Production Teams for School Musicals

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Producing a musical takes a lot of man-hours. The more people you can get involved the less each has to do. However large or small your production team is, everyone needs to know what their job is. The list below is a guide and is open to negotiation but make sure all members of your team know the expectation of their role.

 

Producer

  • Organise the other members of the production team (all persons required listed below)
  • Contact Proscenium Music to fill any positions required
  • Choose the show to be produced in negotiation with director, musical director and choreographer
  • Procure the rights 
  • Set budget
  • Make sure all departments are working within budget
  • Set schedules
  • Make sure all production team members are heading the same direction
  • Mediate any issues that arise during rehearsals
  • Publicise the production
  • Organise Ticketing (could be passed off to school office or Maths/business studies department)
  • Organise designing and printing of your programme
  • Organise team to bump out the set

 

Production Assistant

  • Make sure all cast are getting communication letters/emails/schedules
  • Keep track of cast attendance
  • Keep cast moving during auditions
  • Generally be available for anything the producer needs done

 

Director

  • Have an overall vision for the show
  • Block all movement around the stage
  • Character development with each cast member
  • Convey the overall vision to both cast and entire production team
  • Keep rehearsals moving
  • Develope a rehearsal schedule in conference with the musical director, choreographer & producer
  • Make sure the production is up and running well before the 1st technical rehearsal
  • Stay in regular contact with the rest of the team with any changes

 

Assistant Director

  • Keep track of all blocking
  • Stand in for an actor if they are missing at a rehearsal
  • Be a second pair of eyes on the stage during run throughs (watch the back of the chorus)
  • Run through scenes while the director blocks with others
  • Generally help the director in any way they need

 

Musical Director

  • Teach the music to the cast
  • Help cast find character in their songs
  • Take the directors brief for the direction of the production and make the music fit in style and speed
  • Find the speeds and keep them stable
  • Add any vamps/cut bars as necessary to allow action on stage and set changes to fit in
  • Discus the pit placement with director and set designer early so your musicians have enough space
  • If pit is to be behind the stage make sure there is provision for visual communication to & from stage
  • Discuss your sound needs with the sound designer
  • Book the musicians to play in the band/orchestra (or let Proscenium Music know the orchestration needed)
  • Make sure there I an accompanist at every rehearsal (this could be the M.D. But better to be someon else)
  • Conduct the orchestra/band during all dress rehearsals and performances
  • Make sure there are enough chairs, stands and stand lights for all orchestra/band
  • Have spare bulbs handy for stand lights
  • Ensure there are enough power extensions for each instrument/amp
  • Set up the pit according to your preferred placement of musicians
  • Keep musicians in line during performances (it can get boring when not playing)
  • Make sure all musicians know expectations of dress (black or costumed), behaviour and call times

 

Choreographer

  • Develop dance routines for each number (as negotiated with director)
  • Make sure all dance on stage helps move the story forward
  • Teach and drill all dance routines
  • Be aware of cast who are singing at the same time as moving

 

Stage Manager/Stage Crew

  • Organise enough stage crew to enable swift set changes during performances
  • Discuss usability of set and understand complexity of all changes
  • Attend full run rehearsals to prompt & get a feel for the run of the show
  • Give cast, crew & orchestra time warnings (30, 10, 5 min & starters) before each act
  • Check that all elements are in place before starting each performance
  • Be in charge of the run of the show once tech rehearsals start
  • Drill stage crew on all set changes
  • Have diagrams of all set positions for each scene displayed on both sides of stage for reference 
  • If all tech have intercoms, call each cue for every performance
  • make sure stage is swept and clean before each performance
  • Turn house lights off and on at each end of each act if switch is back stage
  • Check sign in sheet to make sure all cast are present 30min befor each performance
  • Only point of contact for cast running late or with problems during performances
  • Run smoke machine/hazer if needed

 

