By Taylor Sweat, American Stage 2017/2018 Production & Stage Management Apprentice
Production and Stage Management Life; November 17th:
The Production and Stage Management Apprenticeship is something that is new to American Stage, and I am so honored to be a part of its inaugural year! I am the assistant stage manager on all six of American Stage’s mainstage productions. So far, each production has brought me something memorable that I wouldn’t have experienced elsewhere. I also get the opportunity to be immersed in many production elements of each show. So, what does a day in the life of a stage management apprentice look like? Let’s dive in.
Most of my duties center around what a typical assistant stage manager what do. There’s a week before the first rehearsal, known as prep week, where I get to help the stage manager (in this case, the illustrious Rachel Harrison, who I hope everyone gets a chance to work with someday because she is phenomenal) tape out the rehearsal space, prep actor scripts, outline paperwork, and get dressing room spaces ready. To better understand what prep week is, think of the weeks leading up to Christmas. You wrap presents, put the tree up, and bake cookies for the special night. When it finally arrives, it’s a joyous occasion, and totally worth all of the prep. The joyous occasion in this metaphor is, of course, the rehearsal period. During rehearsal, I am responsible for creating the blocking script. This means that I am keeping track of the actors’ every move and interaction within the play. I also sometimes serve as an actor stand-in when a particular actor is absent, and provide actors with line notes at the end of a rehearsal run. During rehearsals, I start keeping track of entrances and exits, costume changes, and major scene shifts to make tech week run smoother.
When it comes time for tech week and the actual run of the show, my role becomes the deck head, which means I am responsible for all transitions and changes within the show. Those scene shifts and changes that I took … Read the rest