Click here to download UO Production Handbook
The Production Handbook (from UO Student Handbook) contains a description of the production personnel and procedures for University Theatre. Special attention is given to the responsibilities and duties of the Stage Manager. Added sections include Pocket Theatre technical guidelines.
BASIC RULES AND REGULATIONS
MILLER THEATRE COMPLEX RULES:
• Food and everages, other than water, are prohibited in the both the Hope and Robinson Theatres.
• Only authorized personnel are permitted in the lighting and sound control booths. No food or drink is allowed.
• Every effort should be made to maintain a neat, presentable condition in all spaces. The responsibility for this maintenance rests ultimately with the stage manager and thetechnical director.
• No one, under any circumstance, shall operate the fly system in the Robinson unless they are directly involved with the current production and have had proper rigging training.
• No one, under any circumstance, shall operate the light or sound systems unless he/she is directly involved with the current production and has had proper training.
SCENE SHOP TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT RULES:
No one may work in the Scene Scene shop without faculty or staff supervision, including operation of power tools and stage equipment!!!
Before operating any equipment, seek the guidance of either the Scene Shop Supervisor or the faculty Technical Director. No one else is allowed to grant permission for the use of any of the equipment.
PROTECTIVE EYE WEAR
• Any persons using, instructing in the use of, helping or observing the use of any power wood or metal working tools, pneumatic staplers or nail guns, must wear goggles or a face shield.
POWER TOOL USE
• The Shop Supervisor, Shop Graduate Teaching Fellows, or the Technical Director must instruct all persons using any power/pneumatic tools in the proper and safe use of these tools.
• No power tools can ever to be used by anyone working alone. At least one other person must be present (i.e. be in the general work area).
GUIDE TO STUDENT PRODUCTION JOB OPPORTUNITIES
Each of these may be used to fulfill one production requirement. Opportunities listed below will be available on a per show basis, and may not be available on every production and the production job opportunities below is not an exhaustive list. Students should expect regular on-the-job guidance from faculty advisors:
The AD is usually responsible for prompting the actors, helping the director with blocking, serving as a liaison between the director and the design team members, serving as liaison between the actors and director, and other special projects as assigned by the director. If interested, see the director before auditions.
The dramaturg is the research and literary advisor assistant to the director. This person participates in conceptual process, provides necessary historical information, program notes, and creates the lobby display. If interested, see the director as soon as the play is selected.
The assistant designer assists set, costume or lighting designers in research and preparing visuals or technical drawing, and participates in the execution of design. Students wishing to assist should contact the appropriate faculty designer as soon as possible.
The SM is primarily responsible for recording the blocking, managing the running crews, calling cues for performances, and planning set changes. Students wishing to stage manage should speak with the Director and Technical Director as soon as possible.
Assistant Stage Manager
Assists the stage manager with all duties, including running rehearsals and performances. ASMs will essentially be responsible for managing the backstage area during tech rehearsals and performances. Those interested should contact the Technical Director.
Sound Board Operator
The sound board operator uses the sound equipment to play back sound effects for a specific production. The sound board operator is responsible for knowing how to use each piece of sound equipment involved in the production and must be able to create and maintain clear cue sheets. There can be complicated sound effects, which require quick thinking and hand/eye coordination. Contact the Technical Director for opportunities.
Light Board Operator
The light board operator is responsible for operating the lighting control system for a specific production and must know how to turn on and boot up the computer(s) used to control the lighting. They must know some basic programming commands and need to participate in the light check held before each performance. Contact the Technical Director for opportunities.
Costume Running Crew
The costume crew is responsible for assisting actors with their costumes, hair and make-up. They also take responsibility for proper wear and use of costumes as well as emergency repairs. They are also responsible for care and maintenance of all costume garments. Contact the Costume Shop Manager for opportunities.
Stage Running Crew
Stage crew is responsible for shifting props and set pieces during the show. Contact the Technical Director for opportunities.
The scenic artist/painter is responsible for assisting the Scene Designer with all scenic painting for a given production. This can entail working late in the evening or on weekends close to the Tech Week of a production (outside the hours used for construction or rehearsal). Interested students should contact the Scene Designer as soon as possible.
To qualify to apply to be a Master Electrician, those interested must be familiar with how to hang, circuit, focus, and change the lamp in any of the lighting units owned by University Theatre. Knowing how to use accessories such as color, templates,
and barndoors is essential.
As the technical director is to the scene designer, so the M. E. is for the lighting designer. The M. E. is responsible for insuring the realization of the light plot. The M.E. is responsible for hanging and circuiting the lighting units according to said plot. The M.E. works with the Lighting Designer during the focus sessions as either the board operator or as the person actually focusing the units. The M.E., under the supervision of the designer, is also responsible for the wiring of any practicals or scenic pieces that include lighting units and is responsible for conducting the light check before every performance. They may attend production meetings regularly, at the discretion of the lighting designer. Speak to the faculty lighting designer if interested.