Set Designer/Construction Team

  • Design a usable set for every scene
  • Be aware of complexity of scene changes
  • Try to design without a need for crew to be seen
  • Don't be limited by designs that have been before
  • Organise a team to build the sets
  • Make sure all set pieces are safe & not flimsy
  • Organise people to paint the sets
  • Build a scale model of the set for the cast and production team to refer to during rehearsals
  • Work within the directors brief for the overall vision of the production
  • Work within the budget as set by the producer

 

Costume Designer

  • Design/source costumes for every cast member for every scene they are in
  • Take all necessary measurements of all cast
  • Be aware of any reference to specific costume pieces within the text
  • Make sure all costumes are historically accurate
  • Organise a team to help create any costumes that can't be sourced elsewhere
  • Be on hand at all costumed rehearsals & performances to mend broken costumes
  • Work within the brief of the director being mindful of colours in the set
  • Distress all costumes as needed for the production (or show cast how to do it them self)
  • Work within the budget as set by the producer
  • Collect and wash all costumes at the end of the show and return to owners

 

Property Manager

  • Source/create all props in accordance with directors need
  • Develop a props list from the script
  • Be aware of references to specific props within the text
  • Make sure all props are historically accurate 
  • Release the list to cast and crew to see if they can provide any
  • Have all props at rehearsals as early as possible
  • Set up a props table backstage for final rehearsals & all performances
  • Preset all necessary props before each act
  • Make sure all props are returned to the props table at the end of each performance
  • Work within the budget as set by the producer

 

Make Up Designer/Crew 

  • Organise a team to help with make up before each dress rehearsal and performance
  • Design any specific characters that need special attention
  • Advise all cast what pieces of makeup/remover they will need to provide
  • Remember/remind cast not to share eye make up (conjunctivitis is not fun in a cast)
  • Purchase any items the cast won't be providing with enough applicators 
  • Train make up crew to get the same look across all the cast
  • Be aware of the colours in costumes, sets & lighting design
  • Have all cast made up by 30 min before the curtain time for every dress rehearsal & performance
  • Attend to principle actors first so they have time to do mic checks
  • Work within the budget as set by producer

 

Lighting Designer/Operator

  • Design the colours and angles of the lighting rig well before the tech rehearsal
  • Attend a full run rehearsal to get a feel for the spaces used and talk through design with director
  • Set up lighting rig during bump in
  • Focus all lights before the 1st tech rehearsal (some may need adjustment)
  • Have spare bulbs
  • Be aware of pit placement and the spill that will come from pit lights (musicians can't read with gels)
  • Patch the lighting desk
  • Be attentive of colour choice against the set, costumes & make up
  • Work with director to achieve a professional look
  • Work within the budget as set by the producer
  • Bump out at the end of the show

 

Sound Designer/Operators

  • Design the sound for all elements of the production
  • Make sure the venue is balanced
  • Be aware of sound balance in all areas of a venue
  • Organise operator to fit and change mics back stage
  • Operate the sound desk for all tech/dress rehearsals & performances
  • Source & run any necessary sound effects without delay
  • Turn all mics off when cast are off stage
  • Make sure all text is heard clearly
  • Create a mic plot for the production in conjunction with director & musical director
  • Bump out at the end of the show

 

Front of House Manager/Ushers 

  • Organise people (senior students) to help audience find their seats
  • Attend every performance
  • Mark rows with their letter & number position for easy reference
  • Train ushers to bring audience in quickly
  • Turn house lights off and on at the beginning and end of each act if lights aren't controlled elsewhere
  • Be in contact with stage manager to let them know when audience are in before each act can start
  • Be prepared to remove any audience causing problems for other patrons or cast
  • Give audience a warning bell or announcement to take their seats before each act
  • Help ticketing desk as needed (possibly organize ticketing desk and staff if producer needs)
  • Organise people to run coffee/snacks etc in foyer before each performance and at interval
  • Make sure directions to toilets are obvious to all patrons new to the venue
  • Lock up venue after each performance