Stage Manager Role
1. General role
The SM is an organisational role.
- The SM ensures the smooth running of the production during the run.
- The SM liaises closely with the Front of House team during the production to ensure both parties know what is expected.
- The SM agrees all prop and furniture requirements with the Director and will liaise with the Production Manager to get approval for any essential over-limit expenditure.
- The SM works with the Props and Set team to obtain all props and furniture.
- The SM is responsible for signing for all NVT Props used by a production and for returning these in good condition to the Props Room at the end of the production.
- The SM will agree with the Director the date when all props should be available for rehearsals.
- The SM will ensure that props are available for rehearsal and stored safely in an agreed location in between rehearsals.
- The SM will start attending rehearsals at least from the point at which props are needed.
- The SM will produce a props sheet marking what props are needed where and at what time in each scene, so that someone else can take over this duty in any emergency.
- It is recommended that the SM appoints one or more ASMs to assist and provide back-up cover in case of illness or unexpected absence.
- The SM will liaise with the NVT Health and Safety Manager about evacuation routes and procedure.
2. During the run
The following is a list of the tasks performed by the Stage Manager during the run:
- Arrive between 6.30 and 7.00 pm (or equivlent for different start time e.g. matinees), depending on complexity of the props.
- Check cast and crew members into a register before each performance.
- Turn on relay speaker in the Dressing Rooms.
- Check with box office staff how many audience are in.
- Check theatre space is clean and clear of litter.
- Ensure space available for wheelchair users (studio only).
- Organise and position props ready for each performance, replacing consumable props as needed.
- Assist cast or crew in any last minute hitches.
- Ensure a torch is available to read prop directions in script.
- Call the hour – inform cast and crew.
- Liaise with Duty Manager about plan for audience entering theatre space.
- Inform Duty Manager on length of each half, exit use during performance, procedure for latecomers etc.
- Ensure cast are dressed and in position at least half-an-hour before curtain.
- Call the half-hour.
- Ensure crew are in position and that sound and light tests have been carried out.
- Ensure all health and safety throughout run: fire door access, presence of fire extinguishes (foam filled near electrical appliances), no costumes blocking corridor in dressing rooms, etc.
- Call the quarter hour to curtain up.
- Advise Duty Manager when the theatre space is ready to be opened. This may be close to start if cast are preset.
- When all audience members are in the auditorium the Duty Manager will give 'CLEARANCE' to start the performance.
- If play is in the studio, ensure lights in foyer are out..
- For studio performances; ensure lights in corridor to toilets and props table area are off.
- Get first actors ready. Stand-by light and sound.
- Light and sound queues to start.
- Usher cast in unless they start in the space before audience is let in.
- Agree actual time to re-start after interval with Duty Manager.
- Clear props during interval and set for 2nd half.
- Give actors 5 minute call before audience comes in.
- Inform Duty Manager when ready to get audience back in.
- When all audience members are in the auditorium the FoH Manager will give 'CLEARANCE' to re-start the performance.
- Ensure actors ready to go on and queue sound and light.
- At the end of the performance, clear auditorium of audience and rubbish.
- Clear props and re-set for first half.
- Turn off tannoy in dressing rooms.
- Check that lights and power have been switched off and doors locked upstairs once cast has changed and taken required belongings.