For every Royal Exchange play there is a Stage Management team of three people. They are the Stage Manager (SM), the Deputy Stage Manager (DSM) and the Assistant Stage Manager (ASM). Each person has responsibility for different aspects of the production but they all work very closely together as a team. Here are a few of the many jobs stage management do…
- Find, create and buy all the paper props: working closely with the props buyer and the designer, stage management source paper props (things like letters or newspapers), and all the food and drink needed for the show.
- Mark-up the floor of the rehearsal room: To help the actors get used to the size and shape of the theatre, the floor is marked up using coloured tape which will reflect precisely the size and dimensions of the stage – it’s a bit like a basket ball court. Different coloured tape will show where items of the set are positioned. All of this helps the actors to know exactly where they can and can’t stand.
- Produce a door plot: This is a document which shows which doors actors are using to enter and exit during the production and when.
- Produce a schedule for each day: During rehearsals there are lots of places the actors might need to be. There might be wig and wardrobe fittings, publicity interviews, sound recordings or separate rehearsals for songs or fight scenes. Stage management produce a schedule which tells the actors where they need to be and when
- Compile the book: This is a copy of the script that has notes about where all the actors stand and move to, when the sound and lighting cues (changes) are, quick costume changes and so on.
- Set all the props and help with the scene changes: Once the show is on, stage management are responsible for putting all the props in the correct places and helping the crew with any scene changes. It is their job to make sure everything runs smoothly and that any problems are quickly solved without affecting the audience.