The Props Designer/Manager is responsible for obtaining all props needed for the production. They work with the Stage Manager in gathering appropriate rehearsal props early in the rehearsal process and may also be called upon to help the Scene Designer dress the set. Depending on the production’s needs, the Props Designer/Manager will pull from storage, purchase, or make the props for the production. They must assist in the creation of a prop list, in consultation with the director, stage manager and scene designer. The list may start with a list in a published script, but the Designer/Manager should still read the script and make up their own. This list will be amended by the Director and will probably change during the process. Communication will be
made through the Stage Manager or at production meetings. It is important that the Props Designer has a clear understanding of his/her specific responsibilities from the earliest production meetings. If you do not know, please be proactive and ask for clarification. Speak to the faculty scene designer or technical director if interested.
Additional information for the Properties/Designer Manager:
A) There is no iron-clad definition of the word “prop”. Traditionally, they are any items handled by the actors on stage. However, each production will have its own definition, and the director or other designers may want to make some choices. (For example, a pair of glasses or a purse might be considered part of the character’s costume rather than a prop.) Always seek clarification on the responsibility of all handled items to determine if they are “props” or “costumes” or “scenery”.
B)With the prop list should be a priority of when each final prop is needed. Props that actors need to rehearse with a lot for timing
should be obtained early on.
C) The latest all props should be finished and ready for use is the first technical rehearsal. However, it may be decided that props need to be finished before that time. This should be decided on early in the rehearsal process so that the Props Designer/Manager has ample time in order to finish the props.
D) The first place to look for props is the prop storage area in the trap room and the storage area in the old “church.” There is a Work Study student hired maintain the trap room and to help look for props. If an item is found that is close to the description of a specific prop, speak to the UT Technical Director before altering or painting the item.
F) There is a Props budget for each production. The Props Designer should be aware of the budget and be able to give a budget report at production meetings and should make an approximate cost list for the props. They will need to decide what will need to be purchased, or whether it’s the actual prop or materials needed to build a prop. It is important to allow for props that need to be replenished, such as food or fresh flowers. If something needs to be bought, Purchase Orders can be obtained from the UT Technical Director. Most stores in Eugene/Springfield take POs (Rite-aid does not). The PO is a two copy document. Give the top copy to the store and return the bottom two copy with a store receipt to the UT Technical Director immediately.
D) The first place to look for props is the prop storage area in the trap room and the storage area in the old “church.” There is a Work Study student hired maintain the trap room and to help look for props. If an item is found that is close to the description of a specific prop, speak to the UT Technical Director before altering or painting the item.
F) If something needs to be built, the Props Designer/Manager should check with the Scene Designer or Technical Director for help if needed. The UT Technical Director and Scene Shop Supervisor are also available for advice. Student labor may also be available for assistance with large jobs.
G) Sometimes we do borrow from the other theatre companies or stores in town. It’s important to treat any borrowed prop with care and to return it promptly after the production. It’s also important to make sure acknowledgement is made in the program.
H) Once in awhile a personal possession or a valuable object from a store is borrowed. This should be done in extreme cases only. The UT Technical Director must be informed. A replacement value needs to be known before the item is borrowed. It may be determined that it is too expensive for the risk of theft or damage. In any case, the use of the prop in the production should be examined before borrowing it. If the necessary stage business could damage the prop, another solution needs to be found.
I) It is the Props Designer’s responsibility to set up the production’s prop storage and tables. There are prop cabinets available. It’s important that props can fit neatly into the cabinets. Speak to the faculty scene designer or technical director if interested. Storage of large items will need to be resolved with the Stage Manager and Technical Director. Valuable props and weapons need to be stored in a locked room. The prop boxes need to be locked when there isn’t someone with them. There have been props stolen from the Robinson Theatre during the middle of a working day. Prop tables can be obtained from the UT Technical Director. Their placement will be determined by the Stage Manager and Technical Director. The Props Designer/Manager is responsible for covering the tables with brown craft paper. Outlines and labels of each prop should be drawn on the paper. The Stage Manager should be consulted as to which side of the stage each prop should be set.
J) Even though the Props Designer will likely not attend every rehearsal (let alone performances), they will need to be aware of the use of each prop and the location of each prop that is preset on stage. It will be part of their duty to help train the crew that will be running the performances in the shifting of props and they may also need to train actors in the proper use of certain props.
K) Props Designers/Managers may be asked to attend certain run-throughs and other rehearsals the director deems necessary (with a fair amount of warning). The Props Designer needs to attend all Tech/Dress Rehearsals and should check in with the Stage Manager each day of the run of the production. They may need to replace or fix broken props. (Ideally, this is done by the use of a Performance Report circulated by the Stage Manager to all departments following each performance.)
