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Stage management

Although a somewhat fluid line of work, in essence, the stage management team (which can consist of a production stage manager, several assistant stage managers, and any number of production assistants) is responsible for organizing the production, communicating across different disciplines (e.g., between the director and the backstage crew, or the actors and production management), and keeping everything running smoothly. This refers not only to seamless management of the technical aspects of a production but of the human aspects as well.

The responsibilities and duties of stage management vary depending on the setting of production, i.e., rehearsals or performance, and the type of production being presented (theater, dance, music). Typically in theater, the stage manager acts as an adjunct to the director in rehearsal, recording the blocking and seeing that cast members stay on script, have necessary props, and follow the blocking. As the lighting, sound, and set change cues are developed, the stage manager meticulously records the timing of each as it relates to the script and other aspects of the performance. The stage manager also ascertains that the lighting and sound cues are taken at the right time.

Production management

The production management team (consisting of a production manager and any number of assistants) is responsible for realizing the visions of the Producer and the Director or Choreographer within constraints of technical possibility. This involves coordinating the operations of various production sub-disciplines (scenic, wardrobe, lighting, sound, projection, automation, video, pyrotechnics, stage management, etc.) of the presentation. The production manager is the highest-ranking person on the production team and in many professional theater companies answers directly to the general manager and or/artistic director.

In addition to management and financial skills, a Production Manager must have detailed knowledge of all production disciplines including a thorough understanding of the interaction of these disciplines during the production process. This may involve dealing with matters ranging from the procurement of staff, materials, and services, to freight, customs coordination, telecommunications, labor relations, logistics, information technology, government liaison, venue booking, scheduling, operations management, and workplace safety.

For many touring shows, the production team will require an office at each venue with telephones, fax machines, and even internet to continue planning that show and the next ones in the tour.

Show control

Show control is the use of technology to link together and operate multiple entertainment control systems in a coordinated manner. It is distinguished from entertainment control (a term much less common than its specific forms, e.g. lighting control), which coordinates elements within a single entertainment discipline such as lighting, sound, video, rigging, or pyrotechnics. An example of show control would be linking a video segment with a number of lighting cues, or having a soundtrack trigger animatronic movements -- or all of these combined. Shows with or without live actors almost invariably incorporate entertainment control technology and usually benefit from show control to operate these subsystems simultaneously or independently. Shows which are performed once or only a few times are often not considered candidates for show control since considerable preplanning and programming is usually required, but this may change as the technology, ease of operation, and programming of show control software and systems matures.

House control

In theater, house management concerns the selling of tickets, the ushering of patrons in front-of-house areas, and the maintenance and management of the theater building itself. House management staff usually work for the theater, under the supervision of the house manager, and not for the theatrical troupe which is currently occupying it. Often in regional or smaller theaters, 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.

Company management

Company management in a theater or a traveling company entails all of the traveling, accommodation, and day-to-day needs of the acting, design, and technical company members. In regional theaters, it often includes renting apartments and hotel rooms, booking plane tickets, dealing with furnishing and cleaning for rented apartments, and dealing with special needs and requests.

In a traveling company, the company manager also arranges for travel and housing, but might also travel with the production, dealing with other matters as they arise.

See also Film production and/or Movie production

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