The Production Team
This list is not exhaustive and not all productions will require all of these functions.
In professional theatre the Producer has overall responsibility for the production, arranges the financial backing and organises business and managerial aspects. In amateur societies this function is often performed by the society committee or a sub-committee.
The Director has overall responsibility for the artistic side of the production and will need to liaise closely with all the other members of the production team. The Director usually holds auditions to choose the cast, then takes charge of rehearsals.
Musical Director / Vocal Coach
Selects the music, arranges musical score, directs and organises the musicians and singers, plays piano for rehearsals.
Liaises with the Director and Musical Director to choreograph dances and coach dancers.
Second only to the Director, the Stage Manager is responsible for everything that occurs on stage, this includes making sure the cast are on stage when they should be with the right scenery in place and at the right time. The stage manager runs the show from the first technical or dress rehearsal to the end of the run.
Deputy or Assistant Stage Manager
It is useful to have one person specifically responsible to the Stage Manager as they cannot be in all places at all times. The Deputy will often be responsible for calling the actors to the stage and co-ordinating the Stage Crew.
A Stage Crew may or may not be needed depending on the specific requirements of the production. They will be under the control and supervision of the Stage Manager and Deputy Stage Manager doing a variety of tasks like setting and striking the set and furniture.
There may be different designers responsible for scenery, costumes, publicity material, and so on, but they all need to co-ordinate their efforts. In amateur societies there are often only a few people with the necessary artistic skills, so they are usually responsible for putting their designs into practice too.
Often a joint effort by members of the society, probably coordinated by the Stage Manger. Usually involves repairing and adapting existing pieces of scenery, making new pieces and painting scenery.
Decide on the costume requirements for the productions and if necessary design and make, hire or acquire the costumes and costume accessories.
Often in amateur societies each actor will be responsible for their own make-up. There needs to be an individual (possibly a cast member) who will make sure the necessary make-up items are available and help the actors put on the right make-up.
Interprets the lighting requirements specified or suggested by the script to design, rig and operate stage lighting and effects equipment.
Design, rig and operate sound and effects equipment. Also possibly responsible for recording or obtaining recordings of sound effects and incidental music.
Having decided what items are required finds, makes, borrows and organises properties.
Makes sure the local media, newspapers, radio etc., are kept informed.
Helps the cast by giving clear cues during rehearsals and performances.
Front of House Manager
Administers and supervises all the activities not taking place on stage, principally making sure the audience are catered for. Often also responsible for general finances.
copyright Leigh Graham 1997-2010.