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Stage Managing at Theatre VCU “Keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.� -Rudyard Kipling

Introduction What is a stage manager?

Hard to define, and even harder to explain to relatives, stage management is a career that encompasses innumerable responsibilities. So, what exactly does an SM do? And what makes a good SM good? “Stage managers are calm, meticulous optimists who, through supportive and quickthinking flexibility, are able to create a pleasant working environment by supplying creature comforts and preparing the space for rehearsals or performance. They achieve this by informing and updating people on all scheduling, patiently resolving or arbitrating conflict, and keeping track of many things at once. Technical knowledge combined with open, honest communication helps the stage manager adapt quickly to new situations, handle unexpected problems, resulting in the accurate cueing of a show and a creative diplomatic approach to establishing and maintaining artistic integrity.” -Thomas A. Kelly A good stage manager finds as many ways as possible to make the production process simple and enjoyable. A good stage manager is a great communicator – able to express him/herself clearly while stressing things of vital importance. (As Tom Kelly says, “communication is as vital a part of stage managing as memorization is to acting.”) A good stage manager is organized, detailed, positive, punctual, focused, centered, confident, and observant. Stage managers are people who can juggle many tasks at once, follow through and make on-the-spot decisions. You will find that most successful stage manager possess a love for working with people, coupled with understanding and compassion, as well as arbitration and delegation skills, and above all an undying passion for everything connected with the theatre.


Section I: General Information


Names to Remember See website for current listings Faculty: Chair Assistant Chair Director of Administration Grad Studies Acting / Directing Movement, Choreography Stage Management Costume Design Head of Design Acting Acting / Directing Head of Performance Lighting Design Technical Director

David Leong Stage Combat Aaron Anderson Voice and Movement Bonnie McCoy

Noreen Barnes Barry Bell Patti D’Beck Acting and Directing Movement and Choreography Amy Hutton Stage Management, Theatre History Toni-Leslie James Costume / Make-up Ron Keller Scenic Design Lorri Lindberg Acting Tawnya Pettiford-Wates Acting and Directing Janet Rodgers Voice and Speech Lou Szari Lighting Design Alan Williamson Stagecraft

Michelle Anderson Glynn Brannan

Kevin McGranahan

Neno Russell

Staff: Fiscal Technician Director of PR/ Graphic Design Facilities Manager/ Scene Shop Foreman Costume Shop Supervisor Administrative Assistant

Mara Smith

Costume Construction

Adjunct Faculty Sound Design Vector Works Drawing/Color Theory Acting Makeup Design Props Scene Painting

John Anderson Brian Barker Glynn Brannan Josh Chenard Maura Cravey Susan Bradshaw Adam Dorland


Departmental Policies and Procedures KEYS One set of keys is assembled for the mainstage stage managers to share. These are checked out at the beginning of the semester by Kevin McGranahan and are the sole responsibility of the Production Stage Managers. They must be returned promptly at the close of the second show of the semester. There are codes to a few rooms in PAC and Shafer. If you do not already know the combination to the Stage Management Office, ask another SM major or one of the Office Staff. See Ron Keller for the current combination to the Shafer Paint Studio or Shafer Design Lab. MAIL Stage managers have two mailboxes. The first set of boxes is outside the Stage Management office. Those boxes can be labeled for use each semester. The second set of boxes is on the show callboard. Here you will find all the production staff boxes. Please check these boxes daily. COPY MACHINE The copy machine is located in the main office. You may only use this if you are working on a Theatre VCU mainstage production. The copy machine may be used for production work only. If you need copies, be sure to ask the person working in the main office before you use the copier. Office hours are 8:30am – 4:30pm. FAX MACHINE The fax machine is located in the main office next to the copy machine. The number of the fax machine is (804) 828-6741. The directions for using the machine are located above the machine. PHONES We have a phone with voicemail in the stage management office. The phone number is (804) 827-3998. This phone is for production work only and should not be used for personal phone calls. Please limit long distance calls, as we are charged by the minute. This phone line should be used for your production rehearsal hotline, which is how your actors receive the daily calls for the upcoming rehearsal. Instructions on how to record the daily rehearsal memo are located on the wall above the phone.


ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES Should an actor, crew, or staff member hurt himself or herself during rehearsal or performance, it is very important that you complete this report. This paperwork helps protect both the theatre and the injured party from legal problems later. On the day of the injury the accident report should be filled out and given to the Director of Administration. If someone needs to go to the hospital, assign a staff member to drive him or her to the hospital, unless an ambulance is required. Regardless of the injured persons insistence that they are ok, if a serious injury occurs, be certain to send the person to the hospital. The hospital of choice is MCV Hospital located at 410 N. 12th St. The emergency room is open 24 hours a day. The phone number is (804) 828-9000. For further instructions on emergency procedures, refer to Section III. MEETINGS The production meetings for short shows may occur every week; however, most shows hold production meetings every other week. The PSM should coordinate these meetings with Ron Keller, Amy Hutton, and the director at the start of the semester. Make sure that you check with the Facilities Manager for space availability for your production meeting. B-53 is already reserved on Friday mornings at 9am and 10am for production meeting use. Once in technical rehearsals, production meetings will be held following every rehearsal in the house of the theatre. PARKING Parking at VCU is difficult. You can find one or two hour parking or metered parking around the streets or you may use a parking deck. The Broad Street Parking Deck is located at 1111 W. Broad St, on top of the university bookstore. Parking is available via parking pass or at a daily rate (cash only). The one to two hour parking is located around Harrison Avenue, Park Avenue, Grove Avenue, West Avenue, etc. Be aware that the parking enforcers are relentless and tickets are very expensive. The metered parking is on West Franklin Street. Free parking is located a half mile into the Fan.


RESERVING A REHEARSAL SPACE You must reserve a rehearsal space through the Facilities Manager by filling out a rehearsal space request form, available in the Student Lounge. Requests are filled on a first come, first serve basis with classes and mainstage productions taking precedence. Rehearsal space doubles as a class space, so clean up is essential and includes returning all props and furniture. On-stage rehearsal may be available on a limited basis if you check with the Technical Director on the day stage rehearsal is requested. Props closets can be accessed through the Facilities Manager (keys are on the SM key ring). PAC PLANS Basement – dressing rooms, actor studios, movement studio, costume shop, stage management office, classrooms First floor – box office, business office, scene shop, Hodges Theater, main lobby Second floor – main office, student lounge, mail room, light booth, sound studio SHAFER STREET PLAN First floor – Newdick Theatre, box office, paint room Second floor – classrooms, make-up room, booth, women’s bathroom, and graduate student offices Third floor – directing studio, library, design studio, men’s bathroom SUPPLIES Office supplies are available in the stage management office for each SM team during a show. Supply lists should be given to Amy Hutton at the end of each semester, so supplies can be replenished for the next semester. Medical supplies include first aid kits in the scene shop, stage management office, and costume shop.


COMPUTERS Two computers with internet access are available for SM use in the production office. A backup disk should be kept for each show. Black disks are available in the stage management office. A laptop may be checked out for production use from Amy Hutton. The University is not responsible for any damage incurred to student’s personal laptops if they choose to sue them for productions. A printer is available for use in the stage management office. It and the computers are only for production related work only. EMAIL Stage Managers are required to check their VCU e-mail at least twice a day. FILING SYSTEM Each mainstage show of the season has a drawer in the filing cabinet located in the Stage Management office. UNIVERSITY POLICIES If classes are cancelled for a day due to weather, it is your responsibility to find out possible rehearsal changes and to notify all that are involved with rehearsal. If the university closes, rehearsals must be cancelled. The number to check on classes during weather conditions is (804) 278-1727 or via the VCU Alert page. Smoking is not permitted in the building and should be done outside and away from the entrances to the Performing Arts Center and Shafer Street Theatre. For further policies, please see the Undergraduate Student Handbook. PORTFOLIO REVIEWS At the end of each semester, all design/tech majors, including stage management, are required to have a portfolio review for work during that semester. Stage managers usually present their production books, design projects, and an updated resume to the faculty. A sheet with career goals, strengths and weaknesses should be presented. Bring extra copies of your resume. The first review in December is private with the student and the full design/tech faculty. The portfolio review in May is a public display with tables. At this review, seniors should present their best work of all four years. All other students should display work from the current semester only. At each review, you should be prepared to answer questions. It is also important to dress in business, interview attire.


