The Director plays a crucial role in overseeing the entire production. They are responsible for interpreting the script, guiding the cast and crew, and ensuring a cohesive vision is realized on stage. The Director works closely with actors on character development and performance, while collaborating with the design team, producers, stage manager and, where necessary, the Firehall Theatre Board to create a unified and captivating production that engages and entertains the audience.
The process kicks off when the play receives approval from the Firehall Theatrical Society of Medicine Hat Board. Here are the early steps to follow:
- Coordinate Production, Play Reading, and Audition dates with the VP Productions.
- Obtain the Director Job Description Manual, which includes a copy of this document, from the VP Productions.
- Discuss your potential interest or intentions in filming during the production process with the VP Productions.
PRODUCERS – The Firehall Theatre Board is responsible for appointing Technical and Administrative Producers for each play. Inform VP Productions if you desire any input on these positions.
DESIGN TEAM – It's recommended that you recruit a Set Designer as early as possible to have a Set Design prepared for the initial Production meeting and prior to the start of rehearsals. You may also recruit or provide input on the selection of Light, Sound, and Costume Designers.
PRODUCTION TEAM – Having a compatible Stage Manager is beneficial. Inform the Technical Producer if you have a candidate in mind. The remaining production team members will be recruited by the Technical and Administrative Producers.
- Finalize the selection of Designers, Stage Manager, and other department/committee heads with the Producers. Ensure that artistic and/or design-related positions are approved by the Director before joining the team.
- Create a Production schedule with the Producers and Stage Manager. Distribute the schedule to all Production Team members, making them aware of crucial deadlines. A copy should also be displayed in the Club room.
- The Tech Producer will schedule a meeting with the Director and Designers to confirm requirements for set, lighting, sound, props, costumes, special effects, etc. Notify the Tech Producer of any additional Production Team members you'd like to attend.
- The Admin Producer will organize a meeting with Publicity and Foyer Coordinators to communicate your vision and ideas.
- Analyze and break down the script before rehearsals commence.
- Calculate the required rehearsal hours based on the script's length. Develop a rehearsal schedule with the Stage Manager.
- Discuss audition organization details with the Tech Producer.
- Determine the information to be posted on the Firehall Musical Theatre Society website for auditions (e.g. character list/description, script excerpts or other readings, etc.). Online audition applications will be accessible for your review before auditions. Print these and make them available on audition dates. Notify the Tech Producer if headshots are needed at auditions.
- Confirm the rehearsal schedule with the Stage Manager after casting the play. Distribute copies to each actor, department/committee head, and the Producers, and post it in the Club Room.
- Encourage everyone involved in the production to attend the first read-through, where they can meet and listen to the play. The V.P. Productions will also attend to clarify their role in the production and explain Firehall Theatre's filming policy alongside the Director.
- Attend all production meetings and stay updated on department/committee requirements. Address any issues during these meetings.
- Inform the Tech Producer of any specific items needed for the production well in advance. They will collaborate with department/committee heads to acquire them.
- Conduct rehearsals efficiently, minimizing waiting times for actors and involving the crew as much as possible. Fostering teamwork among the cast and crew is vital.
- Take notes during rehearsals and share them with actors and available technical team members after each session.
- Relay additional technical notes to the Tech Producer, who will pass them on to Department heads. The Stage Manager will communicate with the cast and, during tech week, with the technical crew as well.
- Keep the VP Productions informed on the play's progress and consult them for advice or conflict resolution
- The VP Productions will occasionally observe rehearsals. Take their suggestions or recommendations seriously. Direct any other opinions or suggestions to the V.P. Productions for discussion.
- If there is an Assistant or Mentee Director, involve and encourage them throughout the production process. Ensure the cast and production team members understand their role.
- Upon the play's opening, the Stage Manager assumes responsibility for keeping the play on track and preserving the Director's intentions. Any suggested changes to the performance must be channeled exclusively through the Stage Manager.
- It is customary in our theatre for the Director to give thank-you cards to the actors and production crew heads on OPENING NIGHT. (Note: The Firehall Theatre Board provides an opening night basket to the cast and crew.)
- Return the job description manual to the VP Productions.
- Attend and participate in the strike.
- Attend a post-mortem meeting to review the entire production process, as arranged by the VP Productions. Be prepared to share your input on what went well, the challenges you faced, and lessons that could benefit future productions with the Firehall Musical Theatre Society.