L) The Props Designer may be asked to help the Scene Designer dress the set on those productions for which props are an
important part of the dressing. The commitment and schedule for this should be arranged during an early production meeting.
M) The Prop Manager is responsible for returning all props to their proper places immediately after the production. UT-owned props should be stored in the Prop Room (Trap Room). Borrowed props should be returned to their rightful owners. Disposable (letters, assorted documents, etc.) or perishable (food, flowers, etc.) props should be thrown away. Please check with the Technical Director before throwing anything away.
Relationship with other members of the production staff:
The Props Designer works directly with the Director, Stage Manager (and assistants), Scene Designer, Technical Director, Costume Designer, and sometimes Actors. Clear communication is all-important.
Student Scene Designer
A student scenic designer reports to the faculty scenic designer and cooperates closely with the director and technical director to ensure all artistic elements are executed as the production requires. Responsibilities include: meeting with the director before the first production meeting to discuss concepts and approach to the production design, attending all production meetings, technical rehearsals and performances for the productions assigned, supervising scenic painting which may include personally executing
scenic painting projects as assigned by the faculty scenographer, and coordinating with the faculty technical director at least twice a week to monitor progress of the build.
Student Lighting Designer
A student lighting designer reports to the faculty lighting designer and cooperates closely with the director and technical director to ensure all artistic elements are executed as the production requires. Responsibilities include: Meeting with the director before the first production meeting to discuss concepts and approach to the production design, attending all production meetings, level-set and cue building calls, technical rehearsals and performances for the productions assigned, coordinating with the faculty technical director to arrange the purchase of color media, gobos, specialty lighting products, or electrical supplies for show-specific items, coordinating with the master electrician at least twice a week to monitor progress of the lighting hang and circuiting activity, and supervise the focus and color installation of all lighting instruments.
Student Costume Designer
A student costume designer reports to the faculty costume designer and cooperates closely with the director and technical director to ensure all artistic elements are executed as the production requires. The costume shop supervisor is responsible for executing the costume design but may provide artistic and technical guidance to student designers. Responsibilities include: Meeting with the director before the first production meeting to discuss concepts and approach to the production design, attending all production meetings, technical rehearsals and performances for the productions assigned, coordinating with the staff costume shop supervisor and the faculty technical director to arrange the purchase of fabric, wigs, and costume accessories, checking in with the costume shop supervisor at least three times each week to monitor progress of the build, and attending all final fittings with the director and costume shop supervisor.
Student Technical Director
A student technical director reports to the faculty technical director and cooperates closely with the faculty scenic designer to ensure all artistic elements are executed as the production requires. Responsibilities include: Meeting with the scenic designer before the first production meeting to discuss concepts and approach to the production design, attending all production meetings, technical rehearsals and performances for the productions assigned, coordinating daily with the faculty technical director (or scene shop supervisor) to monitor progress of the build, monitoring expenses daily to ensure scenery build stays within
acceptable budget limits, assisting faculty technical director with load-in of scenery and training of student stage crew and flymen, coordinating technical rehearsals with the production stage manager, and supervising set strike with the faculty technical director.
Student Sound Designer/Engineer
The Sound Designer is responsible for obtaining all sound effects, whether recorded or live for a specific production. They are also responsible for setting up the sound playback equipment and must make sure the board operator is properly trained. Sound Design is an artistic component of the production. The Sound Designer needs to have imagination to create sound effects and not just rerecord them. Responsibilities include: Reading the script and meet with the Director in order to discuss the sound design for the show and begin to make the cue list, exploring types of sound effects and many ways they are created, working for/in conjunction with a composer creating music for the production, consulting with a director who may have specific pieces of music picked out or they may want the Sound Designer to make some selections, possibly recording non-musical effects and possibly recording those from other sources for playback or created live during the performance, setting up any sound reinforcement equipment that may be needed, becoming very familiar with the sound equipment in the booth, knowing how to record the effects onto the different types of playback equipment and after the cues and their sources are determined, the Sound Designer needs to begin gathering them. There is a very good collection of LPs and CDs in the Douglas Listening Room of the Knight Library. Included is the BBC sound effects collection. It is possible to check items out, but a permission sheet needs to be signed by a faculty member. There is a sound budget for each production in case some effects need to be purchased.
