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Production Handbook

click here to download UO Production Handbook

Production Handbook (from UO Student Handbook)
It 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.

Miller Theater Complex Rules
• Beverages, other than water, are prohibited in the theatres. Food is prohibited in
the theatres.
• Only authorized personnel are permitted in the lighting and sound
control booths. No food or drink is allowed in the control booth.
• Both performance spaces can potentially be used daily by
numerous entities not necessarily involved with the show currently in production.
Every effort should be made to maintain a neat, presentable condition. The
responsibility for this maintenance rests ultimately with the stage manager and the
technical director.
• No one, under any circumstance, shall operate the fly system in the
Robinson unless he/she is directly involved with the current production and has
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
• 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).

• 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.
• What follows are not exhaustive lists. Students should expect
regular on-the-job guidance from faculty advisors.
Assistant Director
• 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.
Assistant Designer
• 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.
Stage Manager
• 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.
• See full section on stage management.
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.
• He/she 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
• Responsible for operating the lighting control system for a specific production.
• Responsible for knowing how to turn on and boot up the
computer(s) used to control the lighting.
• He/she must know some basic programming commands.
• He/she 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
• 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
• Contact the Costume Shop Manager for opportunities.
Stage Running Crew
• Stage crew is responsible for shifting props and set pieces during the show.
Scenic Artist/Painter
• 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
• Interested students should contact the Scene Designer as soon as
Master Electrician
• As the technical director is to the scene designer, so the M. E. is for the lighting
• The M. E. is responsible for insuring the realization of the light
• Speak to the faculty lighting designer if interested.
• The M.E. is responsible for hanging and circuiting the lighting units
according to the 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.
• The M.E. is also responsible for conducting the light check
before every performance.
• The M.E. may attend production meetings regularly, at the
discretion of the lighting designer.
• At the least, the Master Electrician, 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.
Properties Designer/Manager
• The Props Designer/Manager is responsible for obtaining all props needed for the
• He/she works with the Stage Manager in gathering appropriate
rehearsal props early in the rehearsal process.
• He/she may also be called upon to help the Scene Designer dress
the set.
• Speak to the faculty scene designer or technical director if
• Depending on the production’s needs, the Props Designer/Manager will
pull from storage, purchase, or make the props for the production.
• Attend all scheduled production meetings.
• Assists 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.
• 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”.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• The Props Designer should make an approximate cost list
for the props. He/she will need to decide what will need to be purchased,
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.
• 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.
• 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). If you have any doubts,
check with the store’s Customer Service department. 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.
• Sometimes it seems easier to use cash and be reimbursed. This is
not a good idea. There will be some time and extra paperwork
before the money can be returned. If cash must be used, the proper
store receipt must be given to the UT Technical Director.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• He/she may also need to train actors in the proper
use of certain props.
• Props Designers/Managers may be asked to attend certain run-throughs
and other rehearsals the director deems necessary (with a fair amount of
• 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.)
• 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.
• 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
• Disposable (letters, assorted documents, etc.) or
perishable (food, flowers, etc.) props should be thrown away.
Please check with the Technical Director before throwing anything
• 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.
• It doesn’t hurt to check with everyone.
• Remember the Prop Designer’s responsibilities. Priorities
must be kept and the budget must not be exceeded. Speak to the
Technical Director as soon as possible if you feel you cannot meet a
deadline or if the required props may exceed the production’s budget. The
TD can facilitate discussions on how best to proceed.
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:
• Meet with the director before the first production meeting to
discuss concepts and approach to the production design.
• Attend all production meetings, technical rehearsals and
performances for the productions assigned.
• Supervise scenic painting which may include personally executing
scenic painting projects as assigned by the faculty scenographer.
• Coordinate 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:
• Meet with the director before the first production meeting to
discuss concepts and approach to the production design.
• Attend all production meetings, level-set and cue building calls,
technical rehearsals and performances for the productions assigned.
• Coordinate with the faculty technical director to arrange the
purchase of color media, gobos, specialty lighting products, or electrical supplies
for show-specific items.
