(From French) Facilitator of a community, education or group event (social, cultural or artistic). The Animateur may be a group leader, or may have initiated a project. They are responsible for running the event.
The Department in a large producing theatre which deals with the maintenance and storage of prop weapons.
Assistant Stage Manager.
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
Usually shortened to ASM, the assistant stage manager is the most junior member of the Stage Management team, and is often in charge of sourcing and running Properties during the run of a show. They are also a member of the stage 'crew'.
The ASM is reponsible for setting props used during the show, as well as carrying out a pre-show check list to ensure all props are in the correct place and that all furniture used on stage is correctly placed for the start of the show.
An ASM may also have a small acting role in some performances (they are then known as an Acting ASM).
See also STAGE MANAGER and DSM.
Redundant term, in use theatrically between approximately 1884 and 1960 in the UK, it originated on the railway system. The Baggage Master is part of a touring theatre company, and is responsible for all personal and company luggage, and has to check all luggage (including props, costumes, scenery etc.) is packed and ready when the show leaves for a new venue.
A member of the stage management team who takes over the duties of the DSM on the Book (calling cues, giving calls etc.) in the event that the DSM is not available or is on leave.
BOX OFFICE MANAGER
Member of the theatre staff responsible for the operation of the Box Office, including customer service standards, ticket sales in person, by phone or online, and the correct recording of ticket sales, repayments to theatre companies etc.
Also known as General Manager or Chief Financial Officer.
Member of the management team of a theatre company who is responsible for the financial control. The Business Manager manages the budget, including cost-effective purchasing, payroll for employees and reduction of costs where possible.
Part-time temporary technicians (paid by the hour).
The senior member of the theatre's stage lighting team, although not necessarily the lighting designer. Known in the US as MASTER ELECTRICIAN.
In common with many theatre jobs, the actual duties of the Chief Electrician vary from theatre to theatre. Some chiefs are responsible for electrical maintenance of the building, some design the lighting for nearly every in-house production, some design no lighting at all, some have a team of eight staff under them, some have two. Many theatres employ casual staff to assist on lighting rigging sessions. Some theatres have a separate sound department, smaller venues have the lighting team also running sound for shows (and doing sound design for some).
Abbreviated to CLX in some UK venues.
Member of the production team responsible for setting dances and movement sequences during the production.
In a touring theatre company, the Company Manager is responsible for the well-being of the cast and crew of the show; ensuring their arrival at the venue, dealing with their payments, dealing with any disputes, and generally ensuring all is well and happy. The CM is also the representative of the producers in that they are responsible for collecting payments from the venue management.
In a building-based theatre company, the role is more administrative, dealing with payroll and other matters connected with the cast and crew of the current production(s).
COMPANY STAGE MANAGER
Shortened to CSM. The Company Stage Manager acts as a liaison between the production company and the actors / performers, particularly with regard to contracts, logistics, accommodation & transport.
See also Production Stage Manager.
The director of an orchestra. See also MUSICAL DIRECTOR.
Member of the creative team for a show responsible for the clothes worn by the actors throughout the performance. They work with the director to discuss the needs of the show before coming up with a series of sketches to illustrate the looks for particular characters. The designer then works with the wardrobe team at the theatre / production company to decide which items are already in stock, which can be adapted from existing stock, which should be hired, which should be bought and which should be made from scratch. Charity shops are useful sources for modern / recent items, and theatre are many theatrical costume hire companies available in larger cities.
Member of the Costume / Wardrobe team that works to make or assemble costumes based on the requirements of the costume designs.
Member of the WARDROBE Department. See also DRESSER.
Journalist who writes reviews for theatre productions.
Member of the costume team that supervises the construction of costumes that are made from patterns. They are also responsible for creating the patterns from the Costume Designers' sketches / designs.
Member of a group of dancers in a show who is responsible for leading rehearsals and warm-ups prior to the performance.
Member of the company whose role is choreographed, and who has no spoken words.