Other technical responsibilities includes: He/she will need to know how to record the effects onto the different types of playback equipment and have complete knowledge of the cues and their placement in the performance is very important. The Sound Designer will need to be able to decide how complicated cueing will be set up and, often, the Director will want a copy of the cues on CD as soon as possible; otherwise finished tapes/disks are not due until the predetermined cueing rehearsal (usually Dry Tech). Live, offstage sound effects (i.e. thunder or guns) are the responsibility of the Sound Designer; the Stage Manager and Technical Director should be consulted in order to determine where to set up the effect and who will run it. The Sound Designer may also work with another member of the production team to create an effect (i.e. the Props Designer and a telephone) and should attend all run-throughs and other acting rehearsals deemed necessary. The Designer is responsible for training the board operator on the sound board’s operation. Any unusual placement of speakers needs to be determined at this time. A few days before Tech rehearsals begin the Sound Designer should meet with the Stage Manager in order to give preliminary cue placements.
There is large time commitment associated with becoming a Sound Designer. Sound Designers must attend all production meetings, specific meetings with the director, attending some acting rehearsals, and all Technical/Dress rehearsals. Volume levels, specific cueing, and changes will be made during these rehearsals. The Sound Designer must be able to complete any
changes before the next rehearsal. Obtaining and recording sound effects can be time consuming. The Sound Designer must attend some acting rehearsals and all Technical/Dress rehearsals. The Director may ask the Sound Designer to attend many rehearsals. This schedule should be worked out early on. The Sound Designer must be able to find the time to make changes in the cues between rehearsals.
GUIDE TO STAGE MANAGING IN THE UO THEATRE ARTS DEPARTMENT
Please look at the production handbook pdf linked at the top of the page for a full exhaustive list.
Student stage managers should expect regular on-the-job guidance from faculty advisors. Many of the duties described here can and should be delegated to an assistant stage manager at the stage manager’s discretion. Student stage managers report to the faculty technical director but may expect regular supervision from the director during rehearsals. Ideally, production stage managers are appointed only after serving as an assistant stage manager for a UT production at least once, but exceptions
can be made. A production stage manager would also have already completed, or at least be simultaneously attending, the Stage Management course. At the very least, stage managers should arrange a “crash course” with the faculty technical
director before rehearsals begin. Students should seek out time management and stress management help as needed while serving as a production stage manager. The demands of this position are high, but faculty advisors and student colleagues can help stage managers maintain their well-being. Class work must not suffer during a stage management assignment.
Responsibilities of student Production Stage Managers include: Attending all rehearsals and performances, creating a master calendar of rehearsals, target dates and deadlines, and performances, conducting auditions with the director, including coordinating audition forms, information sheets and participants’ traffic patterns, distributing and collecting scripts, preparing cast and crew contact lists, taping the floor for scenery locations in the theatre (for rehearsals) and spiking the scenery onstage in the theatre (for performances), which requires the ability to read a scenic design ground plan.
Further responsibilities include: preparing theatre or rehearsal space for all rehearsals (includes sweeping and mopping the stage, pre-setting furniture and props, etc), cleaning up after all rehearsals and performances spaces (includes returning props and furniture to storage as needed, backstage custodial duties, reminding actors to clean up after themselves, etc.), assisting the properties team and coordinate rehearsal props and furniture as necessary. This also includes creating and maintaining a master props, and organizing backstage storage areas for rehearsals and performances in cooperation with the technical director.
Stage Manager Production Meeting & Rehearsal Responsibilities: Chairing production meetings, developing preset lists and running order lists, recording director’s blocking and assist actors with blocking as needed and taking line notes when actors are off book and prompt actors as needed, writing and distribute daily rehearsal reports and performance reports, facilitating communication between production staff members as necessary for smooth production operations, managing the production call board, including sign-in sheets, and announcements, monitoring actors’ attendance and punctuality for rehearsals and
performances and deliver all pre-show time calls, coordinating all scene shift rehearsals and technical rehearsals in
cooperation with the technical director, supervising the work (as needed) of technicians, deck hands, flymen
and board operators (this requires an understanding of the complexities of effectively managing classmates and peers), organizing and supervise special rehearsals for fight calls, dance combinations and special effects, and calling all cues during the run of the show including light, sound, deck and fly rail cues.
First meeting with director
Decisions on stage management positions are always made in consultation with the production’s director and the first meeting is to discuss working relationship expectations and to specifically define what a director wants in a stage manager. The goal is to start developing a rapport between the director and the stage manager. Some of the questions this first meeting answers are:
• How in-charge are you?
• What are you responsible for?
• How formally should rehearsals be run?
• Rehearsal breaks?
• “Off-book” dates?
There are usually production meeting time slots reserved by the faculty each term and are always held in the conference room adjacent to the Theatre Arts department office (216D). Consult with the Technical Director to determine which slot has been
assigned for the current productions. If you are meeting outside one of the department’s assigned slots, please contact the TA department office to reserve the space for appropriate date and time. The following people attend all production meetings: Director, Stage Manager, Technical Director, Costume Designer, Scenic Designer, Lighting Designer, Sound Designer, Props Manager, and faculty designer. The following people may attend the meetings as needed or as invited: student assistant designers, master electricians or others. It is the stage managers create a production team contact sheet and distribute that list either electronically or with paper copies.
