Edited by the 1994--1995
Executive Committee

Karin Lin '95
Andrea Humez '96
Neal Addicott '97
Lya Ana Batlle '96
Kyle Yang G

Last update: May 2, 1997


The 1994--1995 Executive Committee believes that this manual is long overdue. Producers, directors, and show participants change each term, some of whom are new to and/or unfamiliar with MITG&SP. We cannot and should not rely on specific individuals to be always available and willing to provide information that is crucial to the successful production of a show. To that end, the 1994--1995 Executive Committee has sought to produce a document that gives producers of MITG&SP productions a starting point from which to act.

We have attempted to collect information from those who have held producer or production staff positions and arrange it in a compact and accessible form. It should be noted that all of the information here is based upon individual experiences which may or may not be relevant to any given production. This manual should be viewed as a compendium of suggestions and tips, rather than a book of rules, and it is by no means complete. It is our hope that future Executive Committees and production staffs will work together to revise and improve upon this manual as MITG&SP continues to grow and develop.


Juliet Bourne '92
Mike Bromberg '70
Marion Leeds Carroll
Dave Cho '??
Mary Finn '81
Andrew Greene '91
Andrea Humez '96
David Jedlinsky '89
Randi Kestin
Lucy Lim '98
Karin Lin '95
Yanko Sheiretov '92
CarolYN Jean Smith '87
Kyle Yang G
Garry Zacheiss '00

1 The Producer's Job

The producer coordinates all aspects of the production. All participants in the program, including the directors, answer to the producer, who in turn answers to the MITG&SP Executive Committee (ExecComm). The producer should always keep the following three principles in mind:

1.1 The production staff

The producer is in charge of a production staff, generally composed of positions in the following hierarchy:

                               MITG&SP HIERARCHY

  |           |           |                    |                       |
 Music    Publicity   Programme             Technical                Stage
Director  Director     Editor               Director               Director
  |                                            |                       |
  |           -------------------------------------------------        |
  |           |         |         |         |        |        |        |
Orchestra   Master    Lighting    Set    Costumes   House   Props     Stage
 Manager   Carpenter  Director  Designer  Manager  Manager  Master   Manager
                        |                   |        |         
                      Master             Makeup    Ticket         
                    Electrician                    Manager   

Note that this hierarchy is for financial purposes only. Artistically, things are more complex; for example, the process for set design is something like this:

In the beginning, the Executive Committee was formed. And the plans for the show were without form, and void. And the Executive Commitee said, Let there be a show: and there was a show. And the Executive Commitee saw that it was good.

And the Executive Commitee said, Let there be a Stage Director. And the Executive Commitee looked upon it and saw that it was good.

And the Stage Director said unto the Set Designer, let there be a Set Design. And the Set Designer laboured, and brought forth a Set Design: and did bring it back unto the Stage Director.

And the Stage Director did look upon the face of the Set Design: if finding it lacking, sending it back to the Set Designer with the exhortation to make it One with the Plan of the Show. But looking upon it and seeing it to be good, the Stage Director did give it unto the Tech Director.

And the Tech Director did examine it to ensure that it was, verily, possible to build, and not at odds with the other Powers That Be, including the CAC (for safety codes) and the Budget of the Producer. And seeing that the Set Design was indeed good, and that it was not necessary to send it back to the Set Designer to begin the process again, the Tech Director did take the Set Design and bring it before the Master Carpenter saying unto him, Build this, that we may all look upon it in its glory, and that it may meet with favor from the Audience.

In ASCII chain-of-command:

 Stage Director's Artistic Plan
   Set Designer's Set Design
     (Tech Director's "OK")
        Master Carpenter
              A Set!

(hopefully compatible with everyone's expectations, safe, and within budget)

Courtesy Chris Marchant '98

Also, different people come to the group with different ideas about hierarchy; make sure that everyone knows who they should report to.

As much of the production staff as possible should be in place (i.e. hired) before rehearsals begin. The best source for finding production staff members is word of mouth, although many positions are filled by people responding to announcements. Good email lists to post to (all include savoyards(MITG&SP's own mailing list), various music and theater arts mailing lists (music, theater, dramashop, mtg-members, artsnet---try the ``mailmaint'' program on Athena for listings of more groups), and MITG&SP's tech mailing lists (gsp-setsand gsp-lights). ExecComm should hold a list of names of freshmen and new students who have expressed an interest in the group; some of these people may be experienced enough to hold a production staff position. The president (or occasionally another officer) of MITG&SP attends monthly meetings of the Theater Arts department; faculty who attend these meetings may also be good resources for names of students (and are usually willing to make announcements to their classes). Finally, the cast should not be overlooked as potential production staff members; many of them often do have valuable knowledge or experience to bring to the process, and it is an excellent way to make them feel like a real part of the production, particularly if they are not cast in a large role.

It is extremely desirable to encourage interested but inexperienced people, especially freshmen, to accept an apprenticeship position in which they work under the guidance of an experienced production staff member. Not only does this lessen the load of the actual position holder, but it allows more people to be trained in the workings of theater in general and MITG&SP in particular, which in turn provides a larger pool of people to draw from in the future. This is often an excellent way to draw in students who are interested in working with the group but who may be hesitant due to lack of experience.

Production staff meetings are important as a way of maintaining communication among the producer and members of the staff. A minimum of two meetings a month is recommended, with more as production week approaches. Production staff members should that they must report to the producer and understand that they should approach him/her with concerns as soon as they occur.

1.2 Interactions with directors, cast/crew/orchestra, and ExecComm

Part of the producer's job---in fact, a condensed description of it---is to realize the artistic concepts of the stage and music directors. Thus, it is extremely important that the producer maintain close communication with the directors at all times, and ensure that relevant information is relayed to those production staff members who have a direct role in this artistic realization (e.g. the set designer, costume designer, lighting designer). Directors should be invited to production staff meetings when appropriate, and the producer should attempt to attend as many rehearsals as possible. If disputes arise among the directors, production staff, or cast/crew/orchestra, it is the producer's responsibility to resolve them and to report serious incidents to ExecComm.

The producer should endeavor to become acquainted, at some level, with all members of the production. He/she should get to know the cast and attend rehearsals often. The cast must know that the producer is the person who runs the show and the person to whom all concerns should be relayed. This respect and trust can be attained only by achieving a level of familiarity and mutual consideration. Likewise, the producer should work to ensure that production crew and orchestra members feel as thought they are as much a part of the production as the cast; a special effort should be made to welcome and appreciate them, as they are far too often overlooked.

