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Topics - VilleSM

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The show I just signed on to is at a community theatre in a small town with a surprising number of theatres and drama programs. The Director and Musical Director for my show are co-Directors of a drama program at a local high school, where they are simultaneously working on another show together.

"My" show opens in February, the other one in May. But they're going to be doing double-duty in rehearsals. At the high school most days from 3-6, and our rehearsals starting at 7. And it's at least a 20 minute drive from one rehearsal space to the other... on a good day in non-rush hour traffic. The Executive Director at the theatre was apparently unaware of this arrangement when he hired them (which makes me question HIM a smidge, too, but...)

My question is: How should I prepare myself for issues that will, inevitably, arise from this? There are only so many things that I can do to stall, should something happen where they're delayed getting to our rehearsal. I know I should be ready to have them work on lines, or run scenes, or have the choreographer jump in and start working on something (if she's there). But I'm worried about there being other issues (like their working relationship with each other) and how that affects our show and morale among the company.

This may be an IMPOSSIBLE feat, but our director wants us to try to make non-dairy dips for our production of "The Real Thing." There are three dips total - one "is" mayonnaise-based, one "is" yogurt-based, and the other is unspecified. AND they (at least the first two) have to be edible.

Edited to Add: The third dip gets dumped on an actor's head and should not damage his costume.

Is there any way to accomplish this and make them look good from a house that is just about on top of the stage?

Thanks in advance!

This may seem like a weird problem to have, but what do you do when actors are arriving too early for their call? I appreciate that actors are early, but when they're starting to arrive at the theatre before the SM and ASM, it makes me wonder what our duties are.

Our current call schedule (for an 8pm show) looks like this:

6pm SM/ASM call
6:15 Stage Door Open
6:30 Cast Warm-Up (a Director mandate)
7:00 Fight Call
7:30 House Open
8:00 GO

Now, most days it isn't a huge problem as there is Wardrobe crew, Box Office, or other administrators around to let the cast in. But on matinee days, the SM and I (the ASM) are usually the first people at the theatre, or are arriving at the same time as the Box Office. For example, today I was 15 minutes early for my call (11:45), and there was already an actor waiting at the Stage Door.

It makes everybody on the management team uncomfortable when actors are there before we are, even when we're early. But how do you tell them to wait until Stage Door is supposed to open (which, I believe, is still "early" by Equity standards) without sounding like a giant D-Bag?

I am an experienced SM in an MA program. Before we are allowed to SM for the department, we have to ASM one of their shows. My problem lies in that I have SM'ed 4 full-length shows (2 of which I did professionally), and ASMed about 4 others, but my SM has only ever ASMed one show (at the university). She did not receive proper training as an ASM, and is very unprepared for the job she is now doing. In fact, she is almost clueless.

I feel awkward telling her how I've done things (or things I've learned from other SMs), but her process is tedious and inefficient, and creates a lot of busy work for me and her other ASMs (there are three others, but I'm bearing the brunt of the ASM work, it seems).

How do I help guide her, without making it seem like I'm trying to overstep my duties as ASM? Or do I let it slide and remind myself that it's just a play for our university, and merely another learning opportunity for me?

As interview season is coming up, does anybody have tips for a stage manager who is applying for their first jobs in Summer Stock Theatre? The company I'm looking at working with has 8 shows in 16 weeks, plus 2 shows in the Children's Series and a summer camp. There are two SMs for the season, and each SM has one or two ASMs.

I'm just looking for general tips on how to be working at least two shows at a time.... special organization tips, how to best utilize ASMs, how to expedite the transition from rehearsal spaces to the stage, etc.


Edit added tag to subject line-Rebbe

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