• Coordinate with the master electrician at least twice a week to
monitor progress of the lighting hang and circuiting activity.
• Supervise the focus and color installation of all lighting
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 of student costume
designers include:
• Meet with the director before the first production meeting to
discuss concepts and approach to the production design.
• Attend all production meetings, technical rehearsals and
performances for the productions assigned.
• Coordinate with the staff costume shop supervisor and the faculty
technical director to arrange the purchase of fabric, wigs, and costume
• Check in with the costume shop supervisor at least three times
each week to monitor progress of the build.
• Attend all final fittings with the director and costume shop
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:
• Meet with the scenic designer before the first production meeting
to discuss concepts and approach to the production design.
• Attend all production meetings, technical rehearsals and
performances for the productions assigned.
• Coordinate daily with the faculty technical director (or scene shop
supervisor) to monitor progress of the build.
• Monitor expenses daily to ensure scenery build stays within
acceptable budget limits.
• Assist faculty technical director with load-in of scenery and
training of student stage crew and flymen.
• Coordinate technical rehearsals with the production stage manager
• Supervise 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. He/She is 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
• The Sound Designer should read the script and meet with the Director in
order to discuss the sound design for the show and begin to make the cue
• There are many types of sound effects and many ways they
are created.
• There may be a composer creating music for the production.
• The Director may have specific pieces of music
picked out or they may want the Sound Designer to make some
• There quite possibly will be non musical effects
needed. These may be recorded from other sources for playback or
created live during the performance.
• The Sound Designer is also responsible for setting
up any sound reinforcement equipment that may be needed.
• 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.
• The Sound Designer needs to become very familiar with
the sound equipment in the booth.
• He/she will need to know how to record the effects onto the
different types of playback equipment.
• 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.
• 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). In any case, it’s important that these
kind of effects be discussed in production meetings.
• The Sound Designer 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.
• Sound Designers must attend 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.
• The Sound Designer must attend all production meetings and some
specific meetings with the Director. 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.
• What follows is not an 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. Lawrence Stern’s book Stage Management (9th
edition) is an excellent resource for new stage managers.
• 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:
• Attend all rehearsals and performances.
• Create a master calendar of rehearsals, target dates and deadlines,
and performances.
• Conduct auditions with the director, including coordinating
audition forms, information sheets and participants’ traffic patterns.
• Script distribution and collection.
• Prepare cast and crew contact lists.
• Tape the floor for scenery locations in the theatre (for rehearsals)
and spike the scenery onstage in the theatre (for performances). This requires the
ability to read a scenic design ground plan.
• Prepare theatre or rehearsal space for all rehearsals (includes
sweeping and mopping the stage, pre-setting furniture and props, etc).
• Clean up after all rehearsals and performances spaces (includes
returning props and furniture to storage as needed, backstage custodial duties,
etc.). This can include cleaning up after actors, who should be directed to clean
up after themselves. Anything they leave behind, stage managers must clean up,
so police the space before actors leave and make sure they take their things with
• Record director’s blocking and assist actors with blocking as
• Take line notes when actors are off book and prompt actors as
• Assist the properties team and coordinate rehearsal props and
furniture as necessary. This also includes creating and maintaining a master props
• Chair production meetings.
• Develop preset lists and running order lists.
• Organize backstage storage areas for rehearsals and performances
in cooperation with the technical director.
• Write and distribute daily rehearsal reports and performance
• Facilitate communication between production staff members as
necessary for smooth production operations.
• Manage the production call board, including sign-in sheets, and
• Monitor actors’ attendance and punctuality for rehearsals and
performances and deliver all pre-show time calls.
• Coordinate all scene shift rehearsals and technical rehearsals in
cooperation with the technical director.
• Supervise 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).
• Organize and supervise special rehearsals for fight calls, dance
combinations and special effects.
• Call 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
• Discuss working relationship and expectations
• Attempt to specifically define what the director wants in a stage manager
• How in-charge are you?
• What are you responsible for?
• How formally should rehearsals be run?
• Rehearsal breaks?
• “Off-book” dates?
• Begin to develop a rapport.
Production meetings
• There are usually production meeting time slots reserved by the faculty each term.
• Consult with the Technical Director to determine which slot has been
assigned for the current productions.
• Production meetings are always held in the conference room adjacent to the
Theatre Arts department office (216D).
• If you are meeting at one of the department’s assigned slots, the room
should already be reserved. Check with the TA department office.
• 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.