A member of the backstage staff who is hired or paid by the day, for the specific hours worked. Prefixed by the appropriate technical area (e.g. Stage Daymen, Electrics Dayman / LX Dayman etc). May also be required to work shows (Show Dayman).
DEPUTY STAGE MANAGER (DSM)
Usually shortened to DSM, this is a member of the Stage Management team. In the UK, the DSM is often "on the book" - that is, they are in charge of calling all of the technical and actor cues during the show, usually using a headset communications system and/or a system of cue lights. The DSM is often also in rehearsal working with the director to prepare the prompt book. Known in some places as a Stage Director.
See also PROMPT BOOK, STAGE MANAGER.
See SET DESIGNER, COSTUME DESIGNER, LIGHTING DESIGNER, SCENOGRAPHER.
Specialist who's bought into a production to train actors in a specific dialect / accent.
There are many types of director.
Broadly, the role involves being responsible for the overall artistic vision of a production.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - Normally in charge of the programming of a venue. May also direct shows.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - Manager in charge of the administration of a venue.
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR - In charge of the technical requirements of a production.
(The term LIGHTING DIRECTOR is used in the UK for a TV Lighting Designer).
(Film) Digital Imaging Technician. Head of the team that works with the cinematographer / director of photography to use the best workflow, camera settings, signal path etc to ensure the best image quality and integrity on a film set.
(Film-making) Director of Photography. Also known as the Cinematographer. Responsible for the capturing of visuals for the film, working with the Director and translating their requirements into suitable equipment / technology to capture the images, along with their own artistic input. DOPs such as Roger Deakins bring their own visual style to a project, whilst capturing the images the Director has created.
The academic subject area into which theatre falls.
Teacher of Drama.
A playwright, composer or lyrisist who takes an existing story and transforms it into a play or musical.
Dramatists Guild of America
Works as an advisor/assistant to the director on the background and historical relevance of the play being produced. Also can act as a liaison between director and playwright, and can work on the text of the play (editing & revising scripts). Also advises the theatre management staff on the suitability of plays for the theatre's audience and artistic policy. See link below for more information.
What is Dramaturgy?
Member of the WARDROBE Department who helps actors with costume care and costume changes during the performance.
The Education Director is a member of the theatre staff and is responsible for fulfilling the outreach and educational programme of the theatre or company.
This may involve organising activities and workshops, meeting with school teachers about organising trips and workshops, managing staff, preparing and delivering an Education Plan, conceiving and directing youth performances as the outcome of workshops etc. They may also develop resources on current productions.
In some organisations they may also be known as the Education Manager, Outreach Co-Ordinator etc.
Choreographer of fight scenes on stage. Works intensively with actors training them how to avoid hitting (and hurting) each other, how to use weapons safely etc. Fight directors are highly skilled and trained and should not be substituted for someone 'who once saw Gladiator' and thinks they can repeat it!!
Society of American Fight Directors
British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat
Responsible for choreographing any fight sequences during a show (whether they involve weapons or not), and for ensuring the safety of actors involved in the sequence, and anyone on stage at the same time.
Term for the operator of the theatre's flying system. Can be male or female, and now usually referred to as FLY OPERATOR or FLY PERSON. See also SPOTTER.
See FRONT OF HOUSE MANAGER.
FRONT OF HOUSE MANAGER
Member of theatre management who is responsible for the day to day running of the front of house (FOH) area (as opposed to the backstage areas). They may oversee the running of the box office, any merchandising / catering stands as well as the ushers and any part of the building the public may enter during their visit to the theatre.
Another responsibility is to produce a nightly House Report which consists of the numbers of tickets sold of various types, info about the weather, number of ushers and any problems with the public experience of the FOH areas. This information is passed to the Stage Management team who use part of the info (on ticket sales) in the Show Report.
Often shortened to FOH Manager. Also known as House Manager.
(US) Member of stage crew responsible for moving items of scenery during the show. Usually wears black. A group of grips is a GRIP CREW. This term is borrowed from the film/tv industry, where a grip handles and sets up camera equipment and lighting.
