Special Sub-Topic: The Hardworking Stage Manager
|Which of the following tasks does a stage manager NOT do during rehearsals?|
Play the piano to accompany singers onstage. During rehearsals, the stage manager serves both as the liaison to the design team and the main secretary for the director's work. The stage manager's notes on where everyone stands ("blocking") in the first production of a play are frequently used in published scripts as the stage directions.
|What does a stage manager mainly do after a show opens?|
Prep the stage, call cues, and train understudies. Once a show opens, the director usually leaves to go work on another show. The stage manager remains behind to make sure that the show remains true to the director's vision for the rest of the run. This includes making sure that the set looks the same every night, the lighting happens in the same place, and the actors perform their roles the same way.
|Your stage manager has asked you to get something out of his "kit." What should you be looking for?|
A box full of supplies, odds and ends that might be needed. A stage manager's kit is usually filled with small tools, office supplies and sometimes light first aid supplies that might be needed in a pinch during rehearsals and performances.
|You're rehearsing for a show and you have forgotten your lines in the middle of a scene. What should you say to get the stage manager to help you out?|
Line.. The traditional word for requesting a line prompt is "line." If you use any other words the stage manager may not know that you need to be prompted.
|What is the usual word used by stage managers to tell their crew to start running a cue?|
Go.. The standard sequence in prepping for a cue is "warning... standby... go." The warning usually comes a few minutes before the cue. The standby comes just before the cue happens. "Go" is the word used to execute the cue.
|The stage manager generally creates which of the following documents for a show?|
Phone number list, rehearsal calendar and scene shift plots. The stage manager is responsible for heading up communication between all parties, coordinating the rehearsal schedule and supervising the tasks of the backstage crew. While they assist in the smooth implementation of everyone else's designs (lighting, set, costumes, staging) they generally do not create any of those designs themselves.
|Your stage manager pops her head into the dressing room and says "half hour please, and house is open." What has she just told you?|
The show starts in 30 minutes and there are now audience members in the theatre.. Tracking how much time is left until the show starts is another one of the stage manager's many tasks. The SM will typically warn the cast at 30 minutes, 15 minutes and 5 minutes before the show starts.
|The director has just told an actor to enter a scene by crawling in through a window on the set. A good stage manager will make sure that which of the following people are aware of this choice?|
The set designer, lighting designer and the costume designer. The set designer will need to know to make sure that the window can open and that the scenery can support the actor's weight. The costumer will need to make sure that the actor's costume is loose enough for him to get over the base of the window. The lighting designer will need to make sure that there is light behind the wall so that the actor's entrance doesn't look funny.
|True or false: Working on Broadway or the West End is the ultimate goal for every stage manager.|
f. Every stage manager has a different idea of the perfect job. While some do aspire to work on Broadway, others see tours, cruise ships, circus tents or even megachurch services as their venues of choice.
|You hear your stage manager talking about "preset." What are they referring to?|
The process of checking that set pieces, props and costumes are in the right place before a show. Preset is a very detailed process and can take upwards of two hours before a show starts to complete thoroughly. The SM must verify that single set piece, prop and costume piece are in the right places, as well as the cast and crew.
|Does a stage manager need to have extensive acting experience?|
n. Stage managers need to be familiar with the principles of acting, as they may have to instruct understudies in how to take over if an actor cannot perform. In some very small shows, the assistant stage manager actually doubles as an understudy. While some knowledge of the craft is valuable, extensive performing experience is not essential for a stage manager.
|True or false: Most stage managers are just washed up actors or failed directors.|
f. While acting should be included in the stage manager's skill set, the duties of a good SM extend way beyond what happens onstage. The prime talents of a stage manager should be organization, forethought, efficiency and strong communication skills. Good stage managers who leave theatre have found excellent success as wedding planners, travel agents and middle managers in the corporate world.
|Which of the following performances would NOT require a stage manager (or someone in a similar role)?|
Pub Karaoke. If it involves large numbers of people and a whole bunch of effects, chances are there will be a stage manager involved. Only pub karaoke is low-key enough that a stage manager is generally not needed.
|True or false: Stage managers sometimes have to restage scenes after the director has left.|
t. Yes! On a show that runs for a very long time, it is frequently the case that one actor will leave the show and another actor will take over their role. In many cases, the director cannot return to help, so the stage manager will have to "put in" the new actor and adapt the staging to fit if necessary.
|Which is the most popular labor union for stage managers in the United States?|
Actors Equity Association (AEA). The Actors Equity Association (AEA) tends to draw the highest number of stage managers in the USA, followed closely by the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA). AEA handles many professional straight plays and musicals. AGMA works more with with opera companies and dance companies.
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