page, but sometimes that's not an option for whatever reason: too large a cast, too much material covered, etc.

Never heard them called weeklies before.  :)

Maybe it's the format that needs to change, not the information you're including?

I've attached one of my 'weeklies' below, just a working copy and not the final distributed version, but not much is different. This was for 8 10-minute musicals featuring 10 actors, so a huge scheduling mess. I used to do this in Word, but recently started using Google Docs as well as emailing and printing, and Excel uploads much better, so I'm trying to make the switch.

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Jul 25, 2009, 12:41 am
Yes I agree.. I make mine as long as needed.

Here is the format I am using currently on THE FULL MONTY.

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Jul 25, 2009, 10:12 am
(love THE FULL MONTY) - I agree w all notes above, they need to be as long as they need to be, tho I too format slightly smaller - but also concur that (as w johnmurdock) I use character rather than real names for schedule other than ensemble/chorus (last name first initial). Too many folks w the same names - and it's easier for actors and director to remember what they're doing w the character names (oh yeah, it's the scene where we .....) - and it makes life easier before we know everyone's names.

I usually give everyone a master overall calendar (1-2 pages), but post the weekly rehearsal sched (listed as most above have, wiht everything we hope to get to by Sunday) in smaller fonts, and a one-page today/tomorrow rehearsal sched in large easy-to-read font (gives us a goal for the week, and reality for the day).

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Jul 25, 2009, 10:52 am
Um, Weekly schedules?

I have never done any such thing in my 20 years of stage management . . . how/why/who I am baffled by this.  Under what circumstances does one plan the week in advance in such detail?

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Jul 25, 2009, 12:03 pm
I agree w/ the formatting suggestions (smaller font/smaller heading). I use character names, too. I've actually gotten entire month-long schedules distributed at first rehearsal (a director I've worked with "names" the French scenes--in addition to page numbers--that help us all quickly recognize what the scene is---so I use her format now).  This distribution of the whole schedule depends on your director's method of rehearsing. I use excel and try to get it down to 1-2 pages.  Changes are posted and distributed as they arise.

  Under what circumstances does one plan the week in advance in such detail?

When I have a show with a meduim to large size cast where not everyone is needed for all the scenes, prescheduling and calling cast as needed for a scene is so much better for the actors that are "working"---less chit-chat from waiting actors.  In a recent show with minor-age actors that were in one 10 minute scene, the director got them in---rehearsed--and got them out. Pre-scheduling them helped keep them focused and parents were happy to have them released on time.  When I have shows w/ chorus (especially operas), working principles and chorus separate and then together (later in run throughs) really cuts down on distractions for everyone. Scheduling specific times within the nightly/daily rehearsal lets actors plan their lives around rehearsals they're not needed at.

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Jul 25, 2009, 01:31 pm
I have to go with Matthew on this one . . . I've been given a detailed schedule before by a director, but I never would publish something like that.  If the schedule changes, which it will, singers will default to the calendar they were originally given and work time will be lost.  If it's working for you, as always I think it's great, but I've never been able to give out a rehearsal schedule that was adhered to be the director more than a day in advance . . .and even at that it's a toss up.

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Jul 25, 2009, 03:43 pm
the weekly sched is director by director, I think - before a few years ago I never posted more than a master calendar and a today/tomorrow, altho the director always told me what he or she intended to accomplish by the end of a given work week. But recently I have been working w several different directors on (as noted) large shows where they felt it helped the cast (esp those in fewer scenes) to see where we were headed by the time we got to them - still, agree that my weekly paperwork has tied to directors who work that way - with most other folks (which was up until abt 5 years ago), posting/working out weekly schedules that were given to the cast were pretty useless cuz schedules/rehearsal needs change too fast to do more than day-to-day work -

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Jul 25, 2009, 06:56 pm
I worked on shows before that had a very large cast and most of the time the majority of the cast would be sitting around waiting. The longer I worked with the director I was about to eventually get her to sit down with me and we would work out a schedule for the dates that we would work on different scenes. I would hand it out the cast at the first rehearsal and put a disclaimer on it as well as said in person that it was subject to change and that they should be prepared to come in.
I worked much better that way and the cast was much happier and always willing to come in when called because they knew we weren't wasting their time.

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Jul 26, 2009, 02:15 pm


I have to go with Matthew on this one . . . I've been given a detailed schedule before by a director, but I never would publish something like that.

Now I'm curious to what you guys put on your schedules. What is considered too much to be published? My days usually consist of something like "Block pgs. 45-70 7:30pm-add character 8:30-add character, etc."
The director for the last show I SMed only gave me the schedule on a weekly basis because we had 7 weeks, much more than the norm. Our weekly day off was Saturday. She gave me the next week's schedule on Friday (usually handwritten on a napkin :)  gotta' love her!) and Saturday I would send the cast a modified/much easier to read version. So I guess I gave my cast "weeklies"  also... this is interesting!

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Jul 26, 2009, 03:29 pm
While there is always a desire to know exactly what's going to be rehearsed weeks in advance (which sometimes you can predict that the chorus/dancers will be called on certain days/times due to AGMA regulations, as well as days off), what exactly is being rehearsed, in my experience, cannot be published more than a day in advance.  So although we may have weekly schedules that set aside blocks of time for rehearsal, what is actually being worked during those blocks of time I publish the day before after approval from the director, and it's recorded on a rehearsal hotline and/or I give calls to singers when they leave, or personally call them to let them know what the next day's schedule is . . and publish the next day's schedule and post it on the call board. 

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Jul 26, 2009, 03:34 pm


Interesting. Thanks for sharing!