Stage management

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(Redirected from Stage manager)

Stage management is a sub-discipline of stagecraft.

Although a somewhat fluid line of work, in essence the Stage Management team (which can consist of a Production Stage Manager, several Assistant Stage Managers, and any number of Production Assistants) is responsible for organizing the production, communicating across different diciplines (e.g. between the Director and the backstage crew, or the actors and Production Management), and keeping everything running smoothly. This refers not only to seamless management of the technical aspects of a production, but of the human aspects as well.

The responsibilities and duties of Stage Management vary depending on the setting of a production, i.e. rehearsals or performance, and the type of production being presented (theatre, dance, music). Typically in theatre, the Stage Manager acts as an adjunct to the Director in rehearsal, recording the blocking and seeing that cast members stay on script, have necessary props, and follow the blocking. As the lighting and sound cues are developed, the Stage Manager meticulously records the timing of each as it relates to the script and other aspects of the performance. Once the house opens, the Stage Manager essentially takes control, calling the cues for all transitions (this is known as being "on the book", the book being the script in which the cues and blocking are written), as well as acting as communications hub for the cast and crew. This function is referred to as Prompt.

Professional Stage Managers in the United States are represented by Actor's Equity and have more prescribed responsibilities. They are also responsible for maintaining the schedule and rehearsal hall within the guidelines of the Equity agreement.

In Britain, professional Stage Managers are represented by the British union Equity, who also represent performers. The division of a British Stage Management team varies according to the type of production, but can consist of Stage Manager (overseeing the smooth running of the show, scene changes and so on), Deputy Stage Manager (commonly called DSM, doing the job of an American Stage Manager, as above) and Assistant Stage Manager (commonly called ASM, generally working in the props and scene change area of the show, sometimes operating sound (recorded or live) or lighting as well). A fringe theatre show may employ one Stage Manager to carry out the tasks of an entire team. A West End Theatre show in London might employ multiple Stage Managers, DSMs and ASMs. The Royal National Theatre in London divides the work of a Stage Management team in a slightly different way to regional theatres.

See also: stagecraft, theatre,de:Inspizient


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