How to Put On a Musical

Suggested Performance Task Schedule

by John Kenrick

These times are based on an 8:00 PM curtain. Please adjust accordingly for different starting times.

6:00 Stage Manager & Crews Open theatre, turn on lights, prep backstage
6:30 Tech Crews Check all equipment, connections, etc.
Box Office Opens for Business
House Manager Checks house for cleanliness & climate
Make-Up Crew Work on any actors requiring special make-up
Cast All performers sign in, prep costumes, etc.
7:00 Musical Director & Cast 10-15 min. vocal warm-up
  House Staff Arrive & prepare auditorium & lobby
7:15 Cast Final check on costumes, props & makeup
7:30 Full Company Onstage for pep talk, notes - 10 minutes maximum
7:40 House Manager Open the auditorium to the audience
7:45 Stage Manager Announces "15 minutes please" to full company
Orchestra Takes places and tunes-up
7:55 Stage Manager Calls "5 minutes please" to full company
8:00 Stage & House Manager Confer to set actual curtain time
If there is extreme weather or other problem, this is the time to decide on delaying the curtain -- such a decision should be revisited every 5 minutes. Assuming everything is in order . . .
8:05 Stage Manager Calls "Places please"
Cast & Crew Take places for start of Act I
8:05 Stage & House Manager Confer to mutually confirm curtain time
House Manager Closes auditorium doors
Stage Manager Dims house lights, cues musical director
Musical Director Takes place and begins performance
  Stage Manager House lights on
  House Manager Open doors
  Concessions staff Sell snacks, beverages, etc.
10 mins. Stage Manager Calls "5 minutes please" to full company
House Manager Blinks lobby lights to encourage audience to head back to their seats
15 mins. Stage Manager Calls "Places please" to full company
Cast, orchestra, all crews Take places for start of Act II
House & Stage Manager Confirm all ready to start Act II, then lower lights & cue Musical Director
Musical Director Takes place & starts Act II
  Stage Manager House lights up
  House Manager Opens doors, sees audience exits safely
  Cast & all Crews Clean up all house & backstage areas, prep for next performance
  Director or Stage Manager Confirms everyone has left & locks up house.

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