(US) Short for Stage Hand (member of Stage Crew).
Duty member of theatre staff who is responsible for the Front of House staff and organisation for a particular performance. They are also responsible for the health and safety of the audience while they are in the theatre.
See FRONT OF HOUSE MANAGER.
Member of the production team for a show who is responsible for the overall look of the lighting. They may have an Assistant Lighting Designer who concentrates on the necessary paperwork for the lighting design. The Lighting Designer (or LD) is responsible for liaising with the director about style and with the set and costume designers about colour and decides on the position, type, focus direction and colour of every lighting instrument in the rig. They draw a lighting plan to communicate this to other members of his team (and to the theatre staff who are rigging the lighting). During a lighting plot, the lighting states are built, which are then amended during Technical Rehearsals.
A lighting designer for television is known as a lighting director.
Member of the show crew who runs the lighting board during the show for the Electrics Team. Also known as LBO (Lighting Board Operator).
A theatre company or producing venue may employ a literary manager to work on reading plays that are submitted to evaluate them and decide if any are suitable to be put into production. They may also be responsible for suggesting existing plays / texts to the theatre management and artistic team.
Short for Electrics ('Elecs'). The department in the theatre responsible for stage lighting and sometimes sound and maintenance of the building's electrical equipment. Lighting cues in the prompt book are referred to as LX cues (abbreviated to LXQ).
(In the USA, LX cues are known as Light Cues, and may use LQ instead of LXQ).
Author of the text of a musical / the words of a song.
See also DRAMATIST.
1) An overall control fader or lever on a lighting or sound control board. The Grand Master takes precedence over all other controls and allows the operator to fade out the entire output of the lighting desk.
On a lighting desk the PRESET MASTER allows the control of a section of the desk independently from the rest.
See also SUBMASTER.
2) An original (e.g. Master tape, master plan) which should be used only to make a copy from which to work.
3) A Department Head (e.g. Master Carpenter, Master Electrician).
See CHIEF ELECTRICIAN.
1) See MUSICAL DIRECTOR.
2) Mini Disc. See DIGITAL RECORDING.
Person who makes / builds / constructs hats or headpieces.
Often the conductor/leader of a musical, or the person responsible for the musical content of a production. Also known as the MD.
Member of the company who plays a musical instrument.
Short for PRODUCTION MANAGER.
That person or body responsible for the financial and contractual side of a production. This can include the raising of money to stage the production, hiring the facilities, employing the technical crew, front of house and publicity staff, director and cast. The producer usually works closely with the director before embarking on a production.
A person who provides the finance directly is known as an ANGEL.
Submitted by Alan Williamson
Member of the electrics team in a theatre (or contracted by a production) who is responsible for the technical preparation of the lighting rig. The interpretation of this role is varied depending on the size of the production / venue. It may include taking the lighting plan and generating paperwork such as lists of equipment, colour gel requirements, circuit hookups (which dimmer connects to which socket in the rig / which DMX channel) etc. They are also likely to be responsible for ordering / preparing additional equipment for the rig (e.g. boom stands), preparing the rig for focussing etc.
Also known as Prod LX.
(UK) Responsible for technical preparations, including budgeting and scheduling of productions. This role in the US is usually known as TECHNICAL DIRECTOR.
PRODUCTION SOUND ENGINEER
Often shortened to PE. Works alongside the Sound Designer to help in translating artistic ideas into equipment (and installing it).
Person whose role is to follow the text of a play, and be ready to remind the actors of their lines if they forget them. In many older theatres, there is a prompt box downstage centre sunk into the stage, so that only the prompter's head is above stage where they can see the actors.
Prompting in German is known as Soufflage, and the Prompter is the Souffleur.
The Props Manager / Properties Manager is in charge of the stock of props at a theatre.
In the UK, the ASM (Assistant Stage Manager) is often responsible for propping a show (finding/buying props and organising the making of additional ones). Larger organisations might have a Prop Manager who is responsible for sourcing the props required for a show (or a series of shows).