Section II: Production


Pre-Production PRE-AUDITIONS Auditions for the fall semester shows are typically held during the last few weeks of the Spring Semester of the previous year. Performance Majors are required to perform in a department wide audition for the faculty. First Year students are not allowed to perform in a Mainstage show during the Fall Semester. Auditions for the Spring Semester shows are held in the fall. Each Production Stage Manager should schedule a meeting with his/her director to discuss how he/she would like the auditions run. Typically, a “cattle call� audition will be held first for both shows and will be followed by callbacks for the individual shows. Actors will be asked to prepare a monologue and possible a piece of music or movement for the cattle call and usually will be asked to read from the script during the callback. Additional music and movement work may be required for the callback. Both Stage Management teams should confirm the times of the audition and callbacks. Space request forms must be turned in for the audition and callback spaces. The cattle call is generally held in Hodges Theatre and callbacks are held either in Hodges or in PAC B72. Auditions may need to be held in other spaces due to the availability of Hodges Theatre if it is being used either during or immediately following a Mainstage show. Other spaces available for auditions are the Richard Newdick Theatre any of the rooms in the Shafer Street Playhouse and, in extreme cases, the sanctuary of the church used by the Music Department. Announcements about the auditions and the cattle call sign up sheet will be posted on the departmental callboard in the lounge (PAC-272) by Amy Hutton and/or Glynn Brannan. The announcement should include: 1. A list of times for the actors to sign-up to audition (with adequate breaks for the directors) 2. What they are expected to perform at the audition (for example: a thirty second comedic monologue, a thirty second dramatic monologue, and a thirty second music piece). 3. How many copies of their resumes and headshots they should bring. 4. When the callback list will be posted and when and where the callbacks will be held. Auditions that require singing, dancing, or movement may also require a piano, keyboard, or boom box. If using one of the school pianos, it may need to be moved and/or tuned (check with the Main Office if this needs to be done). An extension cord may be needed for both the keyboard and the boom box. Generally one chair is needed during the cattle call auditions, but additional props and furniture may be needed for callbacks. Check with the director and make sure that any furniture is returned to where it was taken from immediately following the audition process. Audition forms need to be created that incorporate any information that is special to the shows that are being cast. Sections about music training and background may be needed, for example. It is important to include a clause that must be signed stating that the actor is not allowed to cut, dye, or style his hair without permission from the costume designer and director upon being cast in the show. You should also include a question about any conflicts they may have with the rehearsal/performance schedule. Make sure that there are enough copies for the amount of actors auditioning and that there are several extra copies readily available.


AUDITIONS A table should be set-up outside of the audition space. This table will be where the actors go to check-in before their audition and to drop off their headshots and resumes. This is also where the audition forms should be completed and then returned. It is important to have a stapler, tape, lots of pencils, and a list of the audition times posted where it can be easily seen. The time sign up sheet for actors should be condensed the day prior to auditions so that there are no time gaps. Actors need to know that this is going to happen so that they should check that sheet before their audition to make sure their time has not changed. If an actor does arrive early for their scheduled slot, they should not be moved into an earlier slot, they should be allowed the extra time they planned ahead to warm up. There are a lot of things that need to be done during the auditions so each Stage Manager should have a specific job to do:  The Production Stage Managers should be seated within close range of their directors so that they can take care of any of their needs. The other members of their teams should be taking care of the rest of the jobs  One Stage Manager should be in the audition space timing the actors. Timing usually begins after the actor’s introduction. Ten seconds before time is up the Stage Manager should raise his hand in warning. When time is up, the Stage Manager should lower his hand and say “Thank you.”  One Stage Manager should be waiting with the actors on deck. Usually a group of ten to fifteen should be gathered together waiting on deck and the Stage Manager is responsible for letting the actors in one at a time. At the beginning of a new group of ten to fifteen, the Stage Manager should pass the entire group’s audition forms, resumes, and headshots to one of the PSMs who will pass them on to the Directing teams.  Two Stage Managers should be running the table outside of the auditions. One should be checking actors in and collecting forms and the other should be organizing the forms and gathering actors into the groups of ten to fifteen. It is the responsibility of these Stage Managers to keep the actors waiting quietly and orderly.  Any other Stage Managers should help keep the actors in control and be available to run errands if necessary. After auditions, the Production Stage Managers for each show should meet with their directors to generate callback lists. The other Stage Managers should be returning furniture and cleaning up the audition space and holding room during this time. The callback lists should be typed and then posted on the callboard in PAC 272. It is important that the Stage Managers be aware of any scheduling conflicts. The callback lists should be posted at the same time. Things said during the audition process by either the directors, faculty members, or Stage Managers regarding the actors or the behavior of the actors should not be repeated outside of the audition space. Full scripts or copies of scenes may be required for callbacks. The Stage Managers should discuss with the director which is preferred and in the event that scenes are preferable, which scenes will be used. Photocopies of the scripts or scenes will need to be made before callbacks.


