CriticalDance Forum

Production Management (formerly Flyman)
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri May 14, 2004 4:14 am ]
Post subject:  Production Management

From The Stage

A young lady came to visit the fly floor this week. This is an occurrence worth reporting in itself since fly floors generally concede only to the Garrick Club when it comes to preserving the ethics of the rugby club bar. In the main, our female contact is confined to the calm and measured tones of the DSM muttering over the talkback such traditional endearments as "Standby fly cue six", or, in a more personal vein, "Where is the bloody star cloth?"

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Author:  BabsLights [ Wed May 19, 2004 6:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Production Management (formerly Flyman)

Part of the problem is that there is absolutely no consensus about how the job should be done. Those who reach the dizzy heights of production management have to decide for themselves what their approach is going to be and will be greatly influenced by their own personal background.
Very interesting article.

I wonder if any readers here have any comments on this?

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri May 21, 2004 9:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Production Management (formerly Flyman)

I found it interesting too Barb. the intriguing thing is that while we tend to know a lot about where Artistic Directors or even Rehearsal Directors have earned their stripes we hear very little about the stage management side.

Flyman writes that Stage Managers come with a variety of job experience. Barb, does this make for a wide range of approaches as Flyman suggests? Should it be more standardised or taught as "best/good practise".

Author:  BabsLights [ Mon May 24, 2004 8:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Production Management (formerly Flyman)

I've started several times, Stuart, to respond to your question, and each time have erased what I started.

Then I was looking around on the web, and found a short version of a job description on Milwaukee Ballet's site for hiring the position of production manager:

Milwaukee Ballet Production Manager Listing

Responsibilities: Oversee and coordinate all aspects of physical production and the production process. Supervise and oversee all production staff and crew. Organize and manage production design and scheduling and set rentals. Provide cost estimates on designs submitted and account for commitments and expenditures in budgets for materials and labor in scenic, stage, lighting, sound and special effects, capital equipment and other special projects. Establish technical schedules and coordinate all activities related to theater productions including scenery construction, property construction, painting, maintenance and improvements. Develop equipment and procedures for stage effects and changeovers. Coordinate and oversee the installation, maintenance and inventory of technical equipment and facilities. Assist in contracting dancers, choreographers and designers. Facilitate communication between designers, directors and staff. Maintain supervision of theatre use. Manage carpentry, electrical and property staff.
_ _ _ _

So you can see by the responsibilities, there's a lot of areas of experience that come together for the position.
_ _ _ _

Ballet British Colunbia also currently has the position open: Ballet British Columbia

Responsible for:
• Strategic planning with executive and artistic directors
• Creating and managing performance and creation budgets
• Creating production schedules including stage use, studio use, construction and touring.
• Organizing and maintaining production facilities and equipment
• Liaising with venues, presenters, suppliers, renters and guest companies
• Participation in establishing company policy and staff development
• Contracting of creative designers, production facilities, suppliers and technical staff
• Reviewing designs, schedules and budgets for technical and performance issues
• Video and music management and production for rehearsals and performances
• Maintaining studio equipment and facility
• Organizing rehearsal props, sets and costumes for studio use
• Preparation of all show paperwork
• Supervision of all technical crew
• Determining and documenting all technical procedures for installation, operation, storage, transportation and strike of stagecraft elements
• Determining, ordering and documenting rental and purchase equipment

Author:  LMCtech [ Tue Jun 08, 2004 1:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Production Management (formerly Flyman)

and you know they don't really mention the most important qualifications for these jobs. The ability to effectively lead people and/or be a good manager.

I have worked with some highly qualified PMs who had so many personal issues they couldn't manage to keep themselves together let alone a whole production. I've also worked with PMs I would have followed off a cliff if it was necessary to keep the show running. It all turns on attitude and sense of humor. Oh and...qualifications.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:37 am ]
Post subject: 

Technical talk
By Barbara Eifler for The Stage

A rose by any other name might smell as sweet. Or in the case of stage manager, does this one name in fact denote different flowers?

There are two types of stage management. One is attached to the production. Their job is to prepare rehearsals and run them, prepare the show and run it, clear up and go on to the next production. As a technician once put it to me: “They work with actors!” Scary stuff.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:39 am ]
Post subject: 

Training day
By Barbara Eifler for The Stage

Some of the biggest names in technical theatre met at the John Watts Memorial Forum recently to discuss the much-debated issue of training. Barbara Eifler reports on how delegates gave the idea of staff certification a cautious welcome.

The John Watts Memorial Forum, chaired by Ken Bennett-Hunter, took place on May 18 and tackled the thorny subject of technical training in theatre.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Anglo-Saxon Stage Management
By Barbara Eifler for The Stage

Stage management is unique to English-speaking countries as a concept. In other cultures the jobs we do are split up between different people with different functions.

Thus in Germany, for instance, there did not used to be anybody to cue the show - departments would take their own cues. With the advent of the large musicals so popular in Germany from the eighties onwards, this became a problem.

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