Production Manager

Central Alberta Theatre                                                                           Dec, 2018

 

Job Description

Production Manager

 

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The Production Manager (PM) is responsible for the smooth organization and presentation of all live theatre productions hosted by Central Alberta Theatre (CAT).  This position emphasizes project management, communication and coordination and includes some volunteer management and administrative duties.  Some volunteer retention and recognition activities are also involved.  Developing, implementing and communicating timelines/requirements for each production is vital to the smooth presentation of productions.  Adapting to changing situations might also be required.

The position is subject to all bylaws and written, Board-approved policies and procedures governing CAT. 

Reporting:  the position reports to and takes direction from the Board of Directors via the Vice President of Productions.

Working Relationships: the position works in conjunction with, but has no authority over, the Vice President of Productions, the Volunteer Manager, the Orientation Assistant for CAT Productions, Administration & Bookkeeping, and the Technical Manager & Operations, and at times with the Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

 

Responsibilities

·         The PM will manage production components of CAT’s live theatre productions.

·         The PM will abide by CAT’s board-approved artistic and operational policies and procedures as they pertain to live theatre.

 

A.  Dinner Theatre  Productions

 

Pre-Production Phase

March and April:

1.    At the request of the Chair of the Artistic Planning Committee (APC)/Vice President of Productions, investigate the royalty costs of scripts under serious consideration for dinner theatre productions and report same.  Coordinate with the VP of Productions to ensure royalty payments for the year are in line with the current budget in that category.

2.    Ensure scripts are ordered and royalties secured/paid.

3.    Provide input into and feedback on the dinner theatre schedule as it’s being created, as requested by the Board of Directors.

4.    Provide production-focused feedback regarding the plays being considered for the dinner theatre season, as requested by the Vice President of Productions/Chair of the APC.

Late April/May:

5.    Work with the VP of Productions and directors associated with each production to gather vision statements, character breakdowns, audition sides, synopsis and rehearsal schedules prior to General Auditions scheduled for late June.

6.    Review all royalty contracts to ensure all information is present on posters as required, along with sponsor logos, then submit drafted posters to Administration & Bookkeeping to act as second reviewer.

7.    With the direction of VP of Productions select General Audition dates and audition requirements that will be advertised for General Auditions.

Late May/June:

8.    Recruit, in consultation with the Volunteer Manager, a stage manager and the production heads for each production. The head positions need to be filled prior to the first rehearsal.  

 

June to September:

CATena

CATena is CAT’s season launch event held in late September in the Memorial Centre.  It features short snippets of the upcoming season’s dinner theatre shows plus other entertainment, light catering and the like.  It’s produced by the VP of Productions with the support of the Production Manager, the Volunteer Manager, the Technical Manager & Operations and the VP of Marketing & Communications.  The VP of Productions will secure a budget for the event from the board of directors.

 

9.    In July, as soon as a date in late September has been set by the board of directors to hold CATena, and in conjunction with the VP of Productions, set up a meeting with the Volunteer Manager, the Technical Manager & Operations, the VP of Productions and VP of Marketing & Communications to determine the details of the event.

10. When details are in place, meet with all the directors and VP of Productions to share these details.  Have all the directors submit their 5-minute scene choices for review.  Along with the VP of Productions ensure that the best possible snippets are selected from each production.

11. Recruit volunteers to construct miniature sets for all four dinner theatre productions (set designer, etc.)  The actors will be cast from the General Auditions in late June (below).

12. Prepare a rehearsal schedule and prepare and book a tech week for the event.

13. Ensure that casts and crew are aware of relevant regulations and procedures governing the venue and the building.

14. Ensuring that needed costumes are props are secured.

15. In conjunction with the VP of Productions script a 90-minute program (maximum).  In conjunction with the Volunteer Manager, recruit a CAT volunteer or a sponsor with strong communication skills to MC the event.

