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Stage Manager

Page history last edited by NCHS Drama Club 8 years ago

Stage management is the practice of organizing and coordinating a theatrical production. It encompasses a variety of activities, including organizing the production and coordinating communications between various personnel (e.g., between director and backstage crew, or actors and production management). Stage management is a sub-discipline of stagecraft.


A stage manager is one who has overall responsibility for stage management and the smooth execution of a production. Stage management may be performed by an individual in small productions, while larger productions typically employ a stage management team consisting of a head stage manager, or "Production Stage Manager", and one or more assistant stage managers.




The responsibilities and duties of stage management vary depending on the setting of a production (i.e., rehearsal or performance) and the type of production (e.g., theatre, dance, music). Most broadly, it is the stage manager's responsibility to ensure that the director's artistic choices are realized in actual performance.


As the lighting, sound, and set change cues are developed, the stage manager records the timing of each as it relates to the script and other aspects of the performance. The stage manager maintains a prompt book, sometimes called "the book" or "the bible," which contains all cues, technical notes, blocking and other information pertinent to the show.

During rehearsals, the stage manager typically serves as an adjunct to the director by recording the blocking and ensuring that cast members stay on script, have the requisite props, and follow the blocking. Stage managers are responsible for helping establish a show's rehearsal schedule and ensuring that rehearsals run on time. The stage manager typically documents each rehearsal in a rehearsal report.


Once the house opens for a performance, the stage manager controls all aspects of the performance by calling the cues for all transitions (this is known as "calling the show") and acting as communications hub for the cast and crew. Large productions may utilize a stage management team in which the manager is responsible for calling the show while other team members operate backstage to ensure actors and crew are ready to perform their duties. After a show opens, the stage manager is also responsible for calling brush-up, put in and understudy rehearsals to make sure that the show's quality is maintained.[3]


The stage manager ensures that lighting and sound cues are acted upon at the right time by issuing verbal standby and prompt calls. Each cue call begins with the word "standby" to indicate that an action is imminent and, in response, the technician who will perform the action acknowledges readiness to perform the action. At the appropriate time, the stage manager will prompt immediate execution of the action by saying "go".


Stage management. (2012, July 2). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:04, August 12, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Stage_management&oldid=500367689

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