Close communication between the producer and ExecComm is a necessity for a smoothly run show. ExecComm is prepared to offer any assistance necessary in terms of finding production staff members, set and lighting crew, or simply to clarify aspects of MITG&SP that may be unfamiliar or unknown. A minimum of two meetings a month between the producer and ExecComm is recommended; during these meetings, the producer should report on the progress of the show---including rehearsals, set construction, and other production considerations---and relay to ExecComm any concerns. If the unfortunate situation should arise where the produceris having difficulty interacting with someone, ExecComm should be notified immediately. The job of producer is a difficult one, and the MITG&SP ExecComm attempts to make it as painless and rewarding as possible.

1.3 Budget and recordkeeping

Shortly after a producer has been chosen, ExecComm will call a meeting with the directors and producer to determine a budget for the show. ExecComm will provide a ballpark figure as a starting point; the producer should attempt to work out a rough budget and may negotiate with ExecComm until a final number is agreed upon. It is customary for MITG&SP to give the money for the show in a lump sum to the producer, with the understanding that any money left over will be returned to the group. If the producer anticipates having to increase the budget, ExecComm should be notified AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. A budget increase is not guaranteed and the producer should not expect reimbursement for money spent over the budget unless it has been previously discussed with ExecComm.

Once the individual budgets (i.e. division of the money) have been determined, the producer should notify each production staff member of the amount available to him/her. IT IS THE PRODUCER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THAT PRODUCTION STAFF MEMBERS ARE AWARE OF AND DO NOT EXCEED THEIR INDIVIDUAL BUDGETS. Just as all budget increases by the producer must be approved by ExecComm, all individual budget increases by production staff must be discussed with the producer, who may shift around resources as deemed necessary. The producer should require receipts from purchases when available and keep a detailed record of all monetary transactions.

Ticket prices are also set by the producer. Traditionally, MITG&SP has divided audience members into the following four categories:

These groups may be charged different amounts; in the past, typical admission prices have been $6, $7, $8, and $9, respectively.

It is also a good idea to offer group rates, in order to encourage MIT's living groups to show up en masse. In the past, the threshold for group rates has ranged from 8 to 10 people, and the discount has been in the $1 to $2 per person range.

The importance of recordkeeping cannot be overemphasized. Following the close of the show, the producer is expected to give to ExecComm a written and complete report of show expenditures, including money allocated and spent and total revenue from ticket sales. Organization and awareness at all times are paramount.

1.4 Auditions and casting

Auditions for fall and spring shows are typically held the first week of classes. They are typically held on two evenings, with an additional day for callbacks if desired by the directors. When dates have been determined, room reservations should be confirmed (see ``Room reservations'' below) and audition accompanists should be found. Publicity should begin well in advance; this includes postering, placing ads in local newspapers and MIT publications, emailing appropriate groups, and sending flyers to MITG&SP's paper mailing list. Show dates, determined in advance by the producer, directors, and ExecComm, should also be publicized as information for potential auditionees. (See the section on ``Publicity Manager'' in this manual; much of the information is relevant to auditions as well as performances.)

Prior to auditions, various information sheets and forms should be written and photocopied. The directors may wish to provide show and character descriptions, including vocal ranges), as well as a tentative rehearsal schedule (although some directors choose to generate the schedule after cast members' conflicts are known). ExecComm may also wish to distribute a sheet with general information about the group. Finally, auditionees should be asked to fill out an audition form with various biographical and contact information as well as any other information (experience, special skills, etc.) the directors may wish to ask. In addition, MITG&SP should provide pens, scores from the show (so that auditionees can look over readings), and scores from other shows (as a source of audition pieces).

Auditions are staffed by the producer, directors, and ExecComm; auditionees are greeted outside the audition room and enter one at a time depending on order of arrival. Typically, the directors and one ExecComm member (preferably one who does not plan to audition) will remain inside the audition room, while the other ExecComm members staff a table outside. The producer may do either, often serving as a gopher and introducing auditionees to the directors. Before entering the audition room, each auditionee should have a Polaroid picture taken (often two or three people can be taken at once, and the picture cut into pieces) which is attached to the audition sheet given to the directors. The outside staff members should talk to the auditionees to put them at ease and provide them with any requested information about auditions or the group.

MITG&SP is a student group. Consequently, Resolution 2 of MITG&SP's bylaws states: ``When casting for a production, MIT students shall be given preference over all other candidates for a given role, if said student is capable of filling such a role.'' Casting will normally be done by the two directors and the designated ExecComm member; the producer should be present to help enforce this resolution, although he/she may not have a direct vote. Notification of casting results is the job of the directors, producer, and members of ExecComm if necessary.

1.5 Further Notes on Auditions

Auditions are usually Wednesday and Thursday of the first week of classes from 7-10pm, with callbacks if any on Saturday from 2-5pm. However, this is pretty much at the directors' and EC's discretion.

Auditions should be publicized, with posters and email, starting 2 weeks or so in advance. Having posters up the week of auditions is vital. We often advertise in newspapers or at other schools; this does open the whole non-student can of worms, though.

Auditions need to have an accompanist.

The directors should decide in advance how to run the auditions, and notify ExecComm and the producer so that they can field questions from potential auditionees and publicize the auditions appropriately.

Stuff that should be brought--scores & show tunes and stuff for people to sing (these usually get lent by various people, and whoever's in chanrge--probably EC--needs to make sure they get there and back); audition forms; stapler, tape; polaroid and film, to photograph auditionees so the poor directors can remember who's who. All stuff should be looked after, not lost, and returned to whoever it belongs to. Someone should be designated to keep track of things.

Info that needs to get to auditionees (ie, have at table): Performance dates; group info sheet--this should include group policies, like strike & put-in, casting, etc, also EC memebrs. Info on what the various parts in the show are is good. Instructions for auditioning. Any directorial policies (like no glasses on stage).

1.6 Rehearsals

The producer, both directors, and ExecComm should attend the first full-cast rehearsal (which should be early, if not the first) and introduce themselves. Those not directly involved with the show should make every effort to attend rehearsals and remain as visible and accessible as possible. It is imperative that cast members recognize the people who are running the show and the group and understand that they may approach them at any time with concerns. The same is true for orchestra rehearsals and set building sessions.

If a piano is required but not in the room when rehearsals begin, call 253-1500, or 253-3913 (CAC).

1.7 Things a producer needs to know

The following section includes information specific to MITG&SP that is often overlooked, forgotten, or simply not known.

1.7.1 Room reservations

Room reservations are handled by the previous year's ExecComm. Ideally, the schedule is such that nothing needs to be done; in practice, however, there may be fewer rooms than required for the directors' rehearsal schedule. Rehearsals are typically held Monday--Thursday, 7:00--10:00 p.m., and Saturday--Sunday, 2:00--5:00 p.m., although this may of course be modified for the directors' tastes. Usually, only one room is provided for each day of the rehearsal period. Directors may often want to hold separate rehearsals (especially when orchestra rehearsals begin), for which an extra room is required.