16. Prepare a final report of the event, including expenses, for the VP of Productions.

 

 

Late June:

17. Under the direction of the Vice President – Productions, participate in the General Auditions and Call-Backs.  You may need to chair if necessary.  Ensure all required forms (membership, audition) are available, completed, signed and submitted by the actors auditioning as required.  Take photos of those that audition.  General Auditions and Call-Backs will be carried out as described in the Board-approved, written policies and procedures found in Section 5.4

July:

18. Using the rehearsal schedules prepared by the directors of the productions of a dinner theatre season, in July prepare a production schedule, using Excel, of each production duties and their timelines, working backwards from each opening night.  Submit to the Vice President of Productions.

19. Distribute the production schedule, the write up that contains the director’s vision, tone and message for the production to the department heads, and make copies of the scripts available for pick up prior to the first production meeting so that the production heads will be prepared to ask questions of the director at that meeting.

20. Ensure the VP of Marketing and Communications receives complete and accurate text information for the season brochure, and act as first editor of the text information.  Ensure the VP of Productions receives complete and accurate text information for the posters.

 

September through January as Required for Each Production in its Pre- Production Phase:

21. In conjunction with the Volunteer Manager, assist the stage managers and the production heads with recruiting their team members if required (they will first attempt to recruit their teams themselves). 

22. Ensure, in conjunction with the Volunteer Manager, that each volunteer working on each production has completed, signed and submitted a current annual Membership Form (except in the case of board-appointed Lifetime Members).

23. Coordinate with Front-of-House Coordinators to ensure front-of-house volunteers are secured for each performance.

 

Production Meeting #1:

24. Organize, prepare an agenda for and chair the first production meeting for each production.  This will take place prior to the first rehearsal of each production and will be set up in consultation with directors, stage managers and the VP of Productions.  At this meeting the director will share his or her vision, tone and message with the production heads.  The director will discuss design elements at this meeting along with expectations and timelines as outlined in the production schedules circulated in July.  The VP Productions will explain CATena and the expectations of presenting a finished piece.

25. Present the production budget and discuss it at this meeting.  Circulate an expense form to heads of production for their use when submitting expense receipts related to the production.

 

 

Rehearsal Period

 

26. Advise the director of each production that you will attend the first read-through to introduce yourself, welcome and thank all the volunteers who are there, give an overall description of your role and collect/help the cast prepare the cast biographies. 

27. Submit Adobe file of poster to Berry Architecture for preparation of poster board, pick up when ready and deliver to the Black Knight in for preview night.

28. Ensure up-to-date photos of cast members, director and stage manager are available for each production

29. Edit the text portions of the program for each production according to the template contained on the Production Manager’s laptop (Adobe Indesign).  Ensure the program is complete and accurate (proofed by Administration & Bookkeeping) well in advance of preview so that the programs can be printed.  Prepare the program inside content in accordance with written board-approved policy (Section 7).

30. Ensure dinner theatre programs are delivered to the Black Knight in for preview night.

31. Save a digital copy of the production’s poster on CAT’s server for future framing.

32. Send production info to Vice President of Marketing & Communications for use in advertising; coordinate with Administration & Bookkeeping to ensure that social media sites are updated and current for each production

 

Production Meeting #2

33. Organize, prepare an agenda for and chair the second production meeting for each production.  All production heads will attend to ensure the production is on the right track and to allow the Production Manager to anticipate problems. 

 

Throughout the rehearsal period, monitor the progress of completion of the various production modules and immediately report any significant problems to the Vice President – Productions.

 

34. Ensure that the VP of Facilities has checked the dinner theatre’s backstage Stage Manager’s box, including the first aid kit, and replaced any missing supplies like flashlight batteries, spike tape, glow tape, dressing room key, etc.

35. Prepare and circulate to the VP Productions, the Orientation Assistant and to the stage manager of each production a copy of the volunteer schedule for the production showing the complete list of production activities during the run and the volunteers assigned to each activity, including Q2Q schedule and call times.  Every effort will be made to finalize the schedule at least four weeks before tech week.  If a schedule cannot be completed by that deadline due to recruitment problems, circulate a draft two weeks before tech week and then updated as positions are filled in.