Coordinating with Theatre Arts Department Office Staff
Establishing a good relationship with the department office staff is a key factor in making sure your production runs smoothly. As soon as possible, introduce yourself to the office staff and discuss with them any informational or procedural needs you should supply for them. The office staff provides the stage manager with copy codes for each production and can assist with photocopying issues and instructions. Inform the office staff of the running time of shows, as this is a question they field from faculty and students as the production’s performances approach. They can also use this information to inform the Box Office and House Management teams. The Office Specialist II also functions as the publicity coordinator, so work with them to create the program, collect bios, and arrange photocalls.
Working with ASMs
Part of your job as a Stage Manager will often be to work with an assistant. They may have never stage managed before, and you will need to take on a guiding role. Chances are, you were an ASM once. Remember what worked for you and what didn’t and use that as a guide in working with your ASM; the goal is to establish good, strong, open two-way communication and regular meetings should be had.
Be specific in assigning tasks to your ASM. Collectively decide what responsibilities are yours and which are theirs. Be consistent in adhering to this plan (i.e. – if it’s their job to be on book, don’t cut them off when an actor
calls for line); remember, they may be learning how to do things you already know how to do. Give them a chance to learn and follow up when an ASM falls short on their responsibilities. Determine why they fell short and create a system in which they can improve. Encourage them to be as proactive as you are at thinking through all the various parts of the show and trying (as much as is possible) to foresee complications in advance. Empowering them will make rehearsals (especially tech) run smoother every single time.
Communicating with Actors
This section will demonstrate that you should attempt to use every avenue possible to keep in contact with the actors (and crew) in your show. These are some basic suggestions, but be creative in your attempts to make sure everyone knows what is happening at all times. Get to know your actors and the ways they communicate; this will assist you in designing effective communication strategies.
Ways to communicate:
• Callboard info. Production callboards are in the Robinson greenroom and post information relevant to actors: rehearsal/fitting schedules, special rehearsal calls, make-up calls, and fight rehearsals. Event with constant reminders, don’t assume that the actors will look at the callboard.
• Telephones, Cell Phones, Email and Texting. Get complete contact information from every actor as soon as the show is
cast. Find out if the phone numbers they are giving you are home numbers or cell phone numbers, and determine if they utilize
texting features on their phones or not.
• Email. Find out how often they check the email account they give you—if they rarely check it, it won’t be as useful a communication tool.
• Facebook. Most students check their Facebook pages more frequently than they do their email accounts. Become friends with all the actors on Facebook as soon as the show is cast. Create Events for significant rehearsals and invite actors to
attend. (For example, create an Event for the first rehearsal; this puts an instant reminder on every person’s Facebook home page of the date and time of the first rehearsal.) Messaging on Facebook (either by writing on someone’s Wall or sending them a private message) can be more effective than sending them an email, though, of course, this depends on the actor.
Post audition announcements and create signs in consultation with director (or director will create them
personally). With guidance from the director, create audition sheets that include the following questions for auditioning actors: basic contact info, past performance credits, special skills, and any other information relevant to the specific production.
With the director determine: how many copies will be needed, how/when to distribute the sheets, and reserve a location for the audition. Auditions in Villard 104, 202, 102 (Pocket) reserved through office. Auditions in the Robinson or Hope Theatres, can be reserved through Janet Rose.
In consultation with director, design a procedure for announcing callbacks and make reservations for space in advance.
Many directors want the stage manager’s input during the casting process, but some may not. If your input is requested, try not to let your personal experience with actors who are being considered influence the feedback you provide to the director Attempt to approach the casting process as if you were hiring someone for a job and talk specifically about your observations of the
Feedback can include information about the actor’s:
• Punctuality (both in the past and at these auditions) and their work ethic.
• Cooperation with the audition monitors (you or your assistants)?
• Were they helpful and willing to adapt to scheduling issues or with changes in readings (if any)?
• Were they able to work well with others (if given time to work together outside the audition room)?
• Availability– did they have only a narrow window of time to audition or come to callbacks due to other commitments?
• Personality– are they polite and courteous? (Did they thank you?), hesitant, shy, nervous (beyond normal audition nerves)?
Audition/Rehearsal Space Preparation
• Security and Keys– keep your keys with you at all times. It is a good idea to acquire a lanyard or a carabiner so that you can attach the keys to your person.
• Doors to lock: please check with the TD about the appropriate procedure for locking theatre spaces.
Robinson Theatre -the Robinson has a heating unit backstage. Please check with the TD about using this heater for rehearsals. Generally, if you find the heater is necessary for rehearsals, coming in to turn the heater on in advance of rehearsal (1-2 hours) is a good idea so that the space is warm enough by the start of rehearsal.
