Autumn Term – Task 1

Stage Management:

The History:

It came about in the 18th/19th century because the rise of technology. Before Stage Manager was introduced, this role was taken by actor-managers or theatre-managers, later director-managers. The titles and names Stage Manager came later on in life, which we associate with different titles and not so specific. This is because the change from small companies turning into bigger and larger businesses. When technology has grown bigger, productions became more intense and had to include more people, meaning having to get more crew. There are different types of stage manager titles such as deputy stage manager (DSM), assistant stage manager (ASM) and company stage manager (CSM).

An actor manager is a person who can do both, meaning being a manager and an actor in a theatre company. A theatre manager is a new position/title that’s begun at Bristol Old Vic. They are close and join with the Director of Production and Operations and the Communications Director. A director manager or known as managing director is the most important role in any company, this meaning is the most important person involved with the performers. DSM runs the show form the ‘book’, ASM makes sure the rehearsal room is ready; finds and makes props; is backstage during a show helping out with anything needed. Then CSM has a particular responsibility for the comfort and welfare of visiting or resident performers.

Technical Developments:

Technique is how something is done. Technical training is focused on execution. Technique becomes skill as those being trained, develop and understanding of when to use the technique. Executing technique against pressure/competition is the evolution from technical to skillful. Development is the process of introducing a technique and nurturing the person or group to who the technique was introduced through the stages from technique to skill. Stage managers typically provide practical and organizational support to the director, actors, designers, stage crew and technicians throughout the production process.

Significant performances where new techniques were used:

For significant performances I couldn’t find anything relevant to stage management. I think this is because during performances the stage manager is calling cues and making sure the performance is running smoothly. So based on this there isn’t much evidence to say that there has been a significant moment that has changed the theatre.

The stage manager is often described as being the glue of any production, the person who always knows what’s going on, where it’s happening, and how things are actually progressing. A great stage manager is typically a calm, professional, and organized person, and an ability to courteously manage others.  Performance management is an integral part of the workplace as it provides a platform for supervisors and managers to measure employee performance and determine whether employees are meeting the company’s expectations. The method of performance measurement varies according to the work environment, type of business and, to some extent, the employee’s occupation. It is learned through extended study, mentoring, and experience. In the world of professional theatre, the stage manager is one of the most important players.

How this has changed or impacted on the technical theatre industry:

Since stage management has become very regular in all the theatres, it has changed the company. This means the stage management (DSM, ASM, and CSM) has impacted on the company. This is because they do so much to make sure the performers are ready and prompt. The stage manager takes an overview to keep the show as the director directed and both the actors and technicians happy. In a less well-known or smaller theatre or on tour, the stage management may also be required to ‘roadie’; that is drive, load and unload trucks, put up the set, and design and/or operate both sound and lighting. However because this is the stage manager they will still get help from the sound engineer and light design.

Lighting design:

The History:

Before the rise of technology happened, in theatres and other places that needed light had to rely on other objects such as: Candle, Oil Lamp, Gas, Safer light, Burners, Electric, Lamp, Lime light, Arc lamp and Electric spotlight.

For example, at the globe when it was first built all the lighting it had was natural except from one spotlight which was mainly intended to provide atmosphere for night scenes. A theatre lighting designer (LD) works with the director, choreographer, set designer, costume designer, and sound designer to create the lighting, atmosphere, and time of day for the production in response to the text, while keeping in mind issues of visibility, safety, and cost.

The Greeks performed all day in natural light, which is how the globe gained its light. The Romans took the Greeks ideas, however added more special effects, such as burning down a stage. Medieval Period was once again like the Greeks, with performing outside or in churches.

Technical Developments:

Lighting designers know how to make the best use of the subtle and powerful medium of light, creating effects that can be changed at will to match the mood of the action.

Lighting designers usually combine both direct and indirect light to illuminate the actors and objects on stage. Lighting includes: Reflective properties, Colour, Contrast with its surroundings, Size and Distance from the person looking at it.

Significant performances where new techniques were used:

Diffuse up lighting: It’s to achieve uniform ambient lighting in a space. Light is reflected off the ceiling to introduce it indirectly into the space. You would use this to design a low contrast space with uniform ceiling luminance.

Concentrated up lighting: It’s to create areas of high luminance on the ceiling with dark areas in between. The reason you would use it is to design a high contrast space with visually prominent ceiling.

Diffuse down lighting: Is to achieve uniform ambient lighting in a space. Using this will give the design a low contrast space.

Concentrated down lighting: It creates areas of high luminance on the floor with dark areas in between. This is the opposite of diffuse down lighting because it gives the design a high contrast space.

How this has changed or impacted on the technical theatre industry:

There has been a big increase in technology and therefore in theatres now lighting designers are able to provide four properties that lighting designers can control to makes tension or atmosphere:

Intensity: (The brightness of light). Everything in the range from the faintest dim glow to the most blinding glare can be created with stage lighting.

Colour: The colour an object on stage appears to be is determined both by its actual hue and by the colour of the light that illuminates it.

Distribution: Light can be distributed in different ways on stage. The form of light may vary from a soft unfocused glow to a sharply defined beam that casts dramatic shadows.

Movement: The intensity, colour and distribution of light can be noticeably altered as quickly or slowly as the lighting designer and director deem fit while the play is being performed.

The lighting places and up lighting and down lighting are good because, every change you make to the light it can make a different atmosphere. This is great for the theatre because then the actors don’t have such a hard job trying to make the audience feel their emotions, and we can easily do that with the colour change of the lighting.


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