My role as Stage Manager on Decadent Theatre’s 20-venue tour of EDEN is to provide a point of communication between creatives, technical, admin, cast and director. It’s important to have an understanding of both the technical and artistic aspects of a production and to be an organised buttress for the team.
Because it’s live theatre, if things go wrong, don’t panic! Try and fix it because the show must go on!
Being a stage manager is like being an organised, tactful, punctual pack donkey as well as a herder of cats!
Be organised. My prompt book is clearly marked for blocking, prop charting, light and sound cues. The prompt book is the master copy of the script, containing all the actor moves and technical cues. I use it to monitor the performance.
Be punctual. Lead by example.
Be a herder of cats. Cast members tend to wander off from time to time. I follow their scent, round them up, and bring them back to where they are supposed to be.
Be tactful, always.
My First Commandment: Get thy rehearsal and show reports out before noon the next day! I email a show report to the director, actors, technical team, and producer the morning after a performance.
Here’s a show report after a venue on the Eden tour:
Duration: 20:06 – 21:49 (6-minute delay to curtain due to late-comers)
Set: Ronan has the cloth stretched a bit more in this venue – less crinkles/ripples
Costume: no notes
Props: no notes
LX and SQ: Delay cue LX 18 quick fix
Rig very low in this venue, Rae, Ronan and Sarah to rendezvous in venue 17:30 to look at upstage lighting, which seemed slightly darker during performance, we may also have to be very specific about actor spots.
Performance: The audience were radiating much energy and enjoyment and both Pat and Maeve were able to garner that enthusiasm and gave a powerful performance.
General: Approximately 100 audience in attendance.
Audience really enjoyed the performance.
4 mobile phones went off (3 notifications and 1 ring).