Listed below are some of the responsibilities and expectations of your production team. These jobs are ultimately the responsibility of the Produce.
Beginning with our new season, we are increasing the responsibilities of the Board Liaison. The Board Liaison is appointed for each show to facilitate communication between the BOD and the various show staff, and to provide guidance, information and support. According to Footlite’s Bylaws, the Board Liaison has the final authority on all disagreements between Director and Producer and has the full backing of the BOD. The Board Liaison will check in on the status of various production responsibilities, and in some cases must sign off on their completion.
- 1 Assembling A Staff
- 2 Creating a Budget
- 3 Auditions and Casting
- 4 Scripts
- 5 Meet and Greet
- 6 Theatre Maintenance
- 7 Program Advertising
- 8 Sponsorships
- 9 Publicity
- 10 Set Construction
- 11 Programs
- 12 Long Saturday/Sunday
- 13 Production Photos
- 14 Lobby Decoration and Sale of Merchandise During Productions
- 15 Benefit Performance
- 16 Opening Night Party
- 17 Strike
- 18 Strike Party
- 19 Exit Survey and Follow-Up
- 20 Script Return
Assembling A Staff
In consultation with the Director, the Producer assembles personnel with the skills needed to direct and perform the functions that are required for that production. A complete staff list including Producer, Director, Stage Manager, Music Director (or Vocal Director/Conductor), Costume Designer, Choreographer, Lighting Designer, Sound Designer, Technical Director and Properties was due with the original show proposal. The responsibilities of each position are listed later in this document. The Producer and Director should meet as soon as possible to fill any holes in the production staff.
It is recommended that sincere efforts be made to find assistants for each position, preferably persons with an interest in the position who would benefit from supervised experience.
The Producer must submit to the Vice President a production staff list including all contact information for approval by the BOD. The BOD must approve your staff list before auditions are held. Any further changes in staff should be communicated to the Vice President.
Creating a Budget
Auditions and Casting
Preparing For Auditions
Audition dates and times must not conflict with performances, rehearsals, or other Footlite activities. Please start by consulting the Master Calendar for available dates and times, and then seek approval from the Executive Committee.
It is advised that you select two consecutive dates for auditions be selected, with a possible third for call-backs, if desired. The Producer finds volunteers to help at auditions.
Please compile your audition notice and send to the Publicity Manager for editing. You may only release the notice as it is returned to you. Notices should be ready to distribute no less than 4 weeks before auditions.
Audition notices are sent out to Footlite's email database. Anyone who would like to receive audition notices can go to our website and enter their email address in the box at the lower left-hand corner. On the next screen they'll be able to select "Audition Notices". The Marketing Committee will place audition notices on Facebook, Indiana Auditions, Facebook's StageQuest Networking group, and will release the information to area newspapers. (This is of course no guarantee they'll be printed.) If you would like a Facebook event created for auditions, please ask the Internet Manager.
According to Footlite’s Bylaws, auditions will be open to all members of the corporation and to the general public. Footlite does not pre-cast anyone in any role for our main stage productions.
The Producer, along with other staff members, are responsible for set-up and tear-down of items used for auditions (tables, piano & bench, etc.). A black box containing audition supplies is in the Board Room, but you should verify it contains everything you need.
We do not have a standard audition form, so please prepare one with the information you require. Everyone auditioning must sign Footlite's Release and Waiver of Liability form. It's available on Dropbox.
Please indicate at auditions whether you'll be calling everyone who auditions, or just those who were cast. Different directors handle this differently, so your audition pool may have different expectations.
Casting shall be determined by the Director with the assistance of the production staff.
After auditions, please provide the Volunteer Coordinator with a typed list of email address for everyone who came to auditions, whether they were cast or not. When finished with your audition forms, give these to the Volunteer Coordinator as well. Please indicate on each form if someone was cast or not.
Once your show is cast, provide the Internet Manager a complete cast list for posting online. If you make any cast or staff changes along the way, make sure those changes are shared with them.
Please provide the Volunteer Coordinator and Vice President a copy of your contact sheet when it is complete.
The Treasurer orders scripts for your production. It is the Producer's responsibility to distribute scripts, keep track of who has which script, collect deposits (when we don't own a script) and return the scripts after the production.
Different licensing houses handle script delivery differently.
- Music Theatre International (MTI) shipments require a signature, so the package must be sent to the home of someone who can sign for it, or who will go to the FedEx center to pick up. Scripts are barcoded and the packing list includes these barcode numbers. Use this list to keep track of your scripts.
- Tams-Witmark scripts show up with no notice--no signature required. They are usually hand numbered.
- Rodgers and Hammerstein No signature is required. They are usually hand numbered.
- Samuel French Some scripts we own (usually librettos) and some must be returned (usually orchestrations), but every show is different. No signature is required.
- Dramatists Play Service Some scripts we own (usually librettos) and some must be returned (usually orchestrations), but every show is different. No signature is required.
- Theatrical Rights Worldwide We own all copies. No return required.
Scripts normally arrive in two separate boxes. Be sure to keep the box and all packing lists, as it will be needed for the return. Check the scripts and notify Treasurer in writing immediately of any damaged or marked up scripts.
For scripts that must be returned, collect a deposit from the volunteers (in the form of a check made out to Footlite Musicals) which will be returned upon return of the book. Typical replacement costs for librettos are $25, and $65 for orchestrations.
Meet and Greet
The first rehearsal is usually used to
- Introduce all staff and cast
- Provide an overview of the artistic direction and goals
- Establish expectations of the cast in regard to rehearsals
- Go over the Code of Conduct
- Issue scripts, collect and record security deposit, keep a list of who has what script
- Distribute staff and cast lists
- Go over safety information and take a tour of the facility
- Read through the script
The Producer is responsible for maintaining a safe and clean environment in the theater.