Additional rooms may be reserved by speaking to the Campus Activities Complex (CAC), located on the fifth floor of the Student Center. Only five MITG&SP student members are authorized to reserve rooms; these are usually officers (ask ExecComm for a list of the five). The best rooms are Rehearsal Rooms A and B in Kresge and Rooms 407 and 491 in the Student Center, although others are available and sometimes used (any room with a large enough space will do). In some cases, it is necessary to hold rehearsals in music classrooms (located on the west side of building 4); these are reserved by calling the Schedules Office (E19-334, 253-4788), placing a hold on a room, and going there to fill out a form at a convenient time before the rehearsal.

1.7.2 Scores

It is generally a good idea to have a supply of vocal scores (usually around 15-20, depending on the size of the cast) to sell at the first rehearsal. MITG&SP possesses a few scores from past shows, which are stored in the office; check before ordering new ones. A good place is Yesterday's Service in Porter Square (1972 Massachusetts Ave.), which sells them for around $15 apiece. The MITG&SP Treasurer is the best person to handle this, since paying with a MITG&SP check gives us a sales tax exemption. Call several weeks in advance of when you want them, to be safe. A conductor's score should be ordered from Kalmus (cost is around `$100); Yesterday's can handle this as well.

Scores may be sold (usually at cost) or lent to cast members and rehearsal accompanists. In the latter case, scores must be returned unmarked and in good condition. Records of who has bought, borrowed, and paid should be kept. After the cast has been accounted for, extra scores may be sold to other MITG&SP members or to audience members at performance time.

1.7.3 Set building, put-in, and strike

These are company efforts, and EVERYONE is expected to help out. This should be stressed from the beginning and included in the information given to auditionees. The more organized it is, the better; for put-in, the technical director should create a signup sheet so that cast members may come at different times during the day. Lights put-in needs to be essentially done before set put-in can really start. Therefore, when scheduling allows, lights put-in should be done the day before set put-in (e.g. lights Saturday, set Sunday). If this is not possible, begin lights put-in as early as possible (for Mikado '94, lights put-in began at 3 a.m.). Strike should begin immediately after the closing-night audience has left. Traditionally, the company party does not begin until strike has concluded, and members who attend the party without helping strike are frowned upon.

1.7.4 T-shirts

When possible, T-shirts are made for the show and sold to those involved in the production. The Graphic Designer can provide the shirt design, which can then be brought to a commercial location. T. E. Shirts, Ltd. on Commonwealth Ave. will print shirts for a little under $6 apiece, with an additional $15 for the screen.

1.7.5 Complimentary tickets (comps)

These are left to the discretion of the producer. However, it is very highly encouraged that those who help out with the show but are not involved in the final performance (e.g. rehearsal pianists, production staff members, set crew) be given a minimum of one complimentary ticket for themselves. Rehearsal pianists are generally offered two. In past years, cast and orchestra members have been offered one or two complimentary tickets with the recommendation or requirement that they be used on ``off-performances'' (i.e. performances that do not occur on a Friday or Saturday evening).

1.7.6 Event registration form

MIT requires that all events which charge admission (e.g. MITG&SP performances) be registered. This involves hiring a detail officer (MIT Campus Police) and purchasing a performance license for each show. The cost per show is approximately $132 and must be included in the producer's budget.This is a multi-step process, and the following steps must be done in order:

  • Obtain an Event Registration Form from Campus Activities Complex (CAC) on the fifth floor of the student center (W20). Fill out the relevant info (event, dates, etc.) The contact person must be an MIT student who plans to be there for the duration of the event (if the producer is not an MIT student, an ExecComm member in the cast is a good person for this).

  • Take the form back to CAC and have it signed and returned.

  • Take the signed form to the MIT Campus Police on the second floor of DuPont and hire a detail officer for each performance. They must be hired for a minimum of four hours, at $23 an hour (as of 4/96), and must be paid at this time. Get the appropriate signature on the form. Campus Police must be hired at least three days before the performance.

  • The contact person listed on the form must then purchase a performance license at the address on the form (on Massachusetts Ave., the beige building just north of City Hall). The cost is $40 a day (as of 4/97). The license may be obtained as late as the day of the performance, but the sooner the better. Get the appropriate signature on the form.

  • Return the form to CAC, retaining one of the carbon copies.

  • The performance license should be posted at each show (best place is near the area where tickets are being sold). Keep the original and post a photocopy.

  • Note--ALH 4/13/95--The person who takes the form to City Hall (actually, it's the next building down from City Hall (tm) ) needs to be the *same* person whose signature appears on the form. They need an ID. Also money. They may have to be a student to sign it, as far as MIT is concerned.

    The perfomance license can be obtained as late as the day of the performance--*however* the CPs need to be hired at least *3 days in advance*.

    Karin Lin 1/95

    Andrea Humez 4/95

    Chris Marchant 7/96

    Lucy Lim 4/97

    1.7.7 Videos

    Traditionally, select performances are videotaped and edited copies sold to the cast (and possibly others). See the MITG&SP constitution for new rules about videotape sales. Video operators may charge a fee, so the producer should be aware of this and budget accordingly.

    Most MITG&SP shows have been videotaped by Dave and Ruth Jedlinsky (,

    1.7.8 Strike party

    When it's all over, it's time to celebrate. Company parties are held after strike, in a location to be determined (often an on-campus location can be found, or a company member will volunteer his/her residence). It is a good idea to put someone in charge of the party, to handle issues of location, refreshments, and entertainment.

    2 Individual production staff positions

    2.1 Stage Manager

    The duties of the stage manager vary greatly depending on the needs and desires of the stage director, and should be made clear to all relevant parties before a relationship begins.

    At the very least, a stage manager is expected to be present at all performances. S/he should arrive about 15 minutes before the earliest cast call -- usually 5:45 for an 8pm performance -- and call CAC (3-3913 from any campus phone) to have Sala and West Lounge unlocked. The stage manager is in charge of the show once performances begin, and makes such decisions as when to open the house and start the performance. He/she communicates remotely with the technical crew and calls all cues for lighting, sound, and cast entrances. The stage manager also organizes the green room and maintains order backstage.

    Ideally, a stage manager also assists with the production from the start. He/she should generate a contact list including names and phone numbers of the directors, producer, ExecComm, and cast, as well as a list of cast members' conflicts for the director. The stage manager should be present at every stage rehearsal.

    At the beginning of each rehearsal, the stage manager should call the cast to order and phone unexpectedly absent members. During rehearsal, the stage manager should maintain order in the cast, and may be in charge of taking blocking notes for the stage director. As production week approaches and the cast goes off book, the stage manager provides line cues when necessary.

    Attendance also should be taken at music rehearsals, although for a student stage manager attending the music rehearsals may be too large a time commitment. An assistant or co-stage manager is a good person to have in charge of this; otherwise, the music director may take attendance.

    The stage manager may also deal with discipline problems within the cast, as well as various administrative tasks relating to the cast.