• Determine who should be at (or at least invited) to production meetings.
• Director
• Stage Manager
• Assistants are not required to attend but may as appropriate
• Technical Director
• Costume Designer
• Scenic Designer
• Lighting Designer
• Sound Designer
• Props Manager
• Publicity
• Faculty Advisor (for student designers)
• Student assistant designers, master electricians or others
involved in the production are invited to meetings at the designers’
discretion and are welcome to attend.
• Obtain contact information and create a production team contact sheet
• Photocopy or email to the entire team
Coordinating with Theatre Arts Department Office Staff
• Establishing a good relationship with the department office staff (especially the
office manager) 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
• It is useful, for example, to inform the office manager 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.
• Arrange for an introduction to the Publicity Manager, as you will coordinate with
this person on the creation and approval of the program and any photo or publicity
• Photocopying
• Each production should be assigned a copier code for the department to
track copies made
• Contact the TA department office to obtain a code and to
learn how to use photocopier
Working with ASMs
• Part of your job as a Stage Manager will often be to work with an assistant. He or
she may have never stage managed before, and you will need to take on a guiding
• 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.
• Have a regular meeting with your ASM(s). Make sure that you
have good, strong, open two-way communication.
• 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.
• 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. Empower them and it will make rehearsals (especially
tech) run smoother every single time.
Communicating with Actors
• In summary, 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
• Callboard info
• Production callboards are in the Robinson greenroom (aka “the Lounge”)
• Post information relevant to actors
• Rehearsal Schedule
• Fitting schedules
• Special rehearsal calls
• Make-up calls
• Fight rehearsals
• Don’t assume that every (or any) actor will look at the callboard, despite
its availability or encouragement to do so regularly.
• Telephones, Cell Phones, Email and Texting
• Get complete contact information from every actor as soon as the show is
• 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. (You might be surprised
that there are many actors, of all ages, who don’t text.)
• 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.
Monitoring Auditions
• Audition announcements
• Create signs in consultation with director (or director will create them
• Audition sheets
• In consultation with director
• Format
• Required information
• Basic contact info
• Past performance credits
• Special skills?
• Make photocopies
• Distribution
• How are they to be distributed?
• In advance of auditions
• At auditions
• Location Reservation
• When a date and time has been determined, reserve space
• Auditions in Villard 104, 202, 102 (Pocket) reserved through
• Auditions in the Robinson or Hope Theatres,
reserve with Janet Rose
• Callbacks
• In consultation with director
• Procedure for announcing callbacks
• Make reservations for space in advance
• Casting
• Many directors want the stage manager’s input during the casting process,
but some may not
• Try not to let your personal experience with actors who are
being considered color the opinions you provide to the director
• Attempt to approach the casting process as if you were hiring
someone for a job.
• Talk specifically about your observations of the
actor. What do you know about:
• Their punctuality (both in the past and at these auditions)?
• Their work ethic?
• Their cooperation with the audition monitors (you or your
• 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)?
• Their availability?
• Did they have only a narrow window of time to audition or come to
callbacks due to other commitments?
• Their personality?
• Polite and courteous? (Did they thank you?)
• Hesitant?
• Shy?
• Nervous (beyond normal audition nerves)?
Audition/Rehearsal Space Preparation
• Security
• 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.
• Air Handling
• 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 the
TD about contacting the facilities department.
• Lighting
• Work lights
• Robinson
• 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.
• Hope
• 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
• Blocks/cubes/chairs for actors
• Please check with the TD about what is available for your
• Create a schedule in consultation with director
• Space set up (see auditions section)
• Rehearsal props/furniture
• Work with set designer and props manager to determine what is needed
• Determine, in consultation with the TD, which properties
storage boxes are available for your production.
• Taping floor
• Get tape
• Color-coding
• Decide what needs to be taped for rehearsal purposes
• Scheduling
• Breaks
• Blocking notation
• Needs to be done
• Books about blocking notation theory
• “on book”
• Create a procedure with actors
• Timing
• Time whole rehearsals, acts, scenes
• Rehearsal notes/reports
• Daily
• 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.
Emergency info
• Procedures for what to do in event of emergency
• 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.
• Action Plans??
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 63333.
• 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.
• Effective July 12, 2009, you should begin using all 10 digits whenever you place
local calls from the 541 area code. If you forget and use the old dialing procedure
of dialing just 7-digits, your call will still be completed.
• Beginning January 10, 2010, you must use the 10-digit dialing
procedure for all local calls. After this date, if you do not use the new dialing
procedure, your call will not be completed, and a recording will provide
instructions on how to redial your call.
• 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.
• Establish 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 preperformance
• 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.
How to Sweep