36. Implement a procedure for the volunteers in each production to use to reserve their complimentary tickets and circulate it to them (comp ticket policy will be outlined in each volunteer handbook.)

37. Organize, schedule and recruit volunteers for the load-in of the set, etc.

The first load-in of the season is done in coordination with the Technical Manager & Operations (for hanging light bar, etc.)

38. Ensure the moving truck is booked.

 

 

Production Meeting #3

39. Schedule a Tech Week Production Meeting just prior to load-in.  All production heads will attend.  The focus of this meeting will be the load-in, the cue-to-cue, and anything else related to carrying out the production

 

Tech Week

40. In conjunction with the Vice President – Productions, supervise and conduct tech week according to CAT’s board-approved policies and procedures for that time period (Section 6.6). The cue-to-cue portion will be carried out by the Production Manager or the stage manager of the production so that the Call Script can be prepared for use during the run: generally stage managers are in control of this portion, but a stage manager may request that the Production Manager conduct the Q2Q on their behalf.

 

Production Phase

41. Ensure media invitations have been given for the preview performance.

42. Ensure preview night is advertised to CAT membership at least two weeks before the date.

 

Monitor the production budget and immediately report any variance to the Vice President – Productions; liaise with VP Productions to apprise the Board of the production’s progress overall.

 

43. In conjunction with the stage managers of each production, ensure that casts and crews are aware of relevant regulations and procedures governing each venue.

44. Book the Members’ Lounge for the closing party on the same night as the last performance.

45. Ideally or in conjunction with the Volunteer Manager or Vice President of Productions, be present at opening night get-togethers and closing night parties, even for an hour or so, to personally thank the various volunteers, offer encouragement, reward successes, etc., to contribute to volunteer retention.  (The closing night parties will be planned by the VP Productions, including the distribution of mementos/gifts.)

46. Organize, schedule and recruit volunteers for the load-out of the set, etc.

 

Post-Production Phase

47. Coordinate with production heads to ensure props, costumes, set pieces, etc., are returned to CAT or to their owners in a timely manner.

48. At the final load-out of the season, and in conjunction with the Operations/Technical Manager, ensure that the sound design computer, the lighting board, the portable microphone, etc., are returned to CAT.

 

 

B.   Full-Length Live Theatre Nickle Studio Productions

Pre-Production Phase

March to Mid-April of Previous Calendar Year:

1.    At the request of the Chair of the Artistic Planning Committee/Vice President – Productions, investigate the royalty costs of script(s) submitted for production in the Nickle Studio and report same within three days or as soon as you get the information from the publisher or playwright.  Coordinate with VP – Productions to ensure royalty payments for the year are in line with the current budget in that category.

2.    As requested by the VP of Productions/Chair of the APC, provide production-based feedback on the play being considered for production in this venue.

3.    Ensure scripts are ordered and royalties secured/paid by mid-April (after the board has approved the selection of plays for the season in early March).

4.    Book the Nickle Studio through the Operations/Technical Manager.

      November of Previous Calendar Year:

5.    In conjunction with the VP of Productions and the director, set and advertise audition dates (to occur approximately ten weeks before opening night).

6.    Obtain from the director the statement of their vision, tone and message for the production as well as the selections from the script to be used as cold reads, character breakdowns ad rehearsal schedule.

January of the Current Year:

7.    In conjunction with the VP of Productions, host auditions.  Ensure all required forms (membership, audition) are available, completed, signed and submitted by the actors auditioning as required, and that photos of the actors are taken.

8.    Prepare a production schedule, using Excel, of the production duties and their timelines, working backwards from opening night.  Submit to the Vice President of Productions.

February:

9.    If the director hasn’t already recruited a stage manager and/or productions heads, in consultation with the Volunteer Manager, recruit a stage manager and the production.  The head positions need to be filled prior to the first rehearsal.

