The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Calling a Musical

Discussion in 'Stage Management and Facility Operations' started by JVV, May 17, 2017 at 10:33 AM.

  1. JVV

    JVV Member

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Trenton New Jersey
    Hello Stage Managers who read music,
    I currently have a student SM that reads music and for our musical this spring he had to flip back and forth from the Libretto Script (which had no music) to the Piano Conductor's Score (which had no book scenes).

    Do licensing companies provide one book to rule them all? Or do you have to copy and paste your own prompt book in order to have all your cues in one spot?

    Thanks,
    JVV
     
  2. TheaterEd

    TheaterEd Renaissance Man Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    1,037
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    Near Milwaukee
    MTI's Broadway Junior shows generally have the music in the script and they are obnoxious to work with as a tech because you're constantly flipping pages.

    I can read music as well, but I have never felt the need to use that ability when calling cues for a musical.

    I just use the script with the words of the songs and by the time the show is up I know the music well enough that I can just call the specific cues by ear. I generally have students run the Jr shows, but the last time I had to run sound for one I stapled the song pages together to make the script easier to follow along with.
     
  3. Skervald

    Skervald Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I agree with @TheaterEd. I have a music degree but when I call a musical I don't find it necessary to read the score. I'll reference it when designing lights and even sometimes in rehearsal but I put it away for performances. Too many page turns. For tricky cues I make notes in the libretto but that's about it. Honestly, I have a hard time FORGETTING music cues.
     
  4. chausman

    chausman Chase Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    2,978
    Likes Received:
    235
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Binders and copies are your friend, if you want to put the piano/conductor score with the dialog.
     
  5. Dionysus

    Dionysus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    117
    Location:
    SW Ontario, Canada
    For me it depends on the musical. Some are much easier just to go by the script, any music based cues called by ear.
    Other shows have so much based on music that you pretty much need the score. I seem to remember another thread about this about a year ago, go ahead and search.

    Anyways you can insert just the music you need, make you a little more sane, unless you need ALL the music. In which case you pretty much want to play with making a custom script copy.
     
  6. ratthepoodle

    ratthepoodle Member

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Just to add to this, most stage managers (from my experience) mostly go off of the script. They will paste sections of the P/C score if necessary, but more often, they will write out rests or just mark where exactly in the words the cue happens. The musical background comes in the form of being able to determine the tempo and get the feel of where the cue goes.

    Personally, I try to get a 3-ring binder version of the script. I know MTI generally offers this for their shows. These are printed one-sided, and then I can add whatever I need to the left side of each page (Notes, ground plot, music, etc).
     
  7. Brandon Paul

    Brandon Paul New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Occupation:
    BlackTrax and Electrician Assistant
    Location:
    Touring
    I called shows in High School and I kept two binders together. I put the score at the far end of the table and the SM Script/Libretto on my end. I would write cues in both the script and score. I would typically write the cue numbers in the script where they would be and in the score write the cues with a line directed to the note or measure. I have also seen it where the parts of the show the SM needed the music they would put the phrase or section of music inbetween the pages of the libretto exactly where it would be called. (Say the music break was at the top of the page they could copy the few bars or pages of music they needed on the following page and then the same page of the script right after if there were additional cues to be called on that page.) It's a preference thing.

    I got to the point, after spending so much time with the show, where I could call the shows without the score or the libretto.
     
  8. Dionysus

    Dionysus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    117
    Location:
    SW Ontario, Canada
    (First I Rarely Stage Manage these days)
    Myself and basically any SM I know builds their Prompt Script and Cue script (names and uses depending) in a 3 ring binder. If you don't have a digital version of the script or get a pre-made one as mentioned there are a few things Ive done.

    Traditionally (and yes I know technically you aren't supposed to copy scripts) a photocopier is used from whatever script you have. I typically leave the front of the page blank and copy onto the BACK side (single sided) by reversing the paper in the tray, this way (since I am right handed) it is easier to make notes in a prompt/blocking script or write in cues and notes in the script you call the show from (almost always use two distinct copies). Often I leave a boarder around the outside for notes as well.

    Ive also re-typed scripts before when heavy revisions are needed, especially in "new works". I've used Celtx before, easier to format than Word or OpenOffice as it is designed specifically for scripts. Makes changes far faster.

    You can also SCAN the script, but that would take a lot of work. Personally I like the idea of photocopying most of the script, then re-working certain pages digitally to make less work.

    As mentioned, as stage manager you should know the show extremely bloody well and likely hardly need the script. Still it's always nice to have a completely fool-proof script so that if the worst happens someone else can take your place.
    When I was in school we were marked on scripts and running notes under the idea that if we got hit by a buss, the buss driver should be able to understand your notes/script and be able to take your place.
     
    ratthepoodle likes this.

Share This Page