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Stage Manager/AD

As director, you must meet with your chosen Assistant Director and Stage Manager to agree on the division of duties and responsibilities.  It would be a mistake to think you can do this all yourself, so it is to the advantage of a smooth production to employ these two very important positions. Sometimes Assistant Directors transition to the role of Stage Manager from tech week through the run, in other cases a different individual takes on those responsibilities.


Traditionally, the Stage Manager will assume responsibility for the following duties however, you can designate all or some of these to the Assistant Director. Included but are not limited to:

  • Assist in the recruiting of and selection of crew members for lights, sound, props, stagehands, dressers, and makeup.
  • Run tech rehearsal with the Director and all crew members, making sure that all lights and sound are right, scenery is in good repair, costumes and makeup are correct, props are gathered and organized, scene changes are well planned, and every actor cue is listed in the SM’s script.
  • In conjunction with the Director, is responsible for the production elements of the show, including lights, sound, props and sets.
  • Assumes responsibility for the smooth running of the show from rehearsals until the final curtain of the last performance.
  • Assure that all strike and clean-up duties are carried out properly.

During each Show

  • Be sure all actors/crew are at the theater in sufficient time before.  Missing someone? Advise the Director & start making phone calls.
  • Check light and sound cues with operators before the house opens each night.
  • Make sure headsets are working.  Have extra batteries available.
  • Remind actors to check their props before the house opens.
  • Make sure the stage has been swept and the set is ready.
  • Introduce yourself to the House crew each night and let them know when to open the auditorium doors and what time to expect intermission.
  • Remind cast/crew when the house is open, approximately ½ hour before curtain.   Call 10 minute and 5-minute warnings before curtain.
  • Call “places” 2 minutes before curtain.
  • The show starts when the house/box office staff inform the Stage Manager that the lobby is clear and all patrons are seated.
  • Give warning cues to light/sound operators and actors for entrances.
  • Keep constant check on all production elements.
  • Put headsets in assigned LOCKED area after each performance.
  • Double check, along with the Director that all outer doors are locked and all lights are off, including front bathrooms, lobby, auditorium, Green Room. Etc.  Lock the back door as you leave!

Regarding House Staff (Bartenders and PSAs)

  • Stage Manager should speak to house staff as soon as they arrive, one hour before curtain.
  • Inform the bartenders on the length of each act.
  • Stage Managers give the okay to open the auditorium doors, generally 30 minutes before curtain. House Staff are NOT to open the house without the Stage Manager’s permission.
  • Bartenders are responsible for emptying trash cans pre-show. PSAs are responsible for picking up trash in lobby and restocking bathrooms pre-show. If these things are not done, please contact the Executive Committee.
  • The Stage Manager (or Director) has the responsibility to be the last out of the building.  He/she should do a final walk through of the lobby.  If anything is unfinished, left out or lights left on, please remedy it before leaving.
  • If the Stage Manager or Director hears or has any complaints about house staff, please contact the Executive Committee.
  • Bartenders and PSAs do not typically stay for the entire show, most will leave after intermission.