Stage managerstypically provide practical and organizational support to the director, actors,designers, stage crew and technicians throughout the production process.
The role of thestage manager is especially important to the director in rehearsals. Here thedirector and the stage manager work side by side, with the stage managerrecording the director's decisions about blocking and notes for the actors,keeping track of logistical and scheduling details and communicating what goeson in rehearsals to the rest of the team. This enables the director toconcentrate his or her full attention on directing.
Stage managers have several key responsibilities and tasks to perform in eachphase of a production, including
- scheduling andrunning rehearsals
- communicatingthe director's wishes to designers and crafts people
- coordinating thework of the stage crew
- calling cues andpossibly actors' entrances during performance
- overseeing theentire show each time it is performed
- mark out thedimensions of the set on the floor of the rehearsal hall
- make surerehearsal props and furnishings are available for the actors attend all rehearsals
- notify thedesigners and crafts people of changes made in rehearsal
The stage manager and the technical director also work out a smooth andefficient plan for the stage crew to follow during set changes. Furniture andprop plans for complicated sets are drawn up by the stage manager and technicaldesigner to show exactly where the furniture and props are to be positioned onstage at the beginning of each scene and sometimes in the wings.
Once the show opens, the director's work is essentially complete. Now it's thestage manager's job to make sure that every aspect of the production runs justas the director intended time after time, until the production closes.