Running the show

The set is built, the lights are set, the sound is cued, the actors are costumed. What could possibly go wrong? But there is plenty to do to run the show.


The director's job is done. He or she has only to give a pep talk and retire from the scene, trusting the actors, stage manager and crew.

Producer (Production Manager)

The producer also has nothing to do but pay the bills (using money from the Treasurer) and ensure there is a crew available to remove the set at the end of the run, put away costumes, furniture and props, and clean up ready for the next production.

Stage Manager (SM)

The stage manager is analogous to the conductor of an orchestra. In communication with the Assistant Stage Managers
(ASMs), she or he conducts the flow of the performance,

The SM uses the sequence of cues developed during rehearsals, cueing actors, sound, lights and special effects. The SM normally works in the control booth, communicating all the time with ASMs who are located at each side of the stage - and sometimes behind the stage also.

ASM with intercom headset, flashlight, and The Book (script)

Assistant Stage Managers (ASMs)

Most productions have one or two assistant stage managers (ASMs). They are the links between the SM and the backstage activity. They ensure that the actors are in position to make their entrances, advise the SM when they are ready and give them their cues. They co-ordinate scene changes, costume changes, props, and any special effects.

Stage Crew

Depending on the production, a Stage Crew may or may not be needed. If the production warrants it, the team needs to be prepared to strike and set furniture, set dressing and properties, and operate backstage equipment such as a fog generator.  

Props person at props table


The properties people must ensure the stage is set prior to each performance, and make sure all off-stage props and actors' personal props are ready. Often, a table will be placed just off-stage with all the properties laid out on it, each piece always in its assigned position ready for it to be picked up and used.

Operating the lighting console

Lighting and Sound

There will be one person from the lighting crew and one from the sound crew at their respective consoles, operating the controls according to cues from the Stage Manager, who is right beside them.


Members of the costumes team may need to act as dressers when there are quick changes or when a costume is awkward to get into. And during the run of a show, there is sure to be a button missing or a tear to be mended.


The Make-up Artists assist the cast with the application of their make-up and make any adjustments that may be required during the performance. Although the actor relies on his or her ability to make a character come alive, make-up plays a role of its own. It is a tool that helps complete the picture begun by the actor and the costume. Lights absorb color so even the most basic of make up is important to give the actor's face definition. This is achieved by applying highlights and shadows (also known as contouring) appropriate to the facial structure.

 And then there all the Front of House things to be done . . .

Front of House Manager and crew

Greeters and car-door openers,
in their capes and hats

This person arranges that for every performance, there will be people to

Working at front of house is a good way to meet other people!

Checking and tearing tickets

Handing out programs

Cloakroom operations

Selling refreshments

Refreshments Manager and crew

The Refreshments people work in conjunction with the Front of House staff to provide coffee, tea, soft drinks, and snacks to the audience before the show starts, and in the intermission.

The box office auxiliary counter

Box Office Manager and crew

Even before the season starts, the Box Office manager and staff arrange for:

For each production, the Box Office staff open the office two weeks before the first performance and for every night of the run, and sell tickets for the current production.

These are the people who answer the phone or pick up messages when you dial the Kanata Theatre number.