SRJC Course Outlines

6/23/2024 11:33:59 PMTHAR 29 Course Outline as of Fall 2021

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  THAR 29Title:  INTRO THEATRE MGMT  
Full Title:  Introduction to Theatre Management
Last Reviewed:5/11/2020

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled2.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled35.00
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled2.008 min.Lab Scheduled35.00
 Contact DHR1.00 Contact DHR17.50
 Contact Total5.00 Contact Total87.50
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  70.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade Only
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 
Formerly:  THAR 50

Catalog Description:
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Introduction to the principles of management in the theatre, with an emphasis on practical stage management techniques, responsibilities, methods, tools, ethics and essential skills. Course work includes lectures, hands-on activities, computer-based assignments, and front-of-house management for one or more SRJC Theatre Arts productions.


Recommended Preparation:
Course completion or Concurrent Enrollment in THAR 2 (or THAR 301)

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
Introduction to the principles of management in the theatre, with an emphasis on practical stage management techniques, responsibilities, methods, tools, ethics and essential skills. Course work includes lectures, hands-on activities, computer-based assignments, and front-of-house management for one or more SRJC Theatre Arts productions.
(Grade Only)

Recommended:Course completion or Concurrent Enrollment in THAR 2 (or THAR 301)
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;UC.
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Inactive:
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 1986Inactive:
UC Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 2020Inactive:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Certificate Applicable Course


Student Learning Outcomes:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
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1. Implement organizational principles in all areas of theatre management.
2. Demonstrate the essential skills, methods, and responsibilities required for an
    entry-level stage management position in professional theatre.

Objectives: Untitled document
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
1. Analyze the importance of theatre hierarchy, management, and organizational
     principles in all areas of theatre management.
2. Identify and distinguish between the stage manager's and assistant stage manager's
    roles and responsibilities throughout the production process.
3. Demonstrate basic proficiency with stage management documentation, script
     notations, calendars, and reports.
4. Develop the communication, social, psychological, and ethical skill-set required to
    stage manage or assistant stage manage a Theatre Arts production.
5. Demonstrate practical managerial experience by working front-of-house or assisting in
     production duties for current SRJC productions.

Topics and Scope
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I. Theatre Management Fundamentals
    A. Overview
          1. Company structure and hierarchy
         2. Job definitions and responsibilities
         3. Production personnel and the collaborative process
         4.  Written vs oral communication methods
    B. Areas of theatre management
         1. Company management
         2. Production and stage management
         3. Business management
         4. Box office and house management
         5. Promotions, marketing, and development
    C. The managerial basics
         1. Communications and problem-solving
          2. Organization and paperwork preparation
         3. Scheduling and time management
         4. Research and critical analysis skills
         5. Ethics and employment
II. Mounting a Show: The View from the Booth
     A. The stage manager's "role"
         1. Leadership skills
         2. Interpersonal communication
         3. Orchestration
              i. time
              ii. transitions in production
              iii. relationship building
    B. Tools of the trade
         1. The stage manager's kit
         2. Office machines and supplies
          3. Computer hardware and software
    C. Resources
         1. Professional organizations
         2. Sites and online resources
         3. Rulebooks
III. Pre-Production Preparation
    A. Script preparation
         1. French scenes
         2. Scene breakdowns
          3. New scripts and script revisions
         4. Technical requirements
         5. Special formatting
    B. Lines of communication
         1. Contact sheets
         2. Distribution lists
          3. Emails, voicemails, and meetings
         4. Sharing and disseminating information
         5. Confidentiality
    C. The show folder
         1. Production departments
         2. Official documents
         3. Production archives
    D. Paperwork preparation
         1. Templates (reports, daily call sheets)
         2. Preliminary lists (props, costumes, preset checklist)
         3. Schedules (conflict, production and rehearsal calendars)
         4. Extras (actors' packets, sign-in sheets, waivers, permits)
    E. The rehearsal space
         1. Reading ground plans
         2. Using set renderings and models
         3. Taping the set
         4. Rehearsal props and costumes
         5. Comfort zones (off-set cast, director, management areas)
     F. The callboard
         1. Practical and virtual callboards
         2. Rehearsal/performance hotlines
         3. Callboard information
         4. Keeping callboards up-to-date
IV. The First Rehearsal
    A. Equity and non-Equity actors
    B. The Equity meeting
    C. Designer presentations
    D. The first read-through
         1. Preparing the script for the read
         2. Using a stopwatch
         3. Calling breaks
         4. Rehearsal room protocols
V. The Stage Management Team
    A. Stage Manager (SM) and Assistant Stage Manager (ASM)
          relationship - division of labor and teamwork
    B. ASM: Backstage tracking
         1. The prop list
         2. The preset checklist
         3. The costume plot
         4. Flows and run-sheets
         5. Shifts and scene transitions
    C. SM: On-stage tracking
         1. The blocking script (prompt book)
         2. Blocking notation
         3. Special notation (dance, combat)
         4. Entrances and exits (the N/X form)
         5. Sitting on book (giving lines, line notes)
VI. Beyond The Rehearsal Room
    A. Production meetings
    B. Designers and shops
         1. The tech schedule (builds and deadlines)
         2. Load-In, hang and focus
         3. Effective communications (rehearsal reports)
VII. The Late Rehearsal Period into Pre-Tech
    A. Run times
    B. Spiking the set and spike maps
    C. Backstage organization (storage, presets, traffic, work stations)
    D. Dressing rooms
     E. "Safe and sanitary"
    F.  Paper tech and cueing script
VIII. Technical Rehearsals
     A. Tech rehearsal lexicon (sitzprobe, wandelprobe, light rehearsal,
          dry tech, Q2Q, 10/12, tech-run, dress, preview)
    B. Headset protocols (standbys, the "G" word, verbiage)
    C. God mics (holds and restarts)
    D. Taking charge (assessing needs, staying on schedule)
    E. Calling the show
IX. In Performance
    A. Openings and pre-show special events
    B. Post-show events
    C. Emergencies and disasters
     D. Maintaining the show  
          1. Giving notes to actors  
          2. Mid-run rehearsals
     E. Performance reports
X. Front-of-House
    A. Promotions
         1. Advance publicity
         2. Media relations
         3. Marketing
         4. Lobby displays
    B. House management
         1. The house manager (and assistant house manager)
         2. Audience relations (dealing with patrons, handling special needs)
         3. The house manager's report
    C. Box office management
         1. Seating charts
         2. The subscription base
         3. Advance sales, pre-show sales and will-call
         4. Counting stubs (box office reports)
    D. Concessions
XI. Job Opportunities and Further Education
    A. Entry-level theatre management positions
    B. Interviews (dressing the part)
    C. Résumés and Curriculum Vita (CVs)
    D. Stage management programs
All topics listed above are covered in both the lecture and lab portions of
the course. The DHR portion of the course reinforces these topics through
active, experiential learning in an educational production environment.