Also known as a Prop Designer. Specialist member of the design team, often working alongside the set designer, who is given the responsibility for designing specific props for a theatre, film or TV project.
In theatre, many props are found, either from stock in a prop store, or in charity shops, or bought from local shops or online. The task here is matching props to the requirements of the script and/or the vision of the director & designer. Propping (sourcing props) isn't seen as a design task, until the prop has to be built from scratch, or where an existing object is enhanced with additional designed elements to disguise it, or to add functionality to it.
Department in the theatre (or any company) which deals with the public image of the theatre. Sometimes known as the MARKETING DEPARTMENT.
Marketing information on Theatrecrafts.com
The department in the theatre whose job it is to entice the audience into the theatre, and to tell them what they need to know in order to get the most from the production.
Member of the sound team on large scale events who ensures that all users of radio frequency devices (radio mics, comms, in-ear monitors, IFB etc.) have radio frequencies allocated to them which do not interfere with each other, and are covered by the appropriate licences in the region in which the event is taking place.
ROAD MANAGER (ROADIE)
A touring technician with one night shows, particularly music groups. Large groups will have a roadie in charge of a particular instrument or set of instruments (eg Guitar Roadie, Drum Roadie, Lager Roadie) who is responsible for the correct unloading and setting up (tuning etc) of the instruments before the artists arrive onstage for the sound check.
A member of the set-construction team that builds the wooden parts of the set, under the supervision of the Head (or Master) Carpenter.
Scenic Design at Theatrecrafts.com
Designer responsible for all the SCENOGRAPHY - the visual aspects of a production (lighting, scenery, costumes etc). One of the greatest scenographers of current times was Josef Svoboda (1920-2002).
Member of the wardrobe department who operates sewing machines and carries out other sewing tasks.
Member of theatre's production department or outside contractor who is responsible for realising the set designer's construction in timber, steel or other material as specified by the designer.
Member of the artistic team for a show who works with the director to create the scenic 'look' for the stage throughout the show and any accompanying props. They sometimes also design the costumes.
The set designer works with the production manager to ensure the design stays within the budget. Many theatres have a stock of scenery which means that items can be reused by recovering or repainting in a different production
In Europe, the set design is sometimes called 'Decor'.
See also MODEL, SCENOGRAPHER.
Scenic Design at Theatrecrafts.com
Member of production staff who is responsible for the props and furniture that are required on the set. This position only exists in larger organisations. Set dressing is often the job of the stage management department.
Member of the production team who has the responsibility for planning and executing the layout of all sound playback and reinforcement equipment for the show. This role also includes the sourcing of music and sound effects for the production.
See also SOUND OPERATOR.
Member of the Sound Department / Audio Department, also known as Audio 1, who is responsible for operating the sound mixer to ensure that microphones and other audio sources are mixed to carry out the sound designers' vision for the show. Although many operations can be automated, to ensure that groups of microphones are unmuted at the right time, to ensure maximum quality and volume in the sound mix, faders must be continuously monitored and adjusted - only microphones that are needed at each precise moment should be 'live' so that no unwanted sounds are audible through the PA system.
The sound engineer on a musical will usually have an assistant working backstage, who ensures that radio microphones are working, and are fully charged, and allocated to the correct performers. Any faults during the show should be remedied (by changing batteries, adjusting aerials or replacing microphone heads) and communicated to the sound engineer immediately to adjust the mix accordingly.
Also known as Sound Op. The Sound Operator is responsible for operating the sound playback and mixing equipment for a show. They are sometimes a member of the Electrics department of the theatre and work with the sound designer for the production, or they may be employed just for the show.
The main operator is called Sound No.1 (or Audio 1)
A standby / second operator is Sound No.2 and so on.
Member of the Stage staff who is responsible for moving props and/or scenery during the show, and for ensuring that items under their responsibility are working correctly and properly maintained. Stage Crew (also known as Stagehands) are often employed on a casual basis for a specific production, and may not be part of the theatre's full-time staff. They also may be touring with a particular production.
