Roles and Responsibilities of Theatrical Production

word of month character

stage_mgr1

Roles and Responsibilities of Theatrical Production

It is important to know what are responsibilities are. It is also important to know other’s responsibilities. Not only does this allow us to know who to go to in order to get assistance but it gives us respect for other’s talents and skills. Here is a run-down of who does what in theater.

PRODUCER

The Producer is a person who oversees all aspects of mounting a theatre production. The producer manages the overall financial and managerial functions of a production or venue, raises or provides financial backing, and hires personnel for creative positions (writer, director, designers, composer, choreographer—and in some cases, performers

DIRECTOR

A theatre director or stage director is responsible for leading the members of a creative team into realizing the artistic vision of the production. They oversee and orchestrate the mounting of a theatre production (a play, an opera, a musical, or a devised piece of work) by unifying various endeavours and aspects of production. The director’s function is to ensure the quality and completeness of theatre production.

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

The responsibilities of an assistant director in theatre may range from taking notes to actually staging parts of the play. Many aspiring theatre directors begin their careers assistant directing.

DESIGNERS

Designers are the heads of their respective departments, i.e., Lighting, Sound, and Set). They come up with concepts and themes based on the script and execute them in collaboration with one another in order to see the overall vision of the production carried out. This vision is established by the Director. Each department has its own team members.

STAGE MANAGER

A stage manager is one who has overall responsibility for stage management and the smooth execution of a production. Stage management may be performed by an individual in small productions, while larger productions typically employ a stage management team consisting of a head stage manager, or “Production Stage Manager”, and one or more assistant stage managers.

HOUSE MANAGER

In theatre, house management concerns the selling of tickets, the ushering of patrons in front of house areas, and the maintenance and management of the theatre building itself. House management staff usually work for the theatre, under the supervision of the house manager, and not for the theatrical troupe which is currently occupying it. Often in regional or smaller theatres the responsibility falls under the aegis of the production manager. In any case, house management works closely with the production management team for the presentation of the theatrical production

The Importance of Staying Busy

word of month character

I come from a family of five kids. Depending on whom you talk to, that is either a handful or nothing. Despite what people might think though, growing up with three boys and two girls, countless pets, a crazy grandmother, and friends and cousins that would randomly come over and end up staying, my house was always a little chaotic to say the least. Looking around the table at my brothers and sister the other week for my parents’ 40th Wedding Anniversary though I started to wonder, how did we all turn out so well? Not to toot my own horn, but I’m just a little surprised with so many of us, you’d think at least ONE of us would have gotten into trouble along the way, especially with all of our unique challenges. No, we’re not perfect. No family is, but all of us are well-educated, hard working, family oriented, kind people with no major hiccups in our backgrounds. I’m extremely proud of all the accomplishments of my brothers and sister – graduations, weddings, job promotions, business developments, and we’re still going. How did my mom do it? How did she not let at least one of us slip through the cracks?

The answer is, she kept us all extremely busy growing up. We all always had a full schedule. There honestly just wasn’t enough time to ever get into major trouble, even though we tried. When my brother’s high school crush would call him on our house phone (back when people had house phones), my sister and I would listen in as he begged her to stop calling him at home because our mom would make him swim more. “You obviously are not busy enough if you have time for a girlfriend”, she would say. “I can’t swim anymore, I’ll die! You have to stop calling me at night” my brother would plea over the phone. That relationship didn’t last too long. If we ever tried to smoke or drink growing up we would pay for it on the field or in the pool the next day. Somehow my mom always seemed to know if we were doing something wrong even though we thought we were sneaky, and would make us swim extra laps or run extra miles. Between swimming, school, after-school sports, extra-curricular art classes, more swimming, and the massive amounts of homework my teachers would pile on me, I fell asleep almost every night under my dining room table on top of a school book, only to be dragged out by my feet and carried to bed by my dad. To say my mom pushed us hard is probably an understatement. But she was always there in everything we did, and even though I resented her sometimes, looking back I think, she was really smart. She never let me hang out with my friends at the mall alone, she never let me loiter around and do nothing. She knew that’s when kids get into trouble. So she kept me and all of us busy all the time, even if that meant living out of her car, driving to 5 different games or competitions every weekend, giving up sleep so she could finish our homework for us (shhh!;) She knew every aspect of our lives, and nothing ever came as a surprise to her. She made sure we were successful because honestly, there was no other option.

Today every family seems to have a full schedule. Between school, homework, sports, after-school programs, weekend events, and vacations, just trying to keep up with family-life can seem like an overwhelming and daunting task, not just for the parents, but for kids as well. One can see how parents today might be concerned that they are pushing their kids too hard. While everyone has their own challenges, and there has to be a balance to everyone’s schedule, I feel from my own experience it is better to always stay a little busier than not busy enough. Kids who have a full schedule of school, sports, and arts become better at communication and making friends, they manage their time better, and are more disciplined. They are better equipped to face future challenges, and less likely to get into trouble or fall into pitfalls. It also gives them a closer relationship with their parents since usually it is the parents who enable them to do so many things and need to be involved. I know it can seem overwhelming sometimes, but looking around the table at my happy, healthy, and successful brothers and sister, and then looking at my parents, I promise you the pay off is worth it.

The Confident Actor

word of month character

When I use the word, “actor”, I apply it very broadly because my worldview was shaped almost simultaneously with my introduction to acting principles. When I am speaking in “big picture” terms as I am in this article, when I say actor, I am referring to “one who takes action”, in every sense of the word. Not just the person on stage, but the people in the tech booth that let us see and hear them, the audience members that made the choice to be there, the person who speaks out against the mean girl or the playground bully, the person who argues for legislation and regulations in order to put an end to human trafficking. All of these people are confident actors. Below are three signs of confidence in a person that are taught through acting.