Hope Theatre- the climate control in the Hope is set by campus facilities. If the space is consistently too warm or too cold, please check with theTD about contacting the facilities department.
Lighting/ Work lights
The Robinson has several breaker panels to control worklights and a touch-screen panel in the stage manager’s panel (SL) to control house lights. Please check with the TD for operation instructions.
The Hope has worklights which can be controlled by the light switches on the wall between the hall door and the rolling door. In addition, it has a series of preset switches which can be used to control the theatrical lighting hanging above. Please check with the TD or the lighting designer to determine if any presets are available for your production.
Ghost lights- Please check with the TD for the correct procedure to use with ghost lights in either theatre space.
Furniture- Chairs in house, tables for directors. Please check with the TD about what is available for your rehearsals. Blocks/cubes/chairs for actors. Please check with the TD about what is available for your rehearsals.
Rehearsals – Create a schedule in consultation with director. Set up the space (see auditions section) with rehearsal props/furniture, work with set designer and props manager to determine what is needed, and determine, in consultation with the TD, which properties storage boxes are available for your production.
Other rehearsal duties: Getting tape and taping the floor/deciding what needs to be taped for rehearsal purposes and color-coding.
Create a procedure with actors:
Timing- scheduling, breaks, blocking notation, breaks, blocking notation (needs to be done), books about blocking notation theory, “on book,” creating a procedure with actors, timing, timing whole rehearsals/acts/scenes, daily rehearsal notes/reports.
Scenery, costume, prop, lighting, sound, general notes:
Fitting Schedules– the costume department will periodically provide the stage manager a list of actors for whom costume fittings are necessary. The list will include the actors’ names, an approximate amount of time they are needed for, and a schedule of available times in the costume shop. Stage managers should schedule all actors on the fitting schedule as necessary and return the completed schedule within 24 hours of receiving it. Return the completed schedule to the costume shop supervisor’s
mailbox in the theatre office. Be sure to make a copy for your own records. Note: once you schedule a fitting, it becomes the actor’s responsibility to show up for their scheduled fitting. It is not your responsibility to remind actors of their fitting times. It is a good idea, however, to post the most recent fitting schedule on the call board for actors to reference.
Call 6-6666, public safety
All stage managers and assistant stage managers should have contact numbers for the TD and costume shop supervisors handy in case of emergency.
Useful phone numbers
Note: dialing campus numbers from a campus phone only requires the last 5 digits of the phone number. Hence, 346-3333 can simply be dialed 6-3333.
• TA Dept. Office 541-346-1979 or 346-4171
• Costume Shop 541-346-1975
• TD/Scene Lab 541-346-4195
• Box Office 541-346-4363
• Public Safety 6-6666; 541-346-6666. You must call Public Safety before calling 911. Public Safety will decide whether emergency responders are needed.
• Faculty phone numbers are available in the TA department office or in the directory on the University of Oregon’s website. You should acquire all necessary phone numbers prior to beginning rehearsals.
Hints, Tips, Suggestions, and Cautions
Use gloves when operating the fly lines during rehearsals and esstablish a firm policy for lending supplies to actors. Decide what you are willing to lend and what sort of collateral you require. (i.e.- a quarter for lending a pencil). Get to know your run crew before determining assignments. You will want to assess which jobs are the most complicated and assign your most
astute crew members to those jobs. Note that there is a circular stairway in the Robinson (SR) which takes you directly to the prop room. Set headset volume levels with your crew as a part of your pre-performance setup. Note that the “make-up room” (the third dressing room) does not have a speaker from the Clear Com system. Make sure that you have a system for notifying any actors dressing in that room of their calls.
Photo call is generally scheduled by the publicity department during the two weeks preceding Tech Week. The stage manager is responsible for announcing photo call to the cast and crew. The stage manager should notify all designers of time/date of photo call. The stage manager is responsible for coordinating a list of shots for the Photo Call, in consultation with the design staff and the director. This list should include the characters involved and what action should be occurring (specific to act/scene if possible).
PRIOR TO TECH WEEK:
Discuss expectations at production meetings: (what will and will not be teched at each rehearsal)–sound, sets, props, costumes, etc. Discuss with Technical Director the SM’s tech table needs: placement, headset, light, other (in the Hope, this can include the cue light controls), develop scene/character breakdown for posting backstage, confirm Tech week schedule with Cast & Crew.
Prep paperwork for crew: shift charts, prop preset lists, create offstage prop/furniture/set piece map, contact sheet, performance calendar, locate brown craft paper for prop tables. Plot locations for these tables out prior to Tech Week. Work in consultation with the Properties Designer/Manager to organize prop cupboard and prop tables. Create sign in sheets for cast and crew (be sure to include techs), prep space prior to actor arrival, spike marks, props set in place, glow tape in obvious spots check for safety hazards, and check for costume snag points.