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The course consists of four hours of scheduled instruction per week (2 hours
lecture and 2 hours lab), as well as 17.5 hours of flexible DHR instruction for
the semester. The DHR instruction involves experiential learning with a
managerial aspect of an SRJC production, applying the theories, techniques,
and terminology introduced in the lecture and lab portion of the course.
Homework, graded assignments, and DHR instruction activities are listed below:
1. Complete assigned reading (20-25 pages per week) and prepare for
    class discussions.
2. Theatre Management Assignments
    Students will complete 5-8 theatre management assignments during the
    course.  Recommended assignments include:
    A. Demonstrate basic profiency with management software (ex. Excel)
    B. Analyze, strategize, and generate examples of management
    C. Determine, devise, and develop methods of communication for a
         simulated production.
    D. Create and organize an online show folder with subfolders.
    E. Interpret a ground plan, tape out a set, and spike set pieces.
    F. Prepare a prompt script for stage management, applying
         professional formatting standards
    G. Draft and complete a technical theatre resume     
3.  Students will prepare for a variety of in-class exercises and instructional
     activities relating to theatre management and the performing arts. Upon
     completion, the students may also reflect on the results, either in brief
     written responses or class discussions. Examples of exercises and
     instructional activities include:
     A. Viewing and discussion of assigned videos and production archives
     B. Role-playing exercises involving theatrical scenarios, applying
           problem-solving and professional ethics
     C. Individual and team simulations of various aspects of the production
     D. Instructor and peer demonstrations
     E. Professional guest artist presentations
     F. Computer exercises focusing on management techniques
4.  Written Exam: Complete a midterm exam, covering (but not limited to)
    the following:  
     A. Theatre management job definitions and terminology
    B. Script and production analysis
    C. Accurate interpretation of ground-plans
    D. Management processes, scheduling, and notation  
5.  Skills Exam: Complete an interactive exam (final), assessing the student's
    ability to apply skills such as script notation and calling practices.
    The exam may also assess other skills, such as the student's ability to:
    A. Follow a musical score, applying an introductory understanding
         of rhythm and music structure.      
    B. Follow and/or notate dance choreography, applying an introductory
         understanding of eight-counts (also known as Dance 8s).
    C. Follow and/or notate fight choreography at an introductory level
6.  Research Project:  Complete a research project on an aspect of
     theatre management, consisting of a summary paper (1,000-2,000 words)
    and an oral presentation with visual support.  
7.  DHR Instruction Hours - Practical Management Experience:
    The student will complete 17.5 hours of supervised theatre management
    responsibilities, fulfilling front-of-house or other production-related duties
    for a current SRJC production. (Assignment is determined by instructor
    based on student's area of interest, prior experience, availability, and
    position schedule.)
8.  Regular attendance and participation in class discussions and exercises.

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
10 - 20%
Management assignments & exercises - written. Research project paper.
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
30 - 40%
Management assignments & exercises - analytical, problem-solving, simulations, role-playing. Project - analysis and research;
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
20 - 40%
Management assignments & exercises - skills (technical, organizational, communication, etc.). Skills exam.
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
10 - 20%
Written exam (objective, problem-solving, short essays, completion)
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
10 - 20%
Practical Management Experience (DHR). Attendance, preparation, and participation in class discussions, presentations and exercises. Project presentation.

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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The Backstage Guide to Stage Management. 3rd ed. Kelly, Thomas. Watson-Guptill publications. 2009 (classic)
Magazines such as: Theatre Bay Area, American Theatre, Back Stage,  ACTS Facts: Arts, Crafts and Theatre Safety Newsletter
Instructor prepared materials
Stage Management. 10th ed. Stern, Lawrence and O'Grady, Alice. Routledge. 2012 (classic)
The Stage Management Handbook. Ionazzi, Daniel. Betterways Books. 1992 (classic)
Stage Management Theory as a Guide to Practice; Cultivating a Creative Approach. Alcron, Narda and Porter, Lisa. Focal Press 2020
Stage Manager: The Professional Experience Refreshed. 2nd ed. Fazio, Larry. Focal Press. 2017
Usually Excellent: The Necessary Nine Skills Required for the Practice of Great Leadership. Hamm, John. John Wiley and Sons LTD: 2011 (classic)

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