There are protocols and procedures unique to every theatre. Below are some that apply to TNT.
Basically start with “leave things better than you found them”. A number of different casts, crews, directors, etc use this space and we must do what we can to preserve the space and peace.
- If you open it – close it!
- If you turn it on – turn it off!
- If you unlock it – lock it!
- If you break it – fix it!
- If you can’t fix it – report it!
- If you borrow it (make sure you asked first) – return it!
- If you make a mess – clean it up!
- If you move it – put it back!
- If you don’t know – ASK!!
- If it doesn’t concern you – DON’T MESS WITH IT!
- Arrive earlier than your call so you are ready to work AT the call time
- Sign in and do not ask others to sign in for you
- Wear appropriate clothing for your call
- Place personal items where instructed, out of the way of production business
- If you do not know something, ASK. There is no such thing as a dumb question.
- Limit backstage conversations to production business
- Do not approach actors for casual conversation – it may break their concentration
- Do not perform tasks not assigned to you unless asked by the Stage Manager
- Do not move, borrow, or play with props
- Report broken props, scenery, etc to Stage Manager
- Acknowledge the Stage Manager’s calls with a polite “Thank you” – or more informatively with an thank you echo. For example: if the SM calls 10 minutes, you replay “Thank you 10”, which lets the SM know you appreciate and understand the call.
- Keep the workspace tidy and safe
- Do not borrow tools without asking
- Return all tools immediately after using
- Warn others of hazards; Acknowledge warnings
First of all, the production in progress “owns” the auditorium and stage for the duration. The cast/crew should be able to spread out and leave things lay from one day to the next without worrying about people poking around — AND what looks like chaos to you may actually be deliberate.
The stage and backstage are off limits to anyone not involved in the production with the exception of Trustees entering for business reasons – Trustees should not bring friends with them on business visits. If you need access to the auditorium or stage, you must check with the Director and/or Stage Manager for permission.
DO NOT CROSS THE STAGE except in absolute emergency WITHOUT CHECKING WITH THE STAGE MANAGER. This is a hard fast rule in professional theaters and TNT abides by it as well. This rule exists for valid reasons including YOUR safety and the good of the production.
The lobby area is a little more flexible but anyone using the lobby must check with the director of the production in progress. It is not unheard of the the costumer or props master to have things spread out in the lobby.
The Stage Manager is the ultimate authority backstage and is responsible for closing up and securing everything.