The schedule for Tech Week is created by the stage manager in coordination with the Director, Technical Director, Scene, Costume, Lighting and Sound Designers and Tech Week” is the week leading up to the opening of aproduction; opening night is usually scheduled on a Friday evening. Stage managers should obtain the names of running crew and board operators as soon as possible to both introduce him- or herself as well as to record their contact information and to provide them with rehearsal and
performance schedules once these are available. Typical Tech Week Schedule (will vary from show to show): Rehearsal > Paper Tech > Dry Tech.
GUIDELINES FOR TECH REHEARSALS
Dry Tech, First Tech and all Dress Rehearsals– learn all the ins and outs of the head set system (on which you will
communicate to call cues with your ASM, board ops and stage hands) as well as the theatre’s dressing room call system (with which you will give actors their calls). You MUST be pro-active. Every hour you spend planning before tech week will save 5 hours in tech. Do as much prep work as you can prior to going into the space. Absolutely, 100%, definitely involve your assistant in the tech week planning process. The more they know about what is going to happen, the less you will have to explain during tech rehearsals.You will have sensory overload when you go into the space. Several people will be talking to you at the same time. You must remain calm, focused and pleasant. You will need to be aggressive/assertive during tech. The key to this is using your voice. No one will pay attention to you if you cannot be heard. Speak loudly and clearly. It isn’t a bad idea for a stage manager to do a vocal warm-up (like an actor would) before rehearsals and performances. You use your voice almost as much as they do. Note that in the Robinson, in particular, it can be hard to hear stage managers when they are sitting in the house, especially when actors are acting or music cues are playing. If you cannot be heard by actors on stage, please speak to the TD about your options, which could include a God Mic” setup.
You want to maintain control of the rehearsals. Always take the initiative to manage what is going on from minute to minute. The tech rehearsals are largely about you learning how to call the show, including calling lighting, sound, scenery and other cues. The rehearsal should move forward when you are ready; don’t let others decide when to move forward. If you feel you need to run a cue sequence again, do it. On the other hand, don’t run a specific cue sequence ad nauseum. Remember, you have all week to perfect your cue calling, and you don’t want to have a 15-hour tech rehearsal unless you absolutely have to. When starting and stopping the run, remember to be nice. “Please” and “thank you” are key phrases; you will avoid a lot of unpleasantness from your cast and crew. Prior to starting up again, make sure that all parties are ready to go. That means actors, crew, designers, musical director, choreographer and most importantly, the director. Give a clear “stop please” if you need to stop the action. “When you’re ready” when you are ready to start the action up again. Keep everyone in the room aware of what is happening. If the lighting designer needs to stop the action, find out why and how long and then inform your cast as well as the house. Make sure the director knows. Remember, everyone is looking to you to drive this ship. Drive it kindly and efficiently.
Have an ASM ready with various colors of spike tape as well as glo tape. They should be ready to rush to the stage to set a spike mark or set down glo tape as quickly as possible so as not to unduly delay the rehearsal. Once tech is complete (prior to opening) cut your spike marks down to a subtle yet seeable size. After that is complete, seal tape with packing tape. Be just
as subtle with this tape as well. This will prevent your spike marks and glo marks from coming up and/or getting unraveled and dirty (gross). Glo tape rule: Consider the size of the piece of tape you put down. Bigger is not better. Prior to Dress Rehearsals, make sure the space is ready for costumes. Be sure there is no possibility of dirty floors or wet paint for an actor in costume to come into contact with. This includes off-stage areas as well as on-stage. Be sure to check for sharp edges not just on-stage but offstage as well. Remove or tape the problem areas, or notify the Technical Director if the problem is more significant.
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGERS DURING TECH WEEK–stay close to the stage. Don’t wander off and become a social butterfly. While keeping your cast and crew happy, it is imperative that you are aware of what is happening onstage. During rehearsals, never be more than 10 feet away from the action. Have spike and glo tape on hand. When the SM calls “hold” or “stop please” make sure you appear onstage so if any instructions are to be given, you are ready. It also shows that you are paying attention. Make sure the floor is swept and mopped prior to starting tech. As much as possible, running crew should be recruited to sweep and mop SMs and ASMs have been sweeping every rehearsal for weeks now; give the running crew this task so that you can concentrate on other matters.
Headset Etiquette- Stage managers should establish a procedure for actor and crew calls during Tech
Week. The most common calls are “one hour,” “half hour,” “fifteen minutes,” “ten minutes,” “five minutes,” and “two minutes, places, please.” SMs will want to establish procedures for communicating front-of house holds and re-establishing calls.