• The schedule for Tech Week is created by the stage manager in coordination with
the Director, Technical Director, Scene, Costume, Lighting and Sound Designers
• “Tech Week” is the week leading up to the opening of a
production; 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 Who is involved When
Paper Tech
Designers, Director and
Stage Manager
Week prior to tech
Dry Tech
Designers (except
All crews
except costume (lights,
sound, props, stage)
actors are responsible for
moving scenery, those
involved should also be
Saturday of Tech Week
First Tech
(may be either a
Q to Q or a run-through)
All Designers (except
All crews
except Costume
All Actors
Sunday of Tech Week
First Dress
(usually without
All actors
Monday of Tech Week
Dress Rehearsals See above list
Tuesday-Thursday of Tech
Photo Call
• Photo call is generally scheduled by the publicity department during the week
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).
• Discuss expectations at production meetings: (what will and will not be teched at
each rehearsal)
• Sound
• Sets
• Props
• Costumes
• 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
• Check for costume snag points
• 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
• 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.
• 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.

• Stage managers should establish a procedure for actor and crew calls during Tech
• 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-ofhouse
holds and re-establishing calls.
Stage Manager
• Communicates maintenance needs to the Technical Director.
• Maintains the artistic integrity of the performance.
• Maintains a safe and hospitable working environment for cast and
• Supervises the Assistant Stage Manager(s) and Running Crew.
• 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
• 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
• 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 manager following each performance.
• Maintain the artistic vision of the Director throughout the run of show.
• Are required to fully participate in archival photo call.
Running Crew
• Report directly to the stage manager.
• Are required to participate in photo call and strike.
• Must wear black clothing and shoes from first dress rehearsal
throughout the run of show unless otherwise instructed by the Stage Manager or
Technical Director.

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.
• A Stage Manager under Actors’ Equity Contract is, or shall be obligated to
perform at least the following duties for the Production to which s/he is engaged,
and by performing them is hereby defined as the Stage Manager:
• Shall be responsible for the calling of all rehearsals, whether before or
after opening.
• Shall assemble and maintain the Prompt Book which is
defined as the accurate playing text and stage business, together with such
cue sheets, plots, daily records, etc., as are necessary for the actual
technical and artistic operation of the production.
• Shall work with the Director and the heads of all other
departments, during rehearsal and after opening, schedule rehearsal and
outside calls in accordance with Equity regulations.
• Assume active responsibility for the form and discipline of
rehearsal and performance, and be the executive instrument on the
technical running of each performance.
• Maintain the artistic intentions of the Director and the
Producer after opening, to the best of his/her ability, including calling
correctional rehearsals of the company when necessary and preparation of
the Understudies, Replacements, Extras and Supers, when and if the
Director and/or Producer declines this prerogative. Therefore, if an Actor
finds him/herself unable to satisfactorily work out an artistic difference of
opinion with the Stage Manager regarding the intentions of the Director
and Producer, the Actor has the option of seeking clarification from the
Director or Producer.
• Keep such records as are necessary to advise the Producer
on matters of attendance, time health benefits or other matters relating to
the rights of Equity members. The Stage Manager and Assistant Stage
Managers are prohibited from the making of payrolls or any distribution of
• Stage Manager duties do not include shifting scenery,
running lights or operating the Box Office, etc.
• The Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Managers are
prohibited from handling contracts, having riders signed or initialed, or
any other function which normally comes under the duties of the General
Manager or Company Manager.
• The Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Managers are
prohibited from participating in the ordering of food for the company.
• The Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Managers are
prohibited from signing the closing notice of the company or the
individual notice of any Actor’s termination.
• Equity Actors also have responsibilities. When you are working with actors,
please consider what is ultimately your responsibility and what is theirs. These
guidelines can help you clarify this distinction.
• All Equity members must:
• Be on time for all rehearsals and half-hour calls. [Equity specifies a no
later than 30-minute call for actors prior to dress rehearsals and
performances; Actors who come at 30 minutes are expected to be ready to
perform, with hair and makeup done, physically and vocally warmed up,
and in their costume and ready to “Go” at performance time.]
• Notify the Stage Manager as soon as possible, and certainly
before half-hour, if ill or unable to reach the theatre on time.
• Remember that, even though places for each act will be
called, you alone are responsible for all of your entrance cues.
• Observe all reasonable rules of the management not in
conflict with Equity rules.
• Cooperate with the Stage Manager and Assistant Stage
Managers, Dance Captain and Fight Captain.
• Take proper care of, and make no unauthorized changes in,
your costumes, props, or make-up.
• Maintain your performance as directed.
• Appear at curtain calls in complete costume and make-up.

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
• 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.
• 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 preapproved
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.
Lighting Equipment
• 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 conclude
by 6:30 p.m.
See Janet Rose for additional information and a complete copy of the Pocket Playhouse