Production Manager responsibilities

The production manager is akin to a senior management role in a business.

They represent the committee’s interests and act on their behalf when necessary. They in-effect represent ‘the producer’.

You are in control of the budget, staffing, crew and design appointments – in conjunction with the director who is in effect ‘creative director’. You need to ensure rights have been granted and any clauses thereto are adhered to.

Duties are:

Read the play; so you understand casting requirements, design needs/problems. Talk to the director about the total concept.

Call production meetings/take minutes, and include director, all designers, front of house, publicity – all the production team.

Advise all HOD’s of their individual budget. Early on the budget may need to be passed through the director before being signed off by the committee. As the director whose concept is being costed, will be aware of where the main areas of expenditure are. ie: The last production may have been ‘set heavy’. This production may be ‘Set light but wardrobe heavy’ etc.

  • Although the committee will sign off on the bottom line, the total expenditure – there should be room to move within it.

Coordinate the auditions. This could involve advising all media, social media etc. Ensure the director has given you a cast/character breakdown, audition passages, and what is generally expected at the audition. Facilitate the entire process – you are probably the ‘face of the society’.

Prepare a contact list of all members of the cast, crew, etc, with their emails and phone numbers and supply each person with a copy. Ensure the company gives permission for this to be circulated. (Ask that on the audition application) Include phone number of the theatre.

Should an actor be unable to attend a rehearsal, you should be advised so an alternative arrangement can be made. 

  • You are the first port of call, the conduit, not the director – they have enough to deal with.

Assist the director in any way they require. Think ahead.

Supply the person preparing the programme with an accurate list of all the backstage crew. You are responsible for the administration of the production until the scenery is back in storage and the last property or wardrobe item has been returned.

If the performances are taking place somewhere other than where you have been rehearsing, arrange for transport and crew to move set, properties, lights, wardrobe, etc to the theatre – and back again.