Guidelines for the run of the shows:
The Stage Manager communicates maintenance needs to the Technical Director and aintains the artistic integrity of the performance as well as a safe and hospitable working environment for cast and crew. The SM also supervises the Assistant Stage Manager(s) and Running Crew and posts sign-in sheets for actors and checks them at Call Time to make sure all actors are present when required. Provides actors with “time-to-go” calls prior to the beginning of the performance. Coordinate with house manager and box office to communicate on when to open the house before the show. When the house closes so that the show can start both at the beginning and after Intermission. Pre-show and post-show run lists for actors (if necessary) and crew
Create and post a pre-show schedule, including time and a location for: actor warm-ups, fight warm-ups, vocal warm-ups, dance warm-ups, sweeping/mopping stage, props setup, light check, sound check, call cues through the performance, provides daily performance reports to entire production staff, house manager, and TA office staff.
Must maintain the artistic vision of the Director throughout the run of show and are required to fully participate in archival photo call.
Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) Guidelines: AEA (or “Equity) is the union for professional actors and stage managers in the
United States. If you wish to become a professional stage manager, you may wish to consider joining Equity. The Equity Stage Management guidelines are included here to demonstrate what would be expected of a stage manager in a professional theatre.
University Theatre productions differ in many ways from professional productions; however, there are many similarities. Use these guidelines as goals to work towards when stage managing UT productions; if you wish to pursue a career in stage managing, knowing these guidelines will help you in any theatre (professional or amateur) you work in.
See PDF of the production handbook for all the of the AEA guidelines for actors and stage manager.
Report directly to the stage manager and are required to participate in photo call and strike. Running crew must wear black clothing and shoes from first dress rehearsal throughout the run of show unless otherwise instructed by the Stage Manager or
Pocket Playhouse- Rules and Guidelines
Contracts are accepted based on an interview process. When you have completed the contract, sign up for a ten minute interview slot in the Green Room. Funding is limited; consult the Pocket Playhouse Board for current allocations.
Your contract must include the following: A script of your production or an outline discussing the goals of your
production. The script will not be returned; it will be kept for Pocket Playhouse records. A detailed outline of your set design and lighting design. The producing agent of your production and the cost of royalties per night. Please note that funding for royalties is limited; some slot decisions may take into account the cost of producing your show.
All shows are required to hold open auditions and all Pocket Playhouse productions must run less than 90 minutes.
Please note that a single student is eligible to direct only one show per term, and that student may direct only twice during an academic year. If you have questions about the director’s contracts or Pocket Playhouse rules and regulations, please feel free to contact either of the co-chairs or any member of the Pocket Playhouse Board. A telephone contact sheet denoting the members of the board is available in the Green Room.
Technical Guidelines for the Pocket Playhouse
There are two very important things to keep in mind when planning a production in the Pocket Theatre: The Pocket is primarily a classroom for acting and lighting classes. Any Production must be prepared to completely clear the set and redo lighting
after every rehearsal and performance. The Pocket is open 24 hours a day, so it is not wise to keep or store expensive equipment there. Also take special note: any production in the Pocket will be more successful if well planned and
minimal in technical needs. Each production should identify an individual to act as liaison with Janet Rose, the faculty Technical Director.
All scenery, props, furniture, and lighting must be properly struck and put away within 48 hours of the last performance. If items are shared from show to show the last director becomes responsible for them. Failure to strike production elements will result in the director losing the opportunity to direct in the Pocket again.
Set designs must be approved by Janet Rose before any work is started. If available, stock flats and platforms can be used in the pocket. They are not to be altered in any way, except to be painted with water-based paint. Any other scenery must be constructed and all materials purchased by the producing organization. Scenery must be constructed in the scenery lab
during regular hours by volunteers. The proposed work time must be pre-approved by the University Theatre Technical Director. No GTF, work study, or TA 210 or 211 students may put official time in working on a Pocket production.
All scenery, whether built in the scenery lab or brought in, must be approved by Janet Rose before any public performance. All scenery and furniture must be stored behind the black masking after rehearsals and performances. Use of the fly lines must be approved by Janet Rose. All scenery must be struck and put away immediately after the final performance or at a time arranged with Janet Rose.
Props and Furniture
Props and furniture are available for checkout from the trap room. They must be checked out during office hours or by appointment with the work study student. All prop borrowing policies apply.
The Pocket is equipped with a twelve-dimmer, two-scene preset system with a limited but adequate inventory of 500W lekos and fresnels. Cable is available if not being used elsewhere. Cut gels are also available. The lighting setup must be approved by Janet Rose before any public performance. There is a master switch by the stage manager’s station stage left. This switch must be on in order to be able to control the houselights from the other switches.
Pocket performances usually take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday beginning at 5:00 p.m., except when the Pocket goes “dark” on the days that University Theatre productions opens . All Pocket performances must concludeby 6:30 p.m.
See Janet Rose for additional information and a complete copy of the Pocket Playhouse guidelines.