10. Distribute the production schedule, the write up that contains the director’s vision, tone and message for the production to the production heads, and make copies of the scripts available for pick up prior to the first production meeting so that the production heads will be prepared to ask questions of the director at that meeting.

11. In conjunction with the director and stage manager, book rehearsal venue(s) if needed.

March:

12. In conjunction with the Volunteer Manager, assist the stage manager and the production heads with recruiting their team members if required (they will first attempt to recruit their teams themselves).

13. Ensure, in conjunction with the Volunteer Manager, that each volunteer working on each production has completed, signed and submitted a current annual Membership Form (except in the case of board-appointed Lifetime Members).

14. Coordinate with Front-of-House Coordinators to ensure front-of-house volunteers are secured for each performance.

Early April:

Production Meeting #1:

15. Organize, prepare an agenda for and chair the first production meeting.  This will take place prior to the first rehearsal and will be set up in consultation with director, stage manager and the VP Productions.  At this meeting the director will share his or her vision, tone and message with the production heads.  The director will discuss design elements at this meeting along with expectations and timelines as outlined in the production schedule.

16. Present the production budget and discuss it at this meeting.  Circulate an expense form to heads of production for their use when submitting expense receipts related to the production.

 

Rehearsal Period

 

17. Advise the director that you will attend the first read-through to introduce yourself, welcome and thank all the volunteers who are there, give an overall description of your role and collect/help the cast prepare the cast biographies. Inform the director of the deadline for the director biography and director’s message.

18. Save a digital copy of the production’s poster on CAT’s server for future framing.

19. Ensure up-to-date photos of cast members, director and stage manager are available

20. Send production info to VP of Marketing & Communications for use in advertising; coordinate with Administration & Bookkeeping to ensure that social media sites are updated and current for each production

21. Edit the program according to the template contained on the Production Manager’s laptop (Adobe Indesign).  Ensure the program is complete and accurate (proofed by Administration & Bookkeeping) well in advance of preview so that the programs can be printed.  Prepare the program inside content in accordance with written board-approved policy (Section 7).

 

22. Monitor the progress of completion of the various production modules (costumes, set construction, etc.) and immediately report any significant problems to the Vice President – Productions.

 

Production Meeting #2

23. Schedule a second production meeting to ensure that the production is on the right track and everyone is on the same page.

 

24. Ensure that the VP of Facilities has checked the backstage Stage Manager’s box, including the first aid kit, and has replaced any missing supplies like flashlight batteries, spike tape, glow tape, etc.

25. Prepare and circulate to the VP Productions, the Orientation Assistant and to each of the volunteers involved, a schedule for the production showing the complete list of production activities during the run and the volunteers assigned to each activity.  Every effort will be made to finalize the schedule at least four weeks before tech week.  If a schedule cannot be completed by that deadline due to recruitment problems, circulate a draft two weeks before tech week and then update as positions are filled in.

26. Implement a procedure for the volunteers in each production to use to reserve their complimentary tickets and circulate it to them (comp ticket policy will be outlined in each volunteer handbook.)

27. Organize, schedule and recruit volunteers for the load-in of the set, etc. 

 

Production Meeting #2/3

28. Schedule a Tech Week Production Meeting just prior to load-in, if one is required to see if there are any needs.  All production heads will attend.  The focus of this meeting will be the load-in, the cue-to-cue, and anything else related to carrying out the production.

 

Tech Week

29. In conjunction with the Vice President of Productions, supervise and conduct tech week according to CAT’s board-approved policies and procedures for that time period. The cue-to-cue portion will be carried out by the Production Manager or the stage manager of the production so that the Call Script can be prepared for use during the run: generally stage managers are in control of this portion, but a stage manager may request that the Production Manager conduct the Q2Q on their behalf.

 

Production Phase

30. Monitor the production budget and immediately report any variance to the Vice President – Productions; liaise with VP Productions to apprise the Board of the production’s progress overall.