    In the absence of a stage manager, these things still need to be done! The duties are generally divided among the producer, TD, and (during rehearsals) stage director.

    Lucy Lim 9/96 and 4/97

    2.2 Technical Director

    The Technical Director (TD) is responsible for making sure that all technical aspects of a show are carried out in a timely fashion. This includes coordinating the set design, lighting and set construction, and handling any technical details needed during performances. Scheduling meetings, set building and put-in are the main tasks. A set and light crew must be recruited; this job may be delegated to the Master Carpenter and Lighting Designer/Master Electrician who will be supervising them, but it is ultimately the TD's responsibility to make sure that adequate manpower exists.

    This job can be purely administrative if enough of the labor is delegated to the set and lighting crews, or it can be more hands-on. Once the set is put in and the lights are hung, the TD's job is essentially finished. If there are problems that the Master Carpenter, Lighting Designer, Master Electrician or Key Grip cannot handle, however, the TD must still be available to solve them.

    He or she needs to keep the technical expenditures within the budget determined by the Producer.

    The TD needs to be well versed in MIT'isms. S/he should be the one to get approval of the set and lighting designs from CAC (Joanne is usually the best person to speak with). The TD should also reserve platforms and chairs for the audience from CAC (this should be done ASAP (preferably as soon as a preliminary set design is finished)). Also, strike should be discussed with a CAC Manager in advance. There is much important paperwork that needs to be settled before stirke can begin (such as just how CAC wants Sala and West Lounge to look after strike). The TD is a good person to list on the CAC form as the officiator of the strike. (Note: this is NOT the event reservation form and the techie named upon does NOT need to be the person listed as being in charge of the event, or at least it usually ends up that the two people are different.)

    It is also helpful if the TD knows the members of other theater groups (MTG, Drama Shop, Harvard G&S, etc.) and can ask the right people for favors. This is helpful, but is not necessary, especially if there are other Board members or Prod Staff members who can deal with other groups. Also, at some point during put-in and strike, it is likely that a van will be useful for moving large, heavy set pieces. In the past, ZBT and ET have loaned us their ILG vans. Sometimes cast members will have access to (or will have friends/ relatives with access to) vans or trucks. Treat these people well, as they will make your life MUCH easier. Mike Bromberg '70 and Mike Meissner, have also often lent us vans or trucks. It is also possible to rent a van (Budget, U-Haul, Ryder, etc.) but that costs money and is therefore not as good. If it is possible, having multiple vans for put-in and/or strike will speed up the process somewhat, as loading and unloading constitute major bottlenecks.

    The TD generally should be a clued-in-person (tm) when it comes to theater in general and MIT red tape in particular. The TD's job can be to simply guide the other techies, or the TD can end up doing lots of actual design, construction, and light hanging (though this will lead to hoseage). Thus, the TD doesn't really know what he/she is getting into until the rest of the Prod Staff have been named and their general abilities have been discovered.

    2.2.1 Timetable

    Note: Everything should begin as soon as possible. The times given are weeks before opening night and should be viewed as the LAST possible time by which things may begin.

  • Early (>= 5 weeks): This is the planning period. The set design should be finished, approved by the director, and coordinated with the lighting designer and master carpenter. You should know what your budget is. Meet with the master carpenter; schedule building sessions and painting sessions and recruit a set and light crew. Make sure the director and music director include put-in on the rehearsal schedules for both the cast and the orchestra. Remind the director that everyone in the cast is expected to spend at least four hours at put-in.

    If the performance will be in La Sala de Puerto Rico, contact the Campus Activities Complex (CAC) and reserve all of the chairs and platforms we'll need for the audience:

  • 4 weeks: Set construction begins. Building sessions should be scheduled during weekend afternoons (6--8 hours) and weekday evenings (3 hours). Sessions are run by the Master Carpenter; if he/she is unavailable, the TD must find a replacement or run the session himself/herself. Drop by rehearsals periodically, to remind the cast and orchestra when and where builds are happing.

    Submit the set and lighting designs to the Campus Activities Complex for approval. Don't wait for approval before beginning construction---you can always leave things you're not sure will be approved until last.

  • 1-3 weeks: Continue set construction and painting.

    Make arrangements now to have a van or truck available for put-in and strike, to transport everything from Walker to wherever the performances will be.

  • 1 week: Drop by a couple of rehearsals to tell the cast (and orchestra) what is expected of them for put-in. In past shows, we've had a sign-up sheet and asked people to sign up for two 2-hour slots. Make sure they know it's especially important to have people in the morning to move stuff across campus.

  • Put-in: This is a long day, and the TD should be present from start to finish. The TD's main function during put-in is to be a manager. You'll spend the entire day pointing people at tasks. Put-in actually goes faster if you do this than if you do a lot of the work yourself---while you're caught up in a project, a lot of the people helping will finish their current tasks but may be reluctant to ask you what to do next. It is most important to make sure you have adequate supplies. For example, if you run out of gaff tape or a particular size of drywall screws, everything will come to a halt.

    Lights put-in precedes set put-in, since the lights need to be hung above the set. Both must be completed by the time tech/dress rehearsals begin. For our most recent production of H.M.S. Pinafore, lights put-in started at 11pm the night before set put-in, which worked well. (This depends on when the performance space becomes available.) If parts of the set will be too narrow to allow the scaffold (which is 5' wide) to fit, you will need to arrange to have ``baby'' (the hydraulic lift that runs on compressed air) brought over from Kresge.

    Bagels and doughnuts make nice incentives, both to reward the lighting people for the time they've already spent, and to encourage everyone else to show up early. Around dinner time, designate someone to deal with getting food or having it delivered.

    If the performance is in Sala, the TD also has to make sure the audience space is set up sometime after put-in and before opening night.

  • Performances: The TD should be ``on call'' in case an emergency happens that must be repaired before the next performance, but has no official duties during this time.

  • Strike: This begins immediately after the closing performance. If possible acquire a van to move things from the performance space to the set shop. Check with individual members of the cast, or rent one if financially feasible. The entire process takes approximately five hours. As with put-in, you need to be a manager, spending most of the time pointing people at tasks.

    2.2.2 Useful Telephone Numbers

    2.3 Set Designer

    The Set Designer takes a concept drawing or description from the Stage Director and produces a detailed design. He/she must work in close collaboration with the Lighting Designer and Master Carpenter, so that a feasible design is produced. The design must include color choices, but it is not necessary to go into more construction detail than simple elevations and suggested ideas for construction.

    Most of the Set Designer's work falls early in the production periosd, but a good designer will stick around to answer questions that the TD, MC, LD, and SD come up with later on.

    This job mostly requires the ability to closely read a script to decide what absolutely must appear on stage. Of course, the SD should be doing this as well and will definately provide input. If the SD has not designed for the group before, they will need at least person experienced in MITG&SP to inform them about the limitations of MIT, MITG&SP, and Sala (as far as what can and cannot be done).