STAGE DOOR KEEPER
The first person that technical staff, actors and administrative staff meet when they enter the theatre through the Stage Door. This is a pivotal role as 'Stage Door' has to know everyone, deal with a whole host of queries, pass messages, meet visitors, the press, agents, visiting theatre companies as well as being a point of contact on Health and Safety matters, fire procedures etc.
Member of the electrics staff whose responsibility it is to set or clear electrics equipment during scene changes. May also carry out colour changes on booms etc.
Sometimes abbreviated to SLX.
See STAGE CREW.
The Head of the Stage Management team comprising the deputy stage manager (DSM) and assistant stage manager (ASM). The DSM is normally "on the book" calling the cues from the prompt corner. The ASM supervises props. Depending on the needs of the production, there may be a team of stagehands, usually casual employees.
Sometimes, on large (or complex) productions, particularly in school / college projects, two (or more) people share the role of Stage Manager - these Co-Stage Managers agree which aspects of the job they will be assigned.
German: Inspizient (also Theatermeister or Bühnenmeister)
The Stitcher is a member of the costume construction team, who works with the Cutter on assembling/constructing costumes.
SUPPORTING ARTIST (SA)
(Film Industry) A supporting artist is sometimes known as an 'Extra' - someone employed to fill out the background of a shot to bring the scene to life. For a crowd scene, the bulk of the supporting artists are employed without needing to see their faces, but performers who are closer to the camera, or who have to interact with more high-profile performers, are cast more carefully.
Short for TECHNICAL DIRECTOR.
1) Short for Technical Rehearsal. (e.g. 'The Tech took 14 hours')
2) A member of (amateur) crew ('I'm the lighting tech for this show')
A stage technician. For more information, see The Techie Gospel. See also Lampy and Noise Boy. Many professional technicians don't particularly like this term.
The Techie Gospel
Often shortened to 'TD' the exact role of the Technical Director changes according to the size of the theatre company, and also according to your location in the world.
In the US, the TD co-ordinates all technical aspects of the production, from organising crew calls to ensuring equipment is ordered, to liaising with the designers and sometimes adapting a design to fit the venue. In the UK, this person is usually called the PRODUCTION MANAGER.
The TD role sometimes overlaps with that of the UK Stage Manager also.
The tour manager is responsible for organising the logistics of a touring music or theatre production. They organise the get-in and get-out schedule for the show, arrange cast and touring crew transport and accommodation, book transport for the production equipment (set, lighting, sound, costumes, props etc). Depending on the size of the production they may also be responsible for ensuring that lighting and sound requirements are scaled up or down according to the size of the venue (althought this may be the responsibility of specialists within the crew).
Also known as a COVER. A member of the cast of a musical or play who understudies one (sometimes more) of the principal roles and is also in the chorus. [For his or her role in the chorus, an understudy might have a character name, or might not.] Some understudies have gone on to become stars by outshining the actors they replaced.
A Cover Call (or Understudy Call) is a rehearsal for the understudies, to keep them up to speed with their alternate roles.
See also ALTERNATE, STANDBY, SWING.
Submitted by Pierce Peter Brandt
Members of Front-of-House staff who guide audience members to their seats, and often sit in the auditorium during the show in case of emergency.
Sometimes also known as STEWARDS.
Managed by the Front of House Manager (or FOH Manager).
Job title for the person responsible for the overall running of an entertainment venue, including managing the team, finances and legal compliance, as well as ensuring quality of the audience experience and for visiting companies, and maximising chances to grow and enhance the venue's place in the community by developing partnerships with local businesses and groups.
Venue Management at ATG Theatres (UK)
Member of the production team who is responsible for training the actors in vocal/singing techniques needed for the performance. They also help the actors to learn songs and ensure they are prepared for each rehearsal.
A role is said to be 'white glove' if the person is not required or expected to help with setting up equipment, only in the operation of it.
The provision of wigs is normally part of the WARDROBE department in smaller organisations. However, larger organisations (touring opera companies etc.) will have a separate wigs department.