31. In conjunction with the stage manager, ensure that cast and crew are aware of relevant regulations and procedures governing the venue.

32. Ideally or in conjunction with the Volunteer Manager or Vice President - Productions, be present at opening night get-togethers and closing night parties, even for an hour or so, to personally thank the various volunteers, offer encouragement, reward successes, etc., to contribute to volunteer retention.  (The closing party will be planned by the VP of Productions, including the mementos/gifts.)

33. Organize, schedule and recruit volunteers for the load-out of the set, etc. The load-out is done in coordination with the Technical Manager & Operations.

 

Post-Production Phase

34. In conjunction with the stage managers, ensure props, costumes, set pieces, etc., are returned to CAT or to their owners in a timely manner.

 

 

C.  One-Act Festival Production

 

CAT will strive to offer a One-Act Play Festival in June of each year.  The artistic purpose of this festival is outlined in Section 5 (Artistic Policies) of CAT’s written policies & procedures document.  Plays performed in this festival will tend to be simpler in structure (minimal sets, props, costumes, makeup, etc.), focus more on the fun of doing theatre, and expand CAT’s profile in the community.

 

The PM will be responsible for the oversight of the production of the One-Act Festival from preparation to wrap-up.  This will involve supporting the producer (the Vice President – Productions) while also performing some of the duties involved. The PM will be aware of CAT’s board-approved artistic and operational policies and procedures related to this festival and will abide by them.

(See Attachment A for a complete list of the duties needed to produce the festival.)

 

Pre-Production Phase

1.    Ensure scripts are ordered and royalties secured by Mid-April.  This will involve ensuring royalty payments are in line with the festival budget.

2.    Send production info to Vice President – Marketing & Communications for use in advertising; coordinate with Administration & Bookkeeping to ensure that social media sites are updated and current for each production

3.    In conjunction with Vice President of Productions, ensure needed costumes and props are secured.

4.    Prepare the poster and program content in accordance with written board-approved policy (Section 7.2.3) and ensure posters are printed and distributed in a timely manner.

5.    Determine the number of programs to be printed for the initial run, in consultation with Front of House Coordinator(s), and then monitor their consumption during the festival in case more programs need to be printed.

6.    Supervise and conduct tech days according to CAT’s board-approved policies and procedures for that time period (Section 6). The cue-to-cue portion of one of the days will be supervised by the stage manager of the festival so that they can prepare the Call Script for use during the run.

 

Production Phase

1.    Ensure that casts and crews are aware of relevant regulations and procedures governing the venue and the building.

2.    In conjunction with the Vice President – Productions, ensure the building is open for each scheduled performance and that it is locked at the end of each performance.

 

D.  Other Duties

 

1.    Participate in providing recognition for volunteers in conjunction with the Volunteer Manager and the First Vice President.  This includes giving input, based on quantity and quality of the volunteer contributions, to the First Vice President regarding CAT’s annual volunteer recognition awards.

 

2.    Other duties as assigned by the Board.

 

 

 

Attachment A:  Duties for Producing CAT’s One-Act Play Festival

 

CAT will strive to offer a One-Act Play Festival in June of each year.  The artistic purpose of this festival is outlined in Section 5 (Artistic Policies) of CAT’s written policies & procedures document.  Plays performed in this festival will tend to be simpler in structure (minimal sets, props, costumes, makeup, etc.), focus more on the fun of doing theatre, and expand CAT’s profile in the community.

(The stage manager duties/involvement are in red because the festival producer will decide whether or not a stage manager is needed for a particular festival.)

 

Pre-Production Phase

1.    Request scripts and directors for the festival in late winter/early spring via the Mewsletter and other media.  Give a deadline of early April for submissions; be as flexible as possible regarding the cut-off date, keeping in mind that royalties must be paid well in advance.  Include with the script request a notification of CAT’s open audition policy for most submissions for this festival.  Review all plays to ensure they comply with CAT’s artistic policies for this festival.  Artistic policies for this festival are detailed in Section 5, operational policies are detailed in Section 6.