    Further notes on the set design process can be found in the beginning of the producer's manual. (under ``MITG&SP Hierarchy'')

    Chris Marchant 8/96

    2.4 Master Carpenter

    The Master Carpenter turns a completed set design into the actual set pieces needed for a show. He needs to make construction diagrams, based upon existing pieces as much as possible, and needs to coordinate the actual construction.

    Baically, the MC does carpentry (pretty straight forward, huh). They should be able to work with groups of people, both the experienced and the clueless hordes of actors that manage to sometimes stumble into the set shop. A knowledge of theater is helpful, but not necessary if there is a good TD or SD to guide the MC. An MC MUST know how to use the MITG&SP tools safely and be able to watch over other people to be sure they are not in any jeopardy of harming themselves or others.

    Chris Marchant 8/96

    2.5 Lighting Designer

    The Lighting Designer develops a lighting plan based on the set design. He is responsible for coordinating the deployment of lighting instruments at put-in as well, along with the Master Electrician.

    S/he is responsible for finding out how many MIT instraments will be available from Sala, Kresge, Drama Shop, and MTG, and finding an efficent way to spend his lighting budget on retail instruments (and cables), gels, gobos, etc. The LD must be sure to properly inform the Master Electrician what needs to be done for put-in (if there is an experienced ME, this could be as easy as making well detailed light plots, dimmer and circuit assignments, and a ceiling plot).

    The Lighting Designer should have a firm grasp on what different types of lighting instruments are and how they should or should not be used. They also should have a general idea about how lighting is used in theater. (One theory is that it is mostly to transmit subliminal messages about mood, though some designs are much more obvious. Lighting can also be used for neat special effects, though some directors have a very tight definition of ``neat.'' It can, in fact, often approach the null set with some people.) Again, getting help from one or more experienced MITG&SP people should be enough for a first time designer to do their job.

    2.5.1 Checklist

  • Planning: Meet with the stage director, set designer, and costume designer to discuss the overall concept and specific colors. Become familiar with the rehearsal schedule, particularly for put-in and production week. Read the script of the show and begin recruiting a light crew.

  • Attend rehearsals and take blocking notes. Make a design and review it with the Drama Department, Student Center, and/or Safety Office at MIT.

  • Generate a lighting plot, preferably on computer. Make circuit and equipment lists. Make preliminary cue descriptions and cue sheets and mark cue locations in the score. Order/buy any equipment not already on hand, making sure to keep all receipts for the producer.

  • Put-in: Coordinate a schedule with the TD and Master Carpenter; lights put-in must be completed before set put-in can begin. Bring all instruments, cables and tools to the performance space. Hang instruments and cable. Pick, cut, and install gels.

  • Tech Rehearsal: Bring tools and meter. Check and install footlights and strips. Debug headphones, focus all instruments, and set scene levels. Check blocking and timing with cue descriptions. Update and copy the cue sheets.

  • Rehearsal and Performance routine: Unlock the booth and turn on the power. Make sure window curtains are closed and perform an instrument check. Check headphone batteries. After the performance, lock everything up.

  • Strike and post-strike: Leave MIT instruments in the requested location. Return borrowed and rented equipment, finish paperwork, and submit a reimbursement request to the producer.

    2.6 Master Electrician

    The Master Electrician assists the Lighting Designer with the deployment of lighting instruments at put-in. S/he can also help with writing cues and with fixing problems that don't appear until after put-in. The ME needs to know enough to understand what the LD is telling them. In theory, ME is a very easy job, especially since it doesn't start until about the week before put in. The ME MUST be able to put in SEVERAL VERY LONG DAYS, however, during hell week and for strike. Also, it is a good idea to find an ME who isn't afraid of heights, but who is able to work with other people well.

    Chris Marchant 8/96

    2.7 Light Board Op

    Runs the lights during hell week and for performances. They need little or no theatrical experience for this job. Also, while the work load is well defined, it is also a job that MUST be done. A Board Op must not have major conflicts during runs of the show and cannot flake without causing serious problems. In general, however, this is a good job for someone just starting out in theater tech who wants to ``learn by osmosis.''

    Chris Marchant 8/96

    2.8 Costume Designer

    The Costume Designer finds, makes, and/or coordinates costumes for the cast. He/she reports to the Technical Director, but should also communicate well with the director to ensure that the costumes are consistent with his/her concept of the show. Costume designing is a big job involving a lot of work, and the Costume Designer should attempt to get as much help as possible. The Costume Designer may also be called upon to provide makeup assistance.

    2.8.1 Early considerations

    Obviously, it is impossible to find or make appropriate clothing before the show is cast, but there are things that can and should be done beforehand. Talk to the director and find out if there are any specific things he/she wants in the way of costumes (e.g. pockets and who needs them). Also, find out the size of the cast and get a copy of the rehearsal schedule. Come up with an overall concept for how you want the costumes to look and get the director's approval. Simple sketches are also a great help.

    Read the show! Think about the relationship between the characters and how the costumes might be used to show what those relationships are. Don't dress romantic leads in clashing colors. Along with the director, decide whether the chorus costumes will be very similar or very different.

    2.8.2 Budget and finding vs. building

    Before you begin any spending or building, find out what your budget is. If it is too small, negotiate with the producer. A good estimate is $25-30 per costume; many come out cheaper than that, but there are usually a few cast members who require extremely fancy and/or expensive costumes, so it usually evens out in the end. If you anticipate needing to do any dry cleaning, mention this and try to get the budget adjusted accordingly.

    If you are fortunate to be able to find costumes (either by renting them, or using and modifying costumes from an existing collection), the budget may be slimmed down a bit. Explore MITG&SP's store of costumes to see if there is anything that can be used. Finding costumes is usually cheaper and easier; however, building costumes results in a more consistent look for the show.

    Sources of borrowed costumes include:

    Makeup is one thing that is often forgotten until production week. Check MITG&SP's store of makeup and make sure there is enough for the run of the show. If not, count on needing a budget increase to replenish the company's supply of makeup.

    2.8.3 Sizing up the cast

    Measure the cast at the earliest possible moment. The best time is probably during read-through, because most everybody will be there. Read-through is also a good time to make announcements about costume pieces that the cast may have to provide for themselves. The cast is often asked to provide their own shoes, usually ballet slippers for the women and Chinese ``coolie shows'' for the men. The cast may also be asked to provide their own socks, stockings, or tights. (Note: ``Hardship'' cases should be considered and referred to the producer if necessary in the event that a cast member cannot afford to provide his/her own costume pieces.)

    2.8.4 Shopping

    Get the bulk of your shopping done as soon as possible. A good place to begin is in downtown Boston, near the Washington Street stop of the Red Line. Winmill Fabrics is located on Chauncy Street across from the building housing Baker's Plays. They have a good selection, moderate prices, and carry most brands of patterns.