The cast list may not be posted unless the faculty has approved it. Usually, a list will not be created or approved until several days to a week following callbacks. It is a good idea to post an announcement on the callboard thanking everyone for auditioning and stating that the cast list will be posted soon. When the cast list is posted, make sure to thank everyone for auditioning again and note that those who have been cast must initial by their names to accept their roles. When posting the cast list, post the information on when and where the first rehearsal/read-thru and/or cast meeting will be. It is a good idea to collect e-mail addresses and contact information for where actors will be during Breaks (Summer or Winter) in the event that you need to contact them during these times. Paperwork to be completed before auditions: Callboard: -Time Sign-up Sheet for Actors -Schedule of Days/Times/Locations for both the cattle call auditions and callback -Information about the posting of the callback lists -List of what needs to be prepared/brought to the auditions For the Directors and Stage Managers: -A typed list of the actors auditioning (essentially, the sign-up sheet typed) -Space requests for cattle call auditions, holding room for cattle call, and any rooms needed for callbacks -One copy should be made for each Stage Manager, Director, Assistant Director, and extras in the event that extra faculty members or designers attend For the Actors: -Audition Form Paperwork to be completed during the audition process: -Callback list -Memo stating when the cast list will be posted -Cast list -Information about the first rehearsal/read-thru and/or cast meeting -Memo requesting contact information for summer or Christmas breaks


PRE-PRODUCTION WEEK The structure of the team will be same as an Equity team: Production Stage Manager, Assistant Stage Manager(s), Production Assistant(s). Traditionally, Equity Stage Managers have one week under contract to complete all of their Pre-Pro work. During this time, several meetings are scheduled, a great deal of paperwork is done, and the rehearsal space is made ready for the first rehearsal. Everything that needs to be done should be listed on the Pre-Pro checklist and assigned to a member of the team. Each mainstage show has an assigned callboard in the lounge (PAC-272). The callboard should look professional and not be decorated with colored construction paper, etc. The callboard is essential to the show as it is the best way to pass along information to everyone involved with the production, therefore it should be incredibly easy to understand. The board should be divided into sections with labels, such as: Master Calendar, Weekly Schedule, Daily Call, Announcements, Notes, Rehearsal Report. On either side of the board are bins for those who do not have boxes in the Mail Room. The bins should be labeled by position on the show, such as: Props Master, Technical Director, etc. Stress to everyone on the show how important the callboard is and that it should be checked twice daily. The callboard should be cleaned and maintained by the Stage Management team. Old paperwork and notes need to be cleaned off the board on a regular basis to avoid confusion. Production Meetings should be scheduled as soon as possible. Typically meetings are held every week for the first show each semester and every other week for the second show of the semester. They are typically held in B53 from 10am-11am on Fridays, when possible. The designers, faculty supervisors for student designers, and the TD should be present at the meetings as well as their assistants (if possible), the director, and the Stage Management team. Depending on the needs of the show, additional people may need to be invited. The rehearsal schedule should be set as soon as possible. Even if it is not known what will be done each night, it is important to let the actors know what days rehearsal will be held and at what time. A conflict calendar should be generated as soon as possible, listing what actors will have to miss rehearsal or be late on what nights and why. A firm cut-off date should be put in place for approval of any non-emergency conflicts, such as weddings. Rehearsal spaces should be reserved through the Facilities Manager. Make sure that spaces have been reserved for the length of the rehearsal period. For larger shows, PAC B53 may serve as an additional dressing room, so that room will need to be reserved through tech and the run of the show. PAC B72 must always be reserved throughout tech and the run of the show. The set should be taped out when the space for rehearsals has been assigned and the room should be cleaned. Rehearsal Props should be obtained from the Prop Master as soon as possible. (See Prop Guidelines below). Office supplies will need to be restocked each year and possibly each semester. After creating a list of needed supplies, send the list to Amy Hutton. There are several First Aid kits in the Stage Management office that also need to be restocked regularly, especially band-aids. Keep track of the inventory in each kit to make sure that when items are needed they are there. The Production Book should be set up before the First Rehearsal. A three to four inch view binder is best. The “D” ring binder is ideal because it can hold more pages than the round ring and it allows the papers to lie flat within the notebook. On the front and back covers and the spine of the book should be a page listing the information about the show. They should list the play, the author, the director, the Theatre, when it is being performed, and the Stage Manager’s name and