2.    Ensure scripts are ordered and royalties secured early.  This will involve ensuring royalty payments are in line with the festival budget.

3.    In conjunction with Front-of-House Coordinators, ensure front-of-house volunteers are secured for each performance.

4.    In conjunction with the directors, advertise and book audition date(s).

5.    In conjunction with the Vice President – Productions, host auditions as early as possible after directors and scripts reviewed and secured.  Ensure all required forms are available at the auditions, completed, signed and submitted as required.

6.    Ensure, in conjunction with the Volunteer Manager, that each volunteer working in the festival has completed, signed and submitted a current annual Membership Form (except in the case of board-appointed Lifetime Members).

7.    Circulate detailed information on how to book rehearsal space to each director prior to or immediately after auditions are completed and shows are cast.

8.    Recruit, in consultation with the Volunteer Manager, and in a timely manner, a stage manager and the production heads for the festival.  Recruitment will include the distribution of position descriptions for each position and ensuring each head is aware of and agrees to abide by their position description.

9.    Ensure the director of each play has distributed script copies to all production heads (the Stage Manager, the Lighting Designer, the Sound Designer)

10. Organize, prepare an agenda for and chair all production meetings. The first production meeting will take place before or immediately after the auditions for the festival. All directors and the stage manager will be invited to attend.  The meeting will be conducted for the purpose outlined in detail in the written policy document Section 6.6.2.  In addition, directors will be advised of the return procedures and deadlines for props, costumes, set pieces, etc. at the end of the run.

11. The stage manager will be invited to attend all subsequent production meetings, if any are needed.

12. Liaise with the stage manager to determine the need for backstage and other volunteers and then acquire the needed volunteers in conjunction with the stage manager and the Volunteer Manager.  Recruitment will include the distribution of the relevant position descriptions, and ensuring the duties are understood and agreed to.

13. Coordinate with Vice President – Marketing & Communications to ensure that social media sites are updated and current for the festival and that the Black Knight Inn ticket centre has tickets available for sale on their website well before opening night

14. Prepare the poster and program content in accordance with written board-approved policy (Section 7.2.3) and ensure posters are printed and distributed in a timely manner.

15. Determine the number of programs to be printed for the initial run, in consultation with Front of House Coordinator(s), and then monitor their consumption during the festival in case more programs need to be printed.

16. Supervise and conduct tech days according to CAT’s board-approved policies and procedures for that time period (Section 6). The cue-to-cue portion of one of the days will be supervised by the stage manager of the festival so that they can prepare the Call Script for use during the run.

17. Ensure the audience area of the Nickle Studio is set up to receive patrons by opening night.  (The Volunteer Manager will look after the stocking and operating of the bar.)

 

 

Production Phase

3.    Ensure a display of some type (very simple) is prepared for the photo board area outside the venue as of opening night

4.    Monitor the festival budget and immediately report any variance to the Vice President – Productions.

5.    In conjunction with the stage manager, ensure that casts and crews are aware of relevant regulations and procedures governing the venue and the building, and that CAT’s backstage procedures & etiquette are posted backstage and adhered to.

6.    Ensure the building is open for each scheduled performance and that it is locked at the end of each performance.

7.    Prepare and circulate to all casts and crew an invitation for the closing night party.  In conjunction with the Volunteer Manager or Vice President - Productions, be present at the party, even for an hour or so, to personally thank the various volunteers, offer encouragement, reward successes, etc., to contribute to volunteer retention. 

 

Post-Production Phase

Immediately after the festival is completed, chair a post-production meeting with or send out an email survey to all production heads, stage manager and directors in order to ascertain what worked well in the production, from a production perspective, and what could be improved.  Compile the results of the meeting/email into a final report and submit it to the VP Productions.  The contents of the report will be used by the VP Productions/Board and by the Production Manager to refine production procedures for upcoming one-act festivals.