Author Topic: SCHEDULING: How do you allocate shows?  (Read 1902 times)

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SCHEDULING: How do you allocate shows?
« on: Aug 24, 2010, 02:14 am »
This really only applies to those who work full-time with one company, as I do.  We have two spaces and 3 SMs, occasionally augmented with casuals for kids' school holiday shows or when someone is on leave, and yesterday one of the other SMs and I sat down with the production manager to sort out scheduling for next year, now that the season is almost completely locked down.

It struck me as we were doing this that we somehow manage to be very relaxed about it, yet everyone seems to get almost all that they want very amicably.  We have one "fixed point" in the year which is that I do the musical, and take it from there; some of it is logical in that you can't do show B if you're on show A, but other than that it's all worked out by discussion and agreement.  How do others do it?  Does your head stage manager or production manager simply decide who is doing what, or do you get a say in the shows that you'd like (or not like!) to stage manage?

Mac Calder

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Re: SCHEDULING: How do you allocate shows?
« Reply #1 on: Aug 24, 2010, 11:26 am »
For the short time I spent as a resident SM, we structured things like the attached image - Basically we would all trade on and off as SM and DSM - it meant there were two stage managers when it came to tech rehearsals, and the DSM had the time to do a lot of additional running around and filling out of paperwork etc (as well as acting as a safety net). It also meant that we each touched 2/3rds of the shows that went through the venue.

We had a short rehearsal period (4 weeks) with a 3 week show length and a week to tech. At the start of the season, we would sit with the AD and a list of the shows in the season and a copy of each script in an "allocations meeting". The AD would also have a blurb from the shows director about their "vision" - how technical it was, which resident actors they wanted etc etc etc. We would sit and plan the season so that if anyone was passionate in wanting to do a particular show (or not wanting to do a particular show) we could order the shows to that effect, as I was the most technical of our small group, I generally got the shows to DSM with a number of technical difficulties etc. AD had the final call though and would often have some vision for how the season would progress and would veto our ordering of the season if necessary. We were all good friends though so we kept it generally friendly.