The Producer should stress to all staff, cast, and technical personnel that the building be kept clean, trash disposed of properly, and all corridors and access routes be kept open. The Producer should inform everyone that their help in throwing away trash properly (including drink bottles) is appreciated.
Rest room paper towels, toilet paper, and soap are stored in the closet by the board room. The vacuum cleaners, brooms and dustpans are also stored there, as well as garbage/trash bags. When bags are full, deposit them in the dumpster at the southeast corner of the side yard. Otherwise, we have rodent and bug problems.
The lobby, house and restrooms are cleaned professionally each week. During hell week, it is important the cast stays out of the lobby in the days between cleaning and opening night.
It is the responsibility of the Producer to schedule a publicity photo shoot, preferably no less than three weeks from opening night. Footlite has a list of preferred photographers, but we're happy to work with new photographers upon approval of the Marketing Committee. Footlite needs 5-10 high quality photos to help represent your production.
The Producer is responsible for assembling the following items for the program:
- Author credits for first page of program (coordinate with the Treasurer, as these requirements are typically listed in our contract)
- List of staff to be included on first page
- Director's Notes (if desired)
- Names and positions of staff, crew and orchestra
- Cast of characters and their names
- Any names for the "Thank You" section
- Synopsis of scenes and musical numbers (including a setting for each scene and who
- Cast and staff bios
Cast bios should be carefully proofread for length, to keep space in the program to a minimum. Depending on the size of the cast, give them an 80 word limit. Cast can visit www.wordcounter.net to quickly check the length of their bio. Don't worry about formatting, as this won't be maintained when our printer edits the document, however all show titles should be in "Title Case" vs. ALL CAPITALIZED, with either the character or theatre name in parenthesis. Local theatre companies listed in parenthesis should be abbreviated as such:
- Acting Up Productions = AUP
- Actors Theatre of Indiana = ATI
- Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre = Civic (When spelling out Civic's name, note they are no longer "Indianapolis Civic Theatre")
- Buck Creek Players = BCP
- Carmel Community Players = CCP
- Center Stage Productions = Center Stage
- Christian Youth Theatre = CYT
- Epilogue Players = Epilogue
- Footlite Musicals = Footlite
- Hendricks Civic Theatre = HCT
- Indiana Repertory Theatre = IRT
- Phoenix Theatre = Phoenix
- Ricks-Weil Theatre Company = Ricks-Weil
- Spotlight Players = Spotlight
- Summer Stock Stage = Summer Stock Stage
- The Artist Studio = TAS
- The Belfry = Belfry
- Theatre on the Square = TOTS
- Wayne Township Community Theatre = WTCT
Janet Simpson with Deputy Printing handles production of our programs. Typically content is due to her by 8:30am Tuesday morning the week before the show opens. Send your content in a Word file to firstname.lastname@example.org as well as to the Program Coordinator, who will help proof the document.
Any ads that have been sold are preferred as correctly sized PDF files, followed by TIFF and then JPEG. If the ads are set up in Word, each ad needs to be in a separate file from the rest of the program copy.
Deputy will provide proofs by email either Wednesday late afternoon or Thursday morning. Corrections need to be back by 8:30am Friday, as the program goes to press that afternoon. Corrections may be faxed (547-4180), emailed or telephoned (547-0741).
Staff List Credits
Be sure to include the Performance Photographer, Publicity Photographer (if it's a different person), and Laura Cones for the Opening Night Party in your staff listing.
The Director will usually choose to hold a double rehearsal, with a pitch-in meal between, on the Saturday or Sunday leading into production week. The Producer (or volunteer designated by the Producer) is responsible for organizing (sign up sheet), setting up, and then cleaning up after the meal.
Production photos are typically taken the night before your benefit performance by Footlite's official photographer. These do not need to be scheduled. Because these photos are released to the public the next day, every effort should be made to have your show complete. If certain elements are missing or incomplete, be sure the photographer is made aware.
Lobby Decoration and Sale of Merchandise During Productions
In the same way Footlite is striving to increase the professionalism of our productions, we want the presentation of our lobby and the before/after experience for our patrons to be equally professional. The BOD has found that decorating the lobby based on the theme of the show and selling merchandise to patrons, while well intentioned, often take away from the high standards we're striving for.
With the exception of the Summer Children's Workshop productions, Young Artists Production and one-time special events (for example, Wine and Cheese parties), any production wanting to decorate the lobby or sell merchandise must first seek approval of the BOD.
There are special rules that govern raffle contests. You must consult with the Treasurer before conducting any raffle.
The final dress rehearsal of every production is traditionally our benefit performance, with an invited audience typically from our senior citizen community. Like all our Thursday night performances, this performance begins at 7:30pm. Contact the Benefit Performance Coordinator should you have any questions.
Opening Night Party
Footlite hosts a party in the lobby for the Company and audience on Opening Night, or in the case of the Summer Youth Show, the first Friday performance. This is a free event for everyone. Cast members must remove costumes and makeup before entering the party. The Producer will inform the cast of the party.
The Strike Party takes place once strike is 100% complete. Footlite will buy the main course (such as pizza) and supply the drinks (sodas/water). Coordinate this purchase with the Treasurer. Footlite's typical pizza vendor is Marcos, and we get special pricing upon request.
Exit Survey and Follow-Up
During the final week of your production, the Vice President will email a link to an online Exit Survey to all cast, staff, crew and orchestra members. We request absolutely everyone complete the survey. The Exit Survey is designed to let Footlite's BOD learn what went well with your production, and what can be improved in the future.
At some point after your production ends, the Vice President will schedule a debriefing meeting with select members of the production staff to go through the Exit Survey results.