    On the corner of Chauncy Street and Harrison Avenue is New England Textiles. If you can find something you like on their bargain tables, you can save a lot of money.

    A little farther down Harrison Avenue is Harrison Ave. Textiles. They have silks, velvets, brocades, satins, and the materials are expensive, but may be what you want for a lead's costume.

    Windsor Button Shop is generally the best place for notions and trim. They are located at 35 Temple Place, between Washington Street and Tremont Street.

    Ask for receipts and keep them for the producer. Also, remember that fabric bought in bulk is heavy. Make several trips or bring someone along to help carry everything.

    2.8.5 Swatches

    When most of the shopping is done, make up some swatch cards showing what fabrics each of the leads and the chorus will be wearing (small snips of the fabrics will do fine) and give a set each to the lighting designer and the set designer. This will allow for better coordination of colors.

    2.8.6 Scheduling

    Costume designing is a lot of work. Get people to help, even if they claim not to be able to sew, because it is rarely true. The earlier you begin, the earlier you are in a position to give instructions to others. Thank and praise people who do help.

    During the rehearsal period (before production week), bring partially finished pieces in and fit them while alterations are still easy to do. The director or stage manager should keep you up to date on changes to the cast, but they are more likely to do so if you are accessible and show up every now and then.

    Work quickly, and remember that costumes are not real clothes. They only have to look good on the outside, and they only have to hold together for a finite number of performances. DO, however, take the time to SEW name tags into the costumes, at least the ones that are identical. If you merely pin them on, the tags will be lost.

    Plate to have a final fitting/costume parade very early during production week. After this point, actors should rehearse in as much of their costume as is wearable.

    2.8.7 Production week

    Theoretically, all your work should be done by this point. Your duties should consist of taking costume notes during rehearsals and finishing up any detail work. Some tips:

    2.8.8 Strike

    The main task is to separate costumes from personal belongings, and borrowed or rented costumes from MITG&SP property. Everything must be cleaned before it is stored or returned to its owner. Wash everything that can be washed and dry clean the rest. Some dry cleaners charge by the pound, which can be much cheaper if there is a lot of dry cleaning. Hillside Cleaners on Brattle Street in Harvard Square is one place that does this. Collect all receipts and submit them to the producer for reimbursement.

    last revised by Lucy Lim 4/97

    2.9 Makeup

    Because costuming is a big job, it is a good idea, when possible, to have a separate person in charge of makeup. In the past, it has sometimes been possible to find someone to take charge of the makeup even when no costumer has been found (and the job therefore delegated to the producer and director).

    2.9.1 Before Production Week

    First, find out what the needs of the show are by becoming familiar with the script and talking to the stage director. (Are the characters English? Japanese? Pacific Islanders? Does anybody need to be aged? How many performances are there?) Examine MITG&SP's existing makeup supplies; they are stored in a large box on top of the props cabinet in the office. Not everything you need will be found there, since the last show may have had very different makeup needs from yours -- there won't be much overlap between Ruddigore's pale ghosts and Mikado's Japanese gentlemen! Come up with a shopping list and ask for a budget increase from the producer, if necessary.

    Specialized theatrical items, such as the Pan-Cake or grease paint bases, can be bought at Boston Costume. Other items, such as some lipsticks, eyeliners, and sponges, can be found more cheaply at CVS or Woolworth's.

    Below is a sample makeup list for a one-weekend run of H.M.S. Pinafore, courtesy of Rebecca Consentino:

    I think that is everything we'll need -- we should still have everything else necessary. Please let me know asap if someone else can run that errand.

    Boston Costume is located on 15 Kneeland Street in Chinatown (right down the street from Tufts Dental).

    All this should be done by a week before opening, at the very latest.

    2.9.2 Dress Rehearsals and Production

    Early on, find out when all the dress rehearsals and performances are, and plan to attend them!

    Show the cast how to apply their makeup -- some will start out much more clueful than others! Provide assistance when necessary; with complicated makeup jobs, you may have to do most of the work yourself. Check everyone's makeup before they go on stage. During dress rehearsals, view the performance from the front and back of the audience, and under the various light cues, and make adjustments when necessary; Sala is a small and unusual space, and often what looks good from the back row doesn't work from the front. Afterwards, make sure that the makeup is covered after being used, and that the tables are kept clean of food, trash, and other non-makeup debris. Also, provide cold cream and towels for the cast to remove their makeup.

    The makeup manager should arrive at the earliest cast call for every full-dress rehearsal and performance, and stay until every cast member's makeup is completed and all the makeup covered and put neatly aside. If it is necessary to miss a performance, make certain well in advance that the actors know about this and will be capable of dealing with their own makeup.

    2.9.3 Strike

    Separate MITG&SP's makeup from cast members' personal possessions, cover everything, clean it up, and put it away in an orderly fashion in the MITG&SP office.

    Lucy Lim 4/97

    2.10 Props Master

    The Props Master is responsible for obtaining all properties needed for the show. He/she answers to the Technical Director but should communicate closely with the Stage Director to find out what is needed.

    When possible, props should be provided early and brought to rehearsals so that the actors can get used to using them. This is especially important for props that may present logistical problems on stage (e.g. the gazillion teacups in Sorcerer that need to be distributed and collected) so that they can be worked out in advance. Rehearsal props need not be identical with actual props.

    2.10.1 Tips on obtaining props

    Check MITG&SP's store of props in the office. Often objects from other shows can be used for different purposes.

    Central Square is a good place to start for shopping. There is a Pearl Arts & Crafts store located on Massachusetts Ave. near a Woolworth's and a dollar store.

    Unusual props may be borrowed from other theater groups. Try the theater groups at MIT (the Musical Theatre Guild, Dramashop, Shakespeare Ensemble) or talk to the MIT Theater Arts Department. Also, props may be borrowed from the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert and Sullivan Players, the Sudbury Savoyards and Savoyard Light Opera Company. These groups may or may not charge rental fees.

    Some props may be made in the set shop, such as the Mikado death certificate scroll.

    2.10.2 The props table

    During production week, one table in the green room should be reserved for props. Divide the table into Act I and Act II props with masking tape. ALL props, when not on stage, should be on the table. Before the show begins, make sure all props are present on the table and instruct actors to return them to the table after use.

    2.11 Publicity Manager

    The Publicity Manager's job is to advertise the show. This is a process that begins long before opening night. The Publicity Manager must obtain all relevant information from the producer and directors and find a graphic designer for posters and flyers, as well as handle public announcements and mailings. Publicity avenues include, but are not limited to:

    2.11.1 Checklist and timetable

  • Drop posters are long posters that hang in Lobby 7, the main entrance to MIT. ExecComm should have reserved drop poster space at the beginning of the term. The Publicity Manager should check with them on this; if it has not been done, it needs to be done ASAP.

