Who's in charge?

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
Allright here's a question that stems from my former place of employment.
Who's in charge?

If you were to created a flow chart for a production and who makes creative/technical decisions what would it look like.

I don't want to hear about what it is like, I want to know what you think it should be like.

The list should include all major positions in theatre.
 

jwl868

Active Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
If you search this forum for "organization" you'll find a couple threads with tables of organization. And a funny thing is that they are all different. Whoever has the money makes the decisions, although at the professional level, AEA, LORT, and local union contracts will define who is "in charge".

My opinion is that the director should be in charge: then its a function of style, communication, and "chain-of-command" of the show.

Joe
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
If you search this forum for "organization" you'll find a couple threads with tables of organization. And a funny thing is that they are all different. Whoever has the money makes the decisions, although at the professional level, AEA, LORT, and local union contracts will define who is "in charge".
My opinion is that the director should be in charge: then its a function of style, communication, and "chain-of-command" of the show.
Joe
That's fair. I'm not looking for real world though I'm looking for opinions.
 

Footer

Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
Like I said before...Not interested in how it is. I of course know about the lump sum of money ectera....I'm asking how you think it should be all things equal.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
How 'Bout this?
 
Last edited:

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
How 'Bout this?
That how you would have it Van?
If so I find it interesting that the Costume Designer and Sound all together are missing.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
That how you would have it Van?
If so I find it interesting that the Costume Designer and Sound all together are missing.
oops, My bad.
:oops: I just threw that together while someone was yammering in my ear. I'll have to re-do it now. :oops:
 

Logos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Location
Rockhampton Queensland, Australia
For me

First Level Artistic Director and Money
Second Production Manager and Show director if it's not the Artistic Director
Below that The design team must work with each of the PM and Director
But the Production Manager must have some power of veto due to expense. difficulty, or stupidity.
Below that the TD is in charge of lighting, sound, flies and ancillary
and so on.
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
How's this for crazy... at a nearby community theater, every season ticket holder is able to be elected as a board memeber. The board members select a group of ticket holders who read plays and present a group of shows to the board as their proposed next season. The board says yes, hires directors and designers... often from within the board or ticket holders. There is a full time managing director and a half time costumer. Beyond that it's all volunteer and incredibly democratic as everything get's voted on.

As for me, I'm very happy with the typical chain of command where someone with money/theater director chooses a show, hires designers and director to create the show, T.D. and other departments heads create the design, and the Stage manager takes over and runs the show. It seems to me that this traditional structure, when operating correctly, really allows people to do what they are best at and create their piece of the art.
 

Logos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Location
Rockhampton Queensland, Australia
I think that's pretty much what I was trying to say in my post above. I was operating through a fog of childrens theatre that I had production managed and designed at that point. (I think the entire cast thought they were the director and she didn't argue with them. Don't you hate that.)
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
So here's why I ask this question...

I always find two things interesting....Where the TD is put in the chain of command and secondly...the actors. Which with one exception wasn't really mentioned.

Both are equally important do the creative proscess.

I've seen TD put above everyone except the Artistic Dir and board I've seen them dropped to the point where they're really a glorified MC.

The actors on the other hand are something we really don't think about in this proscess. Which is funny because they're the reason we're here, yes we've got applicable skills that keep us from waiting tables, but **** I'd rather be in the theatre.

Having worked with several actors from Broadway and Hollywood and various theatre companys, I've learned that sometimes their imput is just as valuable as the other directors and designers.

Don't get me wrong I've worked with my fair share of diva's as well who made unreasonable demands for no other reason than...meh they could.

But honestly its something to think about during the design proscess. Especially if you can get a good repor going with the actor. If they're missing their spike on stage for that ever so crucial special and you've been a jerk to them...well they're gonna keep missing it. If you've gotten a repor going with them they're more likely to want to hit it.

Anyway..I'm off my soap box now...
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
When I teach the structure of how a theater operates. I put up a fairly typical flow chart that breaks it down. After explaining all the jobs, The point I always stress is this... Every theater has all these jobs. However who does those jobs is different in every theater. In a large professional theater there is at least one person for every job. In high school often one person does every job. So there's a ton of variety out there. The weird part are those moderate size theaters out there. Where there is an insane variety of what one person does. Which, a lot of that I think just varies based on how much work they can or can't squeeze out of each person in their organization.