Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Stage Manager's Ready List

I recently attended a theatre festival that had many great portfolio and model set presentations by Directors, Stage Manager's, Sound Designers, Lighting Designers, Set Builders, and many other talented individuals.  It's great to see such a high level of creativity by those coming into the business!

Of particular interest were the presentations by the Stage Managers.  Each had presentations of check-lists, pre-show make-ready items, post-show to-do lists, and every other kind of list imaginable, except one: Emergency Procedures.  So the next time you're "making a list and checking it twice," take a moment and think about what you might / should do in the cases of:
  • Extreme weather conditions (flood, tornado, hurricane)
  • Injuries (both to crew and performers -- and to audience members)
  • Security (campus lock-down or evacuation)
  • Building Emergency (fires, earthquakes, broken water pipes, roof collapse, power outage)
  • Equipment failure (fire curtain comes-in accidentally, or maybe won't go-out, tripped sprinkler head - do you know where the shut-off valve is located?)

If you don't have a plan, then it is quite typical that you may end-up with total chaos on your hands.  How you handle an emergency can greatly influence the likelihood of injuries being sustained by the building occupants as they try to deal with the situation.

Have a plan (actually, several plans).  Post them.  Practice them.

Good places to hang-out:
Control Booth:
Stage Manager's Association
Production Manager's Forum

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