position on the show. Each section of the notebook should be separated by dividers. The divider tabs should be labeled both front and back so that they can be read from either direction. The script for SMs and Blocking Script for the PSM, should have each individual act and scene tabbed with flags. This helps in being able to turn to the exact place in the script that is being worked that evening. The PSM’s calling script will only need to be tabbed by the acts. Paperwork to be completed during Pre-Pro Week: -Pre-Pro Checklist -Rehearsal Report Template Production Analysis -Preliminary Prop List/Plot -Contact Sheet -Wallet Card -Sign-In Sheets -First Rehearsal Memo -Master Calendar -Weekly Schedule -Daily Call -Conflict Calendar -Actor/Scene Breakdown -Performance Report Template -Actor/Designer Packets containing: Master Calendar, Contact Sheet, Wallet Card, Actor/Scene Breakdown, Headshot/Bio Form, Emergency/Publicity Form, First Rehearsal Memo, Comp Request Form, R and P Contract, Override Form


Rehearsal FIRST REHEARSAL A table will need to be set up for the Stage Management team with pencils, a stapler, tape, erasers, scrap paper, etc. You can provide a few snacks and drinks for the group, as they will be appreciated. Introductions of the director, cast, Stage Managers, and designers should be made during this rehearsal. It is also a good idea to ask the director, in advance, how he/she wants the rehearsal to be set up. A stocked Stage Management kit should be at each rehearsal. Usually, the first rehearsal involves the designers presenting their designs, and also a read-thru of the script with a little table work. A circle will need to be created out of desks and chairs or tables and chairs and each actor should have a space. Ask the director if he/she has any special arrangement of how he would like the actors to be seated. Make sure that seats are also provided for the design staff, if in attendance. During the first rehearsal, or within the first week or so, the designers should be invited to present their designs to the cast. The first rehearsal is a time for the Production Stage Manager to let the cast know about the rehearsal process and go over the Actor Packets. This is also a time for the director to explain what he would like from the cast and the rehearsal process. The emergency publicity form needs to be collected once it is filled out and filed in the show file drawer or in the PSM’s production book. The headshot/bio form needs to be collected once completed and attached with an actor’s most current headshot and given to Glynn Brannan as soon as possible. The collected R and P contracts should be given to Amy Hutton once completed. Remind the cast that they must register for the correct R and P section BEFORE add/drop ends. REHEARSALS The responsibilities of the PSM include but are not limited to taking blocking, calling breaks, documenting script changes, filling out the rehearsal report with appropriate technical notes, and keeping the director and cast on track. The responsibilities of the ASM include but are not limited to prop and furniture setup, being on book, taking line notes, helping with paperwork, and helping to make sure the rehearsal runs as smoothly as possible. The ASMs should also be in charge of all props. Actors are responsible for arriving on time and prepared for rehearsals. Stage Management must keep track of when actors are late or absent. During the rehearsal process, check in with the designers regularly to discuss progress and if anything needs to be done to make their jobs easier. Designers should be notified about all runthrus so that they can attend and see in person how things are going and if anything will alter their designs. All run-thrus should be timed and the times should be recorded in the rehearsal report. It is important to make sure that the rehearsal spaces are left clean at the end of each night as they also are used as classrooms during the day.


Paperwork to be completed during the rehearsal process before tech: -Production Meeting Agendas -Rehearsal Reports -Daily Calls -Weekly Schedules -Prop Plot / Prop Tracking / Prop Preset Plot -Scene/Shift Plot -Publicity Information from everyone involved with the show -Blocking Script