  • Basic information (show dates, times, and ticket prices) should be confirmed and the directors and producers should be asked for any additional special information to be included in announcements.

  • The MIT Theater Arts Department and Lynn Heinemann (, 253-4003) in the Office of the Arts should be contacted with show information. Lynn Heinemann also sends out additional public service announcements.

  • The Publicity Manager should, along with the producer, find a graphic designer for posters and flyers. (Make sure that both the publicity manager and producer are clear on who is in charge of recruiting one!) The graphic designer should coordinate with the directors to gain an overall concept of the show. After all relevant information has been given to the graphic designer, he/she should begin designing the poster, flyer, and LSC slide (see below).

  • The Publicity Manager should begin recruiting a publicity crew to paint the drop poster and hang flyers and posters. These may be members of the cast, orchestra, or tech crew, but may include others with interest and/or experience.

  • The MIT Lecture Series Committee shows movies every weekend at low cost to the MIT community. LSC slides are an excellent way to advertise, and they also print posters. The Publicity Manager should contact LSC (253-3791) and get a specific person to agree to print them by a specific date, preferably two weeks before the show. When the poster design is ready, it should be given to that person. Posters may also be printed at commercial locations; they cost a bit more, but are generally faster and more reliable than LSC. Posters should be distributed among the cast, crew, orchestra, and anyone else who is willing to help. Postering around MIT (including MITG&SP's bulletin board in the Infinite Corridor) and elsewhere should be coordinated. The number of posters can vary; 100-200 is a good number, but do not order more than people can put up.

  • When the flyer design is ready, the Publicity Manager should make photocopies for distribution and mailing; 400-500 is a good number to start with. Graphic Arts (11-004) is a good place to do this; they charge $0.04/copy for colored paper copies. Flyers should be distributed among the cast, saving about 300 for the mailing list.

  • MITG&SP has a mailing list of approximately 300 people. Instructions for printing mailing list labels are located in the file /mit/gsp/Mailinglist/INSTRUCTIONS; contact an ExecComm member for assistance. Many of the addresses are interdepartmental, so the cost in stamps is about $60. This mailing should be done at least two weeks in advance.

  • Ad-swapping: MITG&SP often exchanges ads with other MIT theater groups (Musical Theater Guild, Dramashop, Shakespeare Ensemble) as well as other Gilbert & Sullivan groups in the area, especially the Harvard-Radcliffe G&S players. The Publicity Manager should explore this option and if an exchange is made, give the appropriate materials to the Programme Editor. This job can and probably should be delegated.

  • Tickets are printed at APO on the fourth floor of the Student Center. The Publicity Manager should bring all relevant information, including any graphics, and get tickets printed.

  • The LSC slide should be on 8.5'' by 11'' paper in LANDSCAPE orientation. A form is available in the LSC office on the fourth floor of the student center and should be submitted with the design at least a week before the movie showing.

  • Marion Leeds Carroll, the editor of the Trumpet Bray (NEGASS newsletter) should be contacted with the appropriate information. Contact her early in the production period ( and make sure you know when the deadline is!

  • Electronic publicity: Within MIT, send email to music and theater groups (see listing under ``The production staff'' of the Producer's section) and post to various newsgroups (mit.board, athena.announcements, athena.misc). The show may also be publicized to larger national mailing lists, such as Contact an ExeComm member for assistance if needed. Also, the World Wide Web page (/mit/gsp/www/home.html) should be updated with show information.

    Mailing lists vary in their tolerance for publicity announcements. Post to MITG&SP's own mailing lists the most often, since the people on them are guaranteed to be interested in our group. ``Theater'' is a good place to post frequently as well. Few postings should be made to lists that are less directly related to our group.

  • Radio publicity: The following are radio stations to contact:

    WBUR 253-2790
    WCRB 893-7080
    WERS 578-8892
    WGBH 492-2777
    WMBR 253-8810
    WHRV 495-4818

  • Contact the Tech (MIT's student newspaper) about reviewing and photographing the show. The Tech publishes on Tuesdays and Fridays, and you want the review to appear as early in the production period as possible.

  • MIT posts messages on monitors located in Lobby 7. The Publicity Manager should send email to tv-messages@mit.eduwith the relevant information.

  • Most publicity should include the MITG&SP logo, the name of the show, dates and times, ticket prices, information on how to order tickets (MITG&SP voice mail and email), the show location, and the names of the producer and directors if desired.

    2.12 Orchestra Manager

    The primary duty of the Orchestra Manager is to recruit players for the orchestra and ensure that all aspects of the show involving the orchestra run smoothly. He/she should work closely with the music director and be aware of the concerns and needs of the orchestra members at all times. The Orchestra Manager is also responsible for scheduling rehearsal accompanists.

    2.12.1 Timetable and detailed description of duties

  • When the rehearsal schedule is finalized, the Orchestra Manager should obtain a copy and determine which rehearsals require accompanists (usually all). He/she should then endeavor to schedule accompanists for the duration of the rehearsal period. The best arrangements are people who will commit to a certain day or days of the week, but there are those available on a ``fill-in'' basis.

  • The Orchestra Manager should attempt to attend the first rehearsal played by any given accompanist, so that introductions may be made and the accompanist properly thanked. The Orchestra Manager should attend rehearsals periodically to ensure that both director and accompanist have a good relationship.

  • As soon as the orchestral score is available, the orchestra manager should obtain a list from the music director of the instruments (and number of players for each) required for the orchestra. If the Orchestra Manager is not extremely knowledgeable about general orchestral expectations (for example, the need for clarinetists to possess an A clarinet, the level of ability required) he/she should discuss this with the music director before recruitment begins.

  • Recruitment should begin immediately so that the full orchestra is in place before rehearsals begin (usually about five weeks before opening night). A list should be kept of all orchestra members, their instruments, and contact information. Moreover, the members should be periodically reminded when rehearsals are to begin, to avoid surprises due to a player forgetting his/her commitment.

    The contact list should be passed along to ExecComm so that it can be archived for the use of future orchestra managers.

  • As soon as a rehearsal schedule is made available and it is determined which rehearsals require the presence of the orchestra, the Orchestra Manager should generate a condensed version of the schedule to be made available to the members of the orchestra. In addition, he/she should make a contact list including all the members of the orchestra (and their instruments) and all relevant members of the production staff, to be given to the players in the event that communication outside rehearsal becomes necessary. The Orchestra Manager should also ask ExeComm to contact the Campus Activities Complex so that music stands can be added to the list of needed equipment for orchestra rehearsal rooms.

  • Orchestra parts must be obtained before the first rehearsal. In general, MITG&SP has arranged to borrow these parts from various other G&S groups in the area. Such arrangements often include a deposit and/or acknowledgment for the parts.

