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Topics - chrrl

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The Hardline / Prompt Script Etiquette
« on: Oct 17, 2010, 06:20 pm »
I am working on a new musical that is about to close at the end of next week.  The plan is for the musical to be remounted off-Broadway sometime next year with everything from this show (sans staff) going with it.

My prompt script is functional for me to call and maintain the show, but it is a little bit of a mess.  Changes were made up to opening night and the last few days of it we stopped getting an updated script (blocking also changed and I haven't had the means to be able to update it).  It has also been an absolutely insane process, so I feel as long as my cues are written neatly and clearly and the show can be called consistently from it I'm okay.

According to Equity rules, the prompt script is the property of the theatre, cool, but it also states that "No Stage Manager or ASM will be required to prepare any additional production script or book for publication or archival purposes or for use in any other production of the play or musical, (and) In the event the the Theatre does request a SM or ASM to prepare an additional script or alter the script for any of the above purposes, the SM or ASM may agree provided that he is paid no less than $350 for each such preparation.

My question is, should I take the time this week to update and clean up my prompt script for travel as a good Stage Manager, or am I screwing myself and other Stage Managers by doing this without additional pay? 

I Stage Manage full-time for an Equity theatre company in Ohio and our first show of next season is a new musical that is going to rehearse in New York City.  The show has been workshopped there a couple of times and the cast, director, and designers are out of New York so my company is sending me and my assistant there to rehearse it before we bring it back to Ohio for tech and performances.  It will probably go back to New York for an off-Broadway run from here (without me, though).  I'll have a week of prepro there and 3 weeks of rehearsals and the producers will put my assistant and I up in housing yet to be determined (my assistant is the Stage Management apprentice for the full season who I just hired and who will have only started the week before we leave, so that will be an adventure as well...)

I'm excited of course, but there is a lot that I still need to work out.  I'll be in New York starting the last week of August and if anyone has any advice for me I'd appreciate it!
Some things I'm wondering about...

*Is anyone doing a show in New York the last week of August that I can come shadow?  Or want to meet up for drinks?
*I think I need to negotiate a per diem and haven't done this before -- any tips?
*I have a fantastic support system at my company here that I will be doing without in rehearsals for this show and I'm a little nervous about that.  Has anyone else been in a similar situation before? 
*Any tips on finding/borrowing/creating rehearsal props in NYC?

I'm sure I'll have lots more questions, I just haven't had much time to think about this yet.  Any thoughts you have would be most appreciated!

Thanks :)

My official title at my theatre company is Company Stage Manager.  It's kind of an arbitrary term, but I am the resident Stage Manager, oversee the Stage Management fellow, coordinate any guest stage managers, and take care of a lot of other company business besides(I'm employed year-round even though we only produce September-June.)  My boss and I have talked about changing my title to Production Stage Manager to be more industry standard.  Does anyone have an opinion about what the appropriate job title would be and how to make those distinctions?

In addition to Stage Managing at my Theatre company I also do some administrative duties, including lobby displays.  We are trying to come up with new lobby signage that is friendly and fun for our patrons, but gets them some live theatre ettiquette at the same time (i.e., don't talk during the show, late seating can't be accomodated, it's really rude to text during a show, actors are using the aisles so please keep them clear, if you leave the theatre you may not be able to reenter, no pictures, etc...).  

Many in our audiences don't seem to know the ettiquette involved in seeing live theatre (it's a big sports town), but we don't want to patronize and lecture them either.  We make announcements in a curtain speech, but want something in the lobby for those that need a visual (and those that got locked out because we can't do late seating...)  We'd like to do something with a bit of a sense of humor.  What do your theatres do?  Or do people just know how to behave other places?

I'm the Company Stage Manager at a small Equity Theatre company and I was asked by the Artistic Director to give a presentation to our board of directors at their next meeting.  I'm supposed to explain what a Stage Manager does, and then talk about why I'm excited for our upcoming production.  I always have difficulty explaining what I do - and this is a tough audience (a mix of people who know nothing about theatre, people who think they know a lot, and my bosses who do - and they're also the group of people that keep me employed).  I need to keep it interesting and fairly brief.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

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