Tech PRE-TECH Many meetings will need to be scheduled before tech. Times will need to be scheduled for the director to hear sound cues and look at light cues. A time will need to be set for the director, SM, and props master to meet for prop approval. The PSM will need to schedule times to book cues with sound and lights before tech begins. A time should also be set for the Stage Managers to set up props tables and Glo-tape the stage. Tech will go much more smoothly if the Stage Management team is ahead of the game. Getting paperwork and Pre-Tech work done as early as possible will allow the team to focus on the physical aspects of tech and the show itself rather than worrying about paperwork that needs to be done or should have been completed earlier. Paperwork to be completed before tech: -Performance Report Template -PSM, SM, ASM Checklists which include preset lists -Sign-In Sheets for Actors, Dressers, Booth, and Run Crew -Run Sheet -Crew Contact Sheet -Tech Schedules for Techs and for Actors -Performance Schedule -Calling Script TECH The day before tech is a “spacing rehearsal” without crew or tech, this is usually a Monday. This is a chance for the director to work with the actors onstage. Before anyone steps onto the stage, the TD should lead him or her on a safety walk through the set. The spacing rehearsal will strictly focus on how the actors work on the set and in the space. Sometimes lights will work over top of the rehearsal, but remind them that they must keep adequate lighting up at all times, so that they do not interfere with the director’s spacing rehearsal. The first day of tech will be a sound tech during which no lights will be used. Again, lights may work over top of the rehearsal, but they must keep adequate lighting up at all times, so that they do not interfere with the Sound Tech. No backstage crew is called during the sound tech. The second day is a full tech with lights, sound and effects. The ASMs and the PA’s and Run Crew will assist. A meeting with the Run Crew and SMs should be held before tech begins. If guns are to be fired during the production, you must have a Firearm Safety Demonstration for the entire cast. Contact Aaron Anderson to schedule the demonstration. Following each night of tech, all technicians and designers will meet in the house for notes. The directing staff will meet with the actors in PAC B72 or to one side of the house if the two note sessions do not conflict with each other. First Dress Rehearsal usually takes place on the Saturday of tech. One or two nights before opening is typically an Invited Dress Rehearsal and should be treated as a performance, when possible. Tech notes follow every tech rehearsal until opening.


Performance PERFORMANCE Shows dates are typically Thursday, Friday, Saturday, with a matinee on Sunday. Some shows will also have High School matinees. Matinees are usually held on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings of the second and/or third weeks. Excuse letters for the cast and crew will need to be created before you go into tech, so that the students can be excused from their classes. Once this letter is created, it needs to be cleared by the Administrative Director before being distributed to the cast and crew. The PSM will work very closely with the House Manager. The House Manager will open the house half-hour before show time if he has been given the “all clear” by the PSM. The House Manager will also let the PSM know how long the show will have to be held based on the number and behavior of the audience. Your goal should always be to start on time, when at all possible. The PSM will need to document in the Performance Report if any props, costumes, etc. get broken or damaged during the show so that they can be repaired or replaced. The PSM should also take any notes on show quality that he/she can. Following each show, it should be double-checked that the light board operator has given control of the house lights back to the house and that the sound operator has turned off all monitors. It is Stage Management’s responsibility to make sure that the booth, all theatre doors, cross overs, all shop doors, and all doors to the costume shop and dressing rooms are locked. During one performance, an adjudicator from the American College Theatre Festival will come to judge the show. Immediately following the show, there is sometimes a talk-back is held for all actors, crew, and designers in the house. It is important to make sure that everyone is aware of the talk-back session, if it is happening. Also, check with the director before you announce when the adjudicator is coming, as the director may not wish for the cast to know, as it may affect their performance. Paperwork to be completed during performances: -Perfomance Reports -Stage Manager Report (If Necessary) -Photo Call List

PHOTO CALL A Photo Call will be held during the run of the show. A shot list should be ideally obtained from Glynn two days before the photo shoot. Once the shot list is obtained, stage management should create the “Photo Call List” which should include not only the shot, but also the costumes, prop, set, light cues, and lines or moment of the shot. This document should be posted in the dressing rooms, backstage, and given to all necessary staff including Glynn. The Production Stage Manager is in charge of running the photo shoot smoothly and efficiently. This means that the PSM must call out the shots ahead of time so that actors and crew can be preparing for the next shot while the current one is being taken. Each designer only gets to request five shots to be taken by the professional photographer. They are welcome to photograph during the photo shoot with their own camera, as long as they do not interfere with the professional’s shots. In addition, they can take photos from the back of the house during high school matinees, as long as they do not use a flash and do not interfere with the performance.


POST-MORTEM A Post-Mortem is sometimes held between Amy Hutton and the Stage Management team. An agenda should be created with a list of what needs to be discussed during the meeting. The meeting should be a constructive session to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the process of putting the show up. It should not be about passing blame and judging, but about what was done well and what could have been done differently or better during another production. This is a time to discuss what may benefit future Theatre VCU productions. It may be beneficial to bring the design tech handbook and the stage management handbook for reference. Paperwork to be completed for post-mortem: -Post-Mortem Agenda


