GC1: Job Roles in the Production Arts Industry
A main role and skill for stage managers is people and time management, as it is their job role to
coordinate all aspects of a theatre company or production to ensure a successful delivery of a
performance. Their job mostly involves managing rehearsals, actors, technicians, props and costume
fittings, as well as liaising and socialising with the front of house and director.
A stage manager needs to have a good understanding of both the technical and artistic elements of
a performance so that they can ensure it is delivered exactly to the director's requirements. They
will be involved from the rehearsal stage through to the live performances, where they will be on
hand to deal with any emergencies or issues that may hinder the show.
In relation to In the Heights it will be the role of the stage manager to ensure that all sets are getting
made as quick and as successfully as they need to be and also keeping an eye in rehearsals to make
sure the communication between the performers/directors is consistent with the ideas of the
production team. For example making sure that if in a scene a slushy machine is referred to and
used are the production team aware and planning this? In relation to the performance night it is
important for the stage manager to keep things running smoothly and having correctly delegated
roles so that the show runs smoothly both on and backstage.
Essentially, the theatre sound designer is responsible for everything the audience hears. Exactly
what that entails can vary considerably, depending on the type of show, the performers in the show
and the performance venue. In practice there is no single job description that encompasses
everything that the sound designer does, as they will adapt what they do to the demands of a
specific production. The Sound Designer has to be a master of many different disciplines and
technologies, and to have exceptional teamwork and people skills.
It is important for the sound designer to have a good understanding of the sound programmes being
used for the show for example QLAB.
In relation to In the Heights it is important for the sound designer to edit any sounds required for the
performance for example looking at the script and watching rehearsals so they know where to pause
or cut songs. It is also the job of the sound designer to find any other sound effects required for the
performance for example as the shows main set is a street with doors is there any doorbell sound
It is the main role of a sound operator to create cues for the performance on programmes such as
QLAB creating detailed cues that are easy to follow and use. During the performance the sound
operator is the person that makes the sounds come on and off. It is a very important job to create a
professional and smooth performance. They also need to be quickly be able to overcome any
problems that may occur during a live performance and therefore a knowledgeable approach to the
sound equipment is needed.
Front of House Manager
A front of house manager is the member of staff in a theatre who has overall responsibility for the
audience and for facilities such as the bars and ticket sales via the box office. She/he is required to
be on duty every evening in the foyer to oversee the people attending that night's performance and
make sure all the theatre facilities are running smoothly. They also need to be able to lead a team of
people who will help operate the front of house. It is important to be professional and smart when
being any way involved in front of house as they are the first impression on the venue and
In relation to In the Heights it will be the job of the front of house manager to check tickets and
answer any questions the audience have for example are strobe lights used and are their wheelchair
access? It will also be their job to ensure people are safely shown up to the Wicked café in the
interval and that the refreshments provided are in keeping with health and safety guidelines.
Deputy/Assistant Stage Manager
The DSM prompts actors and will usually cue technical crew members and sometimes cast, while
following the orders of the director and stage manager. The DSM calls actors to hold while technical
problems are sorted out during rehearsal, and determines where in the script to restart halted
scenes. The deputy stage manager (DSM) is a separate position in some theatres, while in others the
responsibilities of the DSM may be assumed by the stage manager or assistant stage manager.
The assistant stage manager (ASM) has varied responsibilities, which are assigned by the stage
manager. The ASM assists in finding and maintaining props during rehearsals and the run of the
show. The ASM may take attendance or estimate audience size, may manage the backstage
technicians, may act as a liaison between crew, cast and management, and may call some cues.
Mundane tasks such as mopping the stage and brewing coffee or tea may fall to the ASM. If the
stage manager is unable to perform his or her duties, the ASM must be able to fill in.
In relation to in the heights it is important for the DSM and ASM to be alert at all times and have a
good understanding of what is happening both on and backstage. They need to report to the stage
manager if there are any specific duties they want them to undertake.
A lighting designer’s role is to design the lights that are going to be used in the performance. It is
important for them to have a good knowledge and ability when dealing with the many lights and
programmes used when designing and operating the lights. They also have many roles in a artistic
perspective for example they need to evoke the appropriate mood Indicate time of day and location,
Shift emphasis from one stage area to another, Reinforce the style of the production, Make objects
on stage appear flat or three dimensional and Blend the visual elements on stage into a unified
In relation to In the Heights the lighting designer must be able to make the different scenes look
different as the same set is used for the entire production. For example the lights need to be
noticeably different from when they are in the Stop and Shop and when they are in the hairdressers.
It is also important for the lighting designer to communicate his or her vision to the lighting operator
so a smooth consistent performance can take place.
The lighting operator’s job is to operate and help programme the lights for the performance. They
also may be required to help rig lights for a performance. They also need to have created clear cues
so they know when to turn lights on/off and fade lights. They need to have a good understanding of
the lighting desk and be able to deal with any problems that may arise on the night in the live
Costume designers create the look of each character by designing clothes and accessories the actors
will wear in performance. Depending on their style and complexity, costumes may be made, bought,
revamped out of existing stock or rented. Their designs need to faithfully reflect the personalities of
the characters in the script. They also need to ensure that the costumes are finished and created to
a high professional standard and are in keeping with the theme, style and contextual information of
In relation to In the Heights it is important that the costume designer carefully and subtly included
the Hispanic influence in the clothes of many of the characters as this is a underlying theme of the
piece and it is important for this to be shown through the characters clothing. Also as there is a
unique hip-hop influence on this Musical it is important that this is scene through the choice of
Assistant Costume Mistress
The assistant costume mistress is there to answer to the costume mistress. It is important that they
check costumes before people go on stage and if there is any quick changes are responsible for
helping the performer.
In overall charge of props, the props mistress will head the props team - supervising the props
makers, props sources and props buyers. Props may be sourced from any number of places including
shops, websites, a theatre's in-house props department, and hired from specialised props houses
(these tend to be huge warehouses with themed sections such as Victorian, Modern, Ancient etc.).
Props can also be made for specific projects. The props manager liaises with his/her staff to ensure
props are properly ordered, delivered, stored and maintained. Because of hire fees and terms and
budgetary constraints, the purchase, hire or production of props is extremely important and often
runs to a tight deadline.
In relation to In the Heights the props mistress will be in charge of props such as the till getting
sourced and modified and other props such as the slushy trolley.