  • The Orchestra Manager should attend at least the beginning of every orchestra rehearsal to ensure that it will run smoothly. He/she should make sure that the room is open and that music stands are available. Wire stands are available from the Campus Activities Complex. If the stands are not present about fifteen minutes to half-an-hour before the beginning of the rehearsal, call CAC at x3-3913, say that you're from the Gilbert and Sullivan Players, and ask that the stands be brought over. If the answering machine takes your call, do leave a message -- the managers sometimes do check them and respond. Response time ranges from a quarter hour to not at all.

  • Reminders of rehearsal times should be given, particularly at the beginning of the rehearsal period when they are less frequent. The Orchestra Manager should keep a list of members' conflicts and follow up on any unexpected absences.

  • When joint rehearsals (cast + orchestra) begin, the orchestra manager should make efforts to encourage communication between the cast and orchestra players. It is an unfortunate fact, and not one unique to MITG&SP, that orchestra players often feel unappreciated, forming the musical backbone of the production and yet receiving none of the attention or praise given to cast members. This attitude often leads to resentment and apathy on the part of the players, which can be detrimental to the show. Much of this animosity can and should be alleviated by facilitating communication between the two groups and ensuring that the cast gives proper appreciation to the members of the orchestra.

  • Once production week arrives and dress rehearsals begin, the orchestra will move to the ``pit'', where Manhasset (black) stands and orchestra stand lights are needed. These are located in the MITG&SP office; the Orchestra Manager should make sure that they are moved to the performance space and the stand lights connected before rehearsals begin.

  • Before either opening night or closing night, a gesture of appreciation to the orchestra is in order; this may take the form of a small gift or note to each member. In addition, the orchestra players should be encouraged to take part in strike and the cast party. The announcement of strike and the party should be made in advance to allow players adequate notification.

    2.12.2 Resources

    Recruiting players and accompanists:

    Obtaining orchestra parts:

    Borrowing instruments, especially percussion:

    2.13 Programme Editor

    The Programme Editor is in charge of the task of producing a programme for the audience that is informative and pleasing to the eye. He/she answers to the Producer but communicates with the directors and Publicity Manager on the content and look of the program.

    Basic elements of a programme:

    Optional elements (but desired if possible):

    2.13.1 Tips

  • Advertisements: Begin soliciting these early. The programme can and should be made revenue-neutral and may possibly even make money. If necessary, recruit someone else to help with this.

  • Talk to the directors about any specific information they want in the programme (e.g. argument, list of music). Coordinate the cover graphic with that used for posters and flyers; the Publicity Manager can serve as liaison between the Programme Editor and Graphic Designer. The Programme Editor should also check with the Publicity Manager regarding advertisement-swapping between MITG&SP and other groups.

  • Make a decision about who gets bios. The minimum is usually the cast, directors, and producer; orchestra and crew may also be given bios. This should be discussed with the producer.

  • Solicit bios early and enforce a deadline. Give the cast periodic reminders and enforce a length limit (60-70 words is a good number).

  • Get a cast list (Dramatis Personae) from the Stage Manager, an orchestra and rehearsal pianist list from the Orchestra Manager, and a list of production staff and crew from the Producer.

  • All MIT students, alumni, and community involved in the show should have their year of graduation (or a ``C'' for community) printed with their name, e.g. John Doe '95. This is extremely important; it lets the audience know the number of MIT affiliates that are involved in the show, which encourages more students to audition. Students from other schools may have their affiliation denoted, if desired.

  • As soon as possible, create a mock-up of the program. This can be returned to the cast, crew, orchestra, directors, etc. for corrections, preferably at least a week before opening night.

  • The final version should go to the Producer several days before opening night so that it may be photocopied and folded before performances begin.

    2.14 Ticket Manager

    The Ticket Manager is responsible for all reservations and advance ticket sales. He/she reports to the House Manager and should work closely with him/her.

    2.14.1 Checklist and Timetable

  • Tickets are usually sold a week or two before the show in Lobby 10. ExecComm should have reserved ticket booth space at the beginning of the term. Check with them on this; if it has not been done, it needs to be done ASAP.

  • Check with the producer to find out ticket prices and the policy for complimentary tickets (comps).

  • The Publicity Manager will get tickets printed. Get them from him/her; if the tickets are color-coded, decide which color corresponds to which performance.

  • When posters and flyers are printed, take a small supply for the ticket booth.

  • Get the cash box from the MITG&SP Treasurer and put in a supply of small bills and coins for change.

  • Create a signup sheet with available booth times and have the cast sign up for slots. Make sure that the first and last person signed up to work each day knows what to do with the tickets and cash box.

  • Recording reservations: Keep a tally of ticket sales divided by performance and audience category (MIT/Wellesley students, general admission, etc.) and note comps. This list should be given to the House Manager to be appended for ticket sales at the door. This is valuable information for the producer and ExecComm, so be accurate.

  • Ask the MITG&SP President for the password to the MITG&SP voice mail and change the greeting to allow for ticket reservations. This should include information on performance dates and times, ticket prices, allowable method of payment (usually cash or check) and when tickets must be picked up at the door (check with the House Manager on this, usually 20 minutes before curtain). Unless you want to call everyone back individually, add a note saying that reservations are confirmed unless heard otherwise.

  • Check the voice mail regularly (once a day or more). Archive all messages not relating to ticket reservations and report them to the MITG&SP President.

  • When the ticket booth is available, put up posters and flyers on it. Make sure the booth is manned as much as possible and do not leave the cash box unattended. Keep detailed records of ticket sales and reservations. During performances, the cash box, tickets, and records should be given to the House Manager.

    2.15 House Manager

    The House Manager handles all aspects of the show relating to the audience. This includes ticket sales, seating issues, and refreshments. The House Manager answers to the Producer and receives reports from the Ticket Manager.

    2.15.1 Checklist

    3 Reference

    3.1 Checklist and timetable

    Times listed are prior to opening night.

    3 months: Meet directors
    Decide on a budget with EC, divide it up
    Find prod staff
    Audition publicity
    2.5 months: AUDITIONS
    Cast rehearsals begin
    Planning period for TD, LD, MC, Orchestra Manager
    1.5 months: Set building begins
    Publicity begins; graphic design finished
    Costumes, props, lights should be underway
    Orchestra rehearsals begin
    3 weeks: Publicity continues: posters, flyers
    Ticket manager takes over voice mail
    2 weeks: Publicity continues: drop poster, ticket booth staffing
    Cast and orchestra meet
    House Manager begins work
    1 week: PUT-IN
    Dress/tech rehearsals
    Fill out Event Registration form
    Strike and party

    3.2 Useful phone numbers

    MITG&SP voice mail 253-0190
    Physical Plant 253-1500
    Campus Activities Complex 253-3913
    Classroom Scheduling 253-4788
    Music & Theater Arts Department 253-3210
    Lecture Series Committee 253-3791