Section III: Emergency Procedures


Emergency Procedures EMERGENCY SITUATIONS All Stage Managers should have Emergency Information Forms for all actors and Stage Managers. First Aid Kits are available in the Stage Management Office or in the Costume or Scene Shop. Note: These procedures may require some adjustments, based on the needs of the situation. If a non-life-threatening situation occurs in rehearsal or performance: 1. Provide the injured person with first aid. 2. Call Ron Keller at home (804) 730-3418 or on his cell (804) 301-3702 OR call Amy Hutton at (804) 601-0269. 3. Fill out an Accident Report. One copy of each of this report should be given to the Administrative Director. If they are not in at the time of the accident, put it in their mailbox. 4. Create a Stage Management report (e-mail) of the accident and send to David Leong, Bonnie McCoy, Ron Keller, and Amy Hutton. If an actor is involved, a copy should also be sent to Janet Rodgers. No undergraduate or graduate students should ever be copied on this e-mail. If a life-threatening situation occurs in rehearsal: 1. Have the PA or ASM call 911. W.E. Singleton Performing Arts Center 922 Park Ave. Richmond, VA 23220 There is a phone in the Stage Management Office, the Costume Shop, and the Scene Shop or use a cell phone. 2. Call VCU Police at (804) 828-1234. 3. Send one ASM or PA to the front of the PAC to wait for emergency personnel. 4. Call Ron Keller at home (804) 730-3418 or on his cell (804) 301-3702 AND call Amy Hutton at (804) 601-0269. 5. Notify the Emergency Contact of the injured person as provided on the Emergency Information Form. 6. If a company member needs to go to the hospital, send the Assistant Director or an Assistant Stage Manager with them, if available. 7. Fill out an Accident Report. One copy of each of this report should be given to the Administrative Director. If they are not in at the time of the accident, put it in their mailbox. 8. Create a Stage Management report (e-mail) of the accident and send to David Leong, Bonnie McCoy, Ron Keller, and Amy Hutton. If an actor is involved, a copy should also be sent to Janet Rodgers. No undergraduate or graduate students should ever be copied on this e-mail.


Evacuation Procedures in performances: During performances, the Production Stage Manager has control of the “God Mic� and the work and house lights in case of an emergency. The crew should be familiar with the locations of fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and first aid kits. All ushers carry flashlights for use in case of emergency. Any announcements made to the general public should not include any mention of fire or bomb threat. Designate one person backstage to be responsible for getting everyone out of the Scene Shop and Costume Shop if the building needs to be evacuated. The meeting place in case of evacuation is the park in front of PAC for audience members and behind PAC near the Pollack building for all actors and technicians so a head count can be taken by the Stage Manager. Each SM should have a copy of the full cast/crew list to make sure everyone made it out of the building. The House Manager is responsible for getting the audience out of the theatre.


If a life-threatening situation occurs in performance: 1. Have the PA or ASM call 911. Use a cell phone, the shop phone, or go to the Box Office. W.E. Singleton Performing Arts Center 922 Park Ave. Richmond, VA 23220 2. Call VCU Police at (804) 828-1234. 3. Notify the House Manager that there is an emergency. 4. Have the Light Board Op turn on the house lights and work lights as you make an appropriate announcement. Onstage or In-House Situation: Ladies and Gentlemen, we apologize for this interruption. We need to hold the show for a few minutes. Actors, please go downstairs to the dressing rooms and wait until further notice. Audience members, please exit the theatre and follow the House Manager’s Directions. Backstage Situation: Ladies and Gentlemen, we apologize for this interruption. We need to hold the show for a few minutes. Actors, please go downstairs to the dressing rooms and wait until further notice. Audience members, please remain seated and we will resume as soon as possible. We appreciate your cooperation and patience. 5. Send one ASM or PA to the front of the PAC to wait for emergency personnel. 6. Call Ron Keller at home (804) 730-3418 or on his cell (804) 301-3702 AND call Amy Hutton at (804) 601-0269. 7. Notify the Emergency Contact of the injured person as provided on the Emergency Information Form. 8. Fill out an Accident Report. One copy of each of this report should be given to the Administrative Director. If they are not in at the time of the accident, put it in their mailbox. 9. Create a Stage Management report (e-mail) of the accident and send to David Leong, Bonnie McCoy, Ron Keller, and Amy Hutton. If an actor is involved, a copy should also be sent to Janet Rodgers. No undergraduate or graduate students should ever be copied on this e-mail.


