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The Back Stage Guide to Stage Management

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emily mills

on 22 November 2013

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Transcript of The Back Stage Guide to Stage Management

The Back Stage Guide to Stage Management
Kelly's Definition of a Stage Manager
Defining the job description for a stage manager is hard because there are so many responsibilities.

Kelly believes there is no fixed definition; only guidelines.

Every production is different and requires changes in the scope of the stage manager’s job.
“Stage managers are responsible and adaptable communicators who have the ability to handle and coordinate diverse groups of artistic personalities with tactful discipline and a sense of humor. They establish a creative environment by combining the ability to prioritize and anticipate and solve problems, with calm sensitivity and grace under pressure. Their ability to do the above items stems from organizational ability, acquired technical knowledge (sound, music, lights, design and construction, typing, use of computers, and so on), familiarity with union requirements, and an inspirational personality that creates positive energy.”

Book by Thomas A. Kelly
Presentation by Emily Mills

Philosophy of Stage Management
Create and set an atmosphere of work, enthusiasm, and belief

Be diplomatic and evenhanded
"The most difficult situation for a stage manager is the need to be loyal to a bad director or a bad production"
Second Edition
A stage manager should...
The Art of Intangibles
"What is good stage management?... I will take for granted the ability to cue a show impeccably, organize props with efficiency, and keep a clean and lucid "book" or record of the production. All of this is the science. As director and head of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain I have, I know, accepted these skills as the norm for many years. I will concentrate on the art - or, if you like, the intangibles."
- Peter Hall
The Vitality of Communication
"Production at any level is about
Take Away
Science v. Art
Take Away: The Golden Rule of Theate Production
Defining Stage Management
"Responsible and Adaptable communicators"
Key Phrases

"Tactful Discipline and a sense of humor"
"Establish a creative environment"
"Combining the ability to prioritize and anticipate and solve problems with calm sensitivity and grace under pressure"
"An inspirational personality that creates positive energy"
Communication is a vital part of stage management, and stage managers must communicate clearly and without editorializing.
Being an adaptable communicator
Using different approaches to different situations
The ability to compromise
Adapting to needs: there is no fixed definition of a stage manager
In the case of conflicting demands, remember and be guided by this simple truism...
Personal Golden Rule of Theatre Production
The Rules:
You may choose two adjectives, but you may never have all three.
Decide what the true priorities are and what can be compromised
There are three adjectives to describe the nature of the solutions: GOOD, CHEAP, and FAST!
On a production of
Twelfth Night
the team discusses an issue concerning the drops that they would like for tech week. In order to have the drops delivered on time, the theater will have to pay a large amount of money for the over time required to make this request possible. The team would like the drops to arrive quickly so that they can tech the show with them but they don’t want to pay the added overtime that the on-time delivery would cost.
Use your Personal Golden Rule of Theater Production to consider the situation below and come to a conclusion
Key part of the definition that Kelly provides
Anticipation allows you to prepare and have a plan for fixing problems
they happen so that you can be effective and prepared.
Be adaptable always
Communicate effectively
Anticipate always
Full transcript