In the fall of 2015 I stage managed a production of Love and Information by Caryl Churchill for the Luther College Visual & Performing Arts department. This was my first experience as a primary facilitator of a complex collaborative project, and I developed my organizational and problem solving skills considerably to handle such an inherently complex show. The script leaves the setting and context of each of the short scenes up to the production, so the cast, production staff, and technicians relied on me to ensure clear and consistent communication between everyone involved.
I used a Google spreadsheet to keep the costume, lighting, and sound designers informed of any decisions that were made or changed during each rehearsal. I recorded each day’s changes in a new color to make them easy to find, as well as sending out reports after each rehearsal detailing what we worked on and what we decided or changed. This eased the problem of the designers having to wait for the director and cast to make decisions by making it possible for the designers to start work on the scenes that were set while the cast continued to experiment with other scenes instead of having to wait for everything to be decided.
During the performances, I shifted from facilitating the collaboration between the cast, director, and designers to coordinating the light board operator, the sound board operator, and two projector operators. To keep myself organized, I wrote out the order of the warnings and cues I needed to give the technicians in order to effectively and smoothly transition between scenes. I quickly learned to give the necessary cues in groups rather than individually, as there was no other way to ensure that everyone got their cue with sufficient time to act on it. I also started only giving the cues numbers with the warnings, which I had ample time to say, and leaving them off when I gave the real cues in order to communicate them more quickly.