If fire occurs during performance: 1. Have a PA or ASM pull the fire alarm and call 911. Use a cell phone. W.E. Singleton Performing Arts Center 922 Park Ave. Richmond, VA 23220 2. Have a PA or ASM call VCU Police at (804) 828-1234. 3. Have the Light Board Op turn on the house lights and work lights as you say: Ladies and Gentlemen, we apologize for this interruption. We need to hold the show. Actors, please exit to the rear of the building. Audience members, please exit the theatre and follow the House Manager’s Directions. 4. Call Theatre VCU Faculty in this order: Ron Keller - (H) (804) 730-3418 (C) (804) 301-3702 Amy Hutton – (C) (804) 601-0269 Lou Szari - (H) (804) 559-5413 Kevin McGranahan - (H) (804) 560-3043 David Leong - (C) (804) 840-2253 5. Have the ASM do a headcount of actors and crew. 6. Do not re-enter the building until authorized personnel have given a clear. 7. Call Theatre VCU Faculty as before to alert them of the resolve.


If a technical difficulty occurs during performance which prevents the performance from continuing: 1. Have the light board op turn on the house lights 2. Have the sound board op give you the god mic 3. You say: Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for this interruption. We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please remain in your seats and the performance will resume shortly. Thank you for your patience. If it will be a lengthy hold, alert the audience that they may use the restroom or move around, but to stay near the theatre, as you will resume as quickly as possible. 4. Choose a place to resume the performance once the problem is solved. Then contact your assistant stage manager so that he/she can let the crew and actors know where we will be taking it from once the show resumes. If the technical problem is such that the show cannot continue without a major technical aspect (i.e., lights), then you must contact a Theatre VCU faculty member in order to decide if the show can continue or the performance should be canceled. Call Theatre VCU faculty in this order: Ron Keller ñ (H) (804)730-3418 (C) (804)301- 3702 Amy Hutton (804) 601-0269 *Lou Szari ñ (H) (804) 560-3043 Kevin McGranahan- (H) (804) 560-3043 David Leong (C) (804) 840-2253 *Call Lou first if it is a lighting problem

HOUSE MANAGER’S BASIC RESPONSIBILITIES DURING AN EMERGENCY 1. Get in contact with the Stage Manager and stay in contact. 2. If the building needs to be evacuated, get the doors open and assist patrons. 3. Direct patrons across the street, away from building. 4. In a power outage, have personal flashlight in hand and be ready to assist.


Section IV: Distribution Lists


Distribution Lists When distributing, first make sure that you know how recipients would like to have their paperwork delivered: fax, e-mail, or hard copy. Most faculty members prefer to receive a digital copy in their e-mail. All mailboxes are located in the mailroom, opposite the elevator on the second floor of PAC. All full-time faculty members occupy the right section of mailboxes, while Graduate Students occupy the left section. Production Calendar and Contact Sheet -All full-time faculty and staff -Designers -Technical/Production staff -Cast Rehearsal and Performance Reports/Tech Notes -David Leong -Aaron Anderson -Amy Hutton -Toni Leslie-James -Ron Keller -Lou Szari -Neno Russell -John Anderson -Janet Rodgers -Designers -Relevant Technical/Production Staff Stage Manager Report (Confidential) -David Leong -Amy Hutton -Ron Keller -Janet Rodgers (if an actor is involved) -No students should ever receive this (graduate or undergraduate) If you are unsure as to exactly who would like to receive specific documents, please ask the recipients themselves.


Section IV: Rehearsal and Performance Credits


Rehearsal and Performance Credits VCU gives credit to undergraduate students working on productions for the Theatre VCU main stage through R&P credit. R&P is available both to undergraduate actors and technicians. Credits awarded range from 1 to 3 depending on the character or the technical position. R&P credits for designers and technicians are handled by the Head of Design. Credits for Stage Managers are handled by the Head of Stage Management. R&P PROCEDURE FOR ACTOR CREDIT It is the responsibility of the individual student to register with the University for R&P credit. As with any class, the student must register before the end of the Add/Drop period. It is the responsibility of the stage manager to bring in copies of the R&P contracts to be filled out at the first rehearsal. All forms should then be returned to Amy Hutton, as soon as possible. R&P credit may be retroactively applied to future semesters. The credit may be held only until the following semester and not beyond. If a student would like retroactive credit, the paperwork must be completed and on file at the start of the show. RETROACTIVE R&P On the line labeled “Semester,� write the desired semester for the credit to be applied. A semester must be listed: the paperwork will not be processed without it. Other than the differentiation of semester, the form will be processed the same as the other forms. The application of credit for the desired semester is handled by Aaron Anderson or Amy Hutton.



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