Copy of IMG_5530
They are not afraid of being wrong. They do not stubbornly assert their position

ACTING SKILL:
Collaboration – Actors communicate their ideas and make strong choices but they are prepared to make adjustments and improve on themselves for the good of the group and their work; and most importantly, its impact on the world.

SIGN OF CONFIDENCE:
They recognize others good work.
ACTING SKILL:
They do not hog the spotlight.

SIGN OF CONFIDENCE:
They easily connect with other people and are not intimidated about reaching out to more accomplished people for help.
ACTING SKILL:
Find ways to connect with your character and your scene partner. This is achieved through understanding and creativity. It is important to understand what your character needs, wants, and fears. Then you need to have the creativity to relate to it.

SIGN OF CONFIDENCE:
They are not afraid to look silly.
ACTING SKILL:
They take risks in order to make strong choices on stage and always have fun!

 

First Technical Theater Week – Huge Success!

word of month character
Our first Technical Theater Week was a huge success. Students will continue to fine tune their technical theater vocabulary over time but their enthusiasm for this lesser known theatrical art is commendable. Lighting Design rarely gets the attention that it deserves but BLS students are hooked!The skill, creativity, and vision required to pull off an innovative lighting design takes collaboration, communication and patience. I look forward to seeing our students overcome these challenges.

Students demonstrated excellent command over lighting vocabulary and concepts and then they made lighting decisions for their original play, “The Helping Oak Tree.” Students challenged themselves to explain their ideas to their team mates and provide constructive criticism in order to arrive at a consensus.

It was a new way of communicating for nine year olds but their perseverance to speak thoughtfully and respectfully, while also making their ideas clear is an example for children of all ages.

IMG_8402 IMG_8395   IMG_8340

Real Artists

word of month character

“What is one thing you like about yourself?…. What are you good at? What is one talent that you have inside of you?” This is the question I asked my art class at BLS. The word of the month is confidence, and I wanted to start the class with each student feeling confident. One student was sitting in on his first class this year, and as one of my more shy students, hadn’t said a word to me thus far. He rolled his head back, stared up at the ceiling with his big eyes thinking hard, and then barely whispered, “I’m good at art.”

“Yes, you are! You are a very good artist! I love your work!” I said beaming at him, and he smiled his shy smile and started to relax a little.

“Oh yeah! I’m really good at art too!” Another one of my students chirped in, smiling from ear to ear. He is not as shy.

“Yes you are! You are a really good painter, you paint so fast and it’s always really good!” I reassured him.

Confidence in your artistic ability might seem like a pretty common idea in an art class, but I assure you that it’s not. It’s actually a pretty unique idea, one I’ve only heard from 5 year olds.  I also teach adult classes when I’m not at BLS.  I do events where people can come drink while I show them how to replicate one of my paintings. Before the event even gets started I am usually met with 10 or so people explaining to me why they will not be taking home a masterpiece that night. “I am a horrible artist! I’ll be lucky if you can even tell what the painting is!” To which I usually laugh and say something along the lines of –  “Drink some more, it helps the painting look better when you leave”, and then I turn around and wink at the bartender.

The truth of the matter is that there is no such thing as a “horrible” artist. They’re just inexperienced artists. Somewhere between 5 and 45 someone convinced us that because we didn’t do things exactly the way everyone else was doing them that we were bad at it. We may have even been the ones telling ourselves that. After about four decades, it is easy to consider yourself  “hopeless”. But really, art isn’t about how well you can copy someone else’s style. It’s about finding your own style and refining it. Sure you may need to try different things to find your stride or your niche, but believing yourself is the only way to begin that journey and then keep the determination you need to become skilled at it.

I spend about 3 hours convincing my adult students to relax, have fun, and to stop trying to replicate my painting stroke for stroke or competing with the artist next to them. Happily, with younger students, I have to convince them TO copy someone else. “No, see… DaVinci’s Mona Lisa has black hair, not green” Or in one student’s case, not painting the whole page black every time. “Why don’t we just paint her hair black in THIS one, and THEN you can paint another picture and it can be all black. Ok? Ok.”:)

I have so much fun in my classes, and even though I am teaching your kids, really your kids are also teaching me. This month I’m learning that even if a 5 year old seems to be bursting with confidence, it is something that can easily be extinguished. We need to teach them to preserve it through their teenaged and adult years if they are going to reach their true potential and bring something new and different to the world. Just a little bit of reassurance goes a long way in a child’s world, and the results will astound you. They astounded me this week. These are my class’s masterpieces ~

IMG_6635 IMG_6639IMG_6636

Core Arts Standards and Life Skills

word of month character
IMG_8387 IMG_8347
Our approach to teaching lets children be the artists. Student’s time in the classroom is spent expressing themselves and learning how to make strong artistic choices. Learning to make strong artistic choices will teach them how to make healthy choices for themselves and socially significant choices that will make the world a better place.
The National Core Arts Standards include a series of anchors for arts education. When you teach to these anchors, you are also teaching valuable life skills. When you see a child trying on costumes or reading lines over and over again in different voices, take a harder look, when you see them make a decision that has meaning and context your child has taken a step towards being the kind of person that will change the world.
 
  1. Creating
  • Self-awareness
  • Teamwork
  • Innovative decision-making
  1. Performing, Presenting, Producing
  • Confidence
  • eloquence
  • resource management  (time and finances)
  1. Responding
  • Critical Thought
  • Valuation
  1. Connecting
  • Understanding social issues
  • ability to understand experiences outside of their own
  • using problem-solving skills to come up with innovative solutions