Backstage

Centre Stage encourages creative opportunities for everyone in our wider community.  Whether performing on stage, or being part of the production team, being involved in theatre can be rewarding and fun. 

To stage a show many more people are required beyond the director and performers.  A committed team work behind the scenes to assist the director and cast to produce a show.  These include sound and lighting technicians, set designers and constructors, wardrobe and makeup artists, administrators and front of house teams. 

We are always looking for people who are keen to contribute to our shows, be it on stage or as part of the production crew, whether you are experienced in theatre or have no knowledge at all, we’d love to hear from you.  Contact us now.

Backstage roles required to stage a production:

Director
The director is responsible for overseeing every creative aspect of a production and to present a quality show for the public.  A prospective director will find a play or musical they wish to direct, put key personnel in place and, in conjunction with the production manager, put together a budget and present this to the Committee for approval.  The director is responsible for preparing a comprehensive rehearsal schedule which will dictate timeframes for both the cast and the production crew.  The director's role is to ensure the quality and completeness of the production and to work with the production team to realise their artistic vision for the show.  Key attributes: artistic vision, good communication skills.

Musical Director
The musical director is responsible for vocal and music quality.  The musical director works closely with the director to create a cohesive vision.  Key attributes: good musicianship, organised, good communication skills.

Choreographer
The choreographer is responsible for all dance numbers in a show as dictated by the director.  Key attributes: organised, good time management, good communication.

Production Manager
The production manager oversees the whole production and relieves much of the organisational requirements from the director so that they can concentrate on directing the cast.  The production manager therefore works closely with the director and liaises with all heads of departments, finds personnel if production team roles are vacant, understands and is well informed about all aspects of the show.  The production manager is the key contact to fundraising groups.  Key attributes: good organisational and communication skills, attention to detail, problem solver, forward thinker.

Production Secretary
The production secretary assists the director and production manager by taking care of the administrative and communication tasks.  These include liaising with the cast, taking production meeting minutes and compiling the show programme.  Key attributes:  good organisational and communication skills, attention to detail.

Stage Manager
The stage manager organises all backstage areas and ensures the show runs smoothly on show nights.  The stage manager attends all technical and dress rehearsals as well as all performances.  After the final dress rehearsal the director hands over the show to the stage manager who controls and oversees all aspects of the production from that point.  Key attributes:  quick thinker, calm nature, safety conscious.

Publicity / Marketing
The publicity for a show is vital.  This role is responsible for creating a publicity campaign advertising the show to generate interest.  This includes arranging newspaper articles, advertising (both print and radio), preparation and display of photo boards.  Key attributes:  creativity, good communication and organisational skills, attention to detail, planning and timing skills.

Set Design and/or Construction
Depending on the requirements of the production this could be a team of people.  In conjunction with the director they design and create a set to suit the needs of the production.  The set needs to be completed well before the show dates so the cast can use the set during rehearsals.  Key attributes: creativity, building skills advantageous, safety conscious.

Lighting
The lighting technician works with the director to design all the lighting effects for a production.  It’s their job to enhance what is happening on stage – the lighting of the set has the power to set the mood.  Lights may need to be hung and/or repositioned.  The technician will programme the lighting cues into the lighting desk and then operates the desk during the technical rehearsals and all  performances. Key attributes:  creativity, attention to detail, technical skill an advantage, safety conscious.

Sound
Depending on the show’s needs sound may be combined with the lighting function.  The sound technician works with the director to design and record the effects and music cues.  The sound technician attends all technical rehearsals and all performances.  Key attributes:  creativity, attention to detail, technical skill an advantage.

Wardrobe
The wardrobe team are responsible for all the costumes and accessories.  In line with the director’s vision they make or source from the existing wardrobe, hire or borrow all costumes needed for the production.  As there are dress rehearsals prior to the show costumes need to be in place well before the performance dates.  Wardrobe representatives are on deck for all dress rehearsals and performances.  Depending on the show requirements dressers may be required to attend the dress rehearsals and all performances to assist the performers with their costume changes.  Key attributes: creativity, resourcefulness, sewing skills advantageous.

Makeup
The makeup team is responsible for the appearance of the performers.  Depending on the needs of the show this can range from simple “day” make up, to character make up, to full blown masks.  Under the bright stage lights make up is required to be much heavier and obvious than normal. Makeup personnel are required at all dress rehearsals and all performances.  Makeup is applied before the show, but maintenance or additions may be required at interval.  Key attributes:  creativity, make up artistry experience helpful.

Hair
Depending on the demands of the show hairdressing may often be combined with the makeup role.  The extent of the looks may vary between current hair styles, to period specific, character specific and the use of wigs.  Hair teams are required at all dress rehearsals and all performances.  Hair dressing is completed before the show, but maintenance or different styles may be required at interval.  Key attributes:  creativity, hair dressing experience useful.

Props
The props team are responsible for sourcing, managing and returning the stage props (used for dressing the set) and hand props (taken on stage by performers).  Often this requires approaching people and organisations to “borrow” props for use in the show.  In some instances props may need to be made from scratch.  Props are often required early on in the rehearsal schedule, once the set is built, to enable the cast to rehearse with their props.  Usually a props team member is on hand for final dress rehearsals and all performances.  Key attributes: organised, creative, resourceful, good communication skills.

Prompt
The prompt has the pleasure of watching the development of the production from almost the beginning.  The prompt attends all rehearsals once “books down” (performers stop using their scripts) and all performances.  The cast need to have complete confidence in the prompt so the prompt needs to follow the script continually.  Key attributes:  concentration, attention to detail.

Box Office
The box office person arranges the tickets and booking sheets for the performances and liaises with the ticketing office.  Tickets purchased by out of town patrons are organised by this role.  The bookings are monitored and reported back to the production manager and publicity teams.  When the show is on, each day’s remaining tickets and seating plan are collected and delivered to the theatre.  Key attributes: organised, good communication skills.

Front of House
A leader is appointed to co-ordinate a team to host the patrons.  Our front of house teams are our ‘welcoming committee’ who set the tone for the evening’s entertainment.  They are responsible for the safety and comfort of the audience, the decor and condition of the Playhouse and its facilities.  Patrons are shown to their seats, are served supper at the interval and are then farewelled at the end of the show by the front of house team.  The theatre is tidied after each performance by this team.  Key attributes:  organised, friendly disposition, good communication skills.

Bar Staff
Our theatre has a bar which is open during all performances for the convenience of our patrons.  A team of people are required to man our bar before the start of the show, through to interval and then after the show for clean up.  Key attributes:  organised, friendly disposition, good communication skills.