Production Planning

Every play worth producing must evolve through this process we call production planning. We have included a basic overview of the necessary steps and procedures used to facilitate the decision-making process which will hopefully lead to a successful production.

Preliminary Phase

The preliminary phase is when you must bring all of the information and people together that are connected with this production and lay the foundation for a smooth process. Set up meetings several weeks before auditions to discuss concepts and scheduling with production personnel. As a minimum:

  • Hand out scripts, production calendar, and contact sheets
  • The Director should explain thoughts for the show
  • Ask and answer questions

Design Meetings

Set up as needed to refine concepts, present designs and identify any
challenges for the technical staffs. Be sure that:

  • The Director, Assistant Director, Stage Manager, designers, Production Manager and Technical Director are in attendance
  • You get dates for final drafts of designs
  • Ask and answer questions

Production Meetings

These meetings will address scheduling, budget, project progress and production team needs. Establish a regular schedule of production meetings that will continue until opening and make sure all participants are aware of the dates. Participants should report on their area of responsibility and entertain questions. Be sure that:

  • The Director, Assistant Director, Stage Manager, designers, Production Manager, Technical Director, Musical Director, Choreographer and all department heads are in attendance
  • Use the time wisely – issues that cannot get fixed quickly must come into conversation later
  • Budget concerns get addressed – make sure all design elements will be within the budget
  • The designers present their design models or renderings

Cast & Crew Meeting

A full cast and crew meeting is an excellent opportunity for the artistic and production teams to meet the cast and crew. House rules and ticket policy can be explained and the cast can be measured for costumes. Be sure that:

  • The Director, Assistant Director, Stage Manager, designers, Production Manager, Technical Director, Musical Director, Choreographer, Costumer, all department heads and running crew are in attendance
  • Review rehearsal and build schedule – point out any special events such as first run-through, first run-through on the set or costume parade
  • Final models and working drawings should be ready

Post-Production Meeting

Shortly after striking the set (within two weeks), sit down with all participants and discuss what went wrong, what worked well and any suggestions for future productions. See that:

  • The Director, Assistant Director, Stage Manager, designers, Production Manager, Technical Director, Musical Director, Choreographer, Costumer, all department heads, House Manager and cast members come.
  • You distribute proofs and take orders for photos taken of the production

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