Working Together in Theatre

This series of pamphlets published by Theatre New Zealand, is a guide on the responsibilities of each member in the production team.

Planning for all creative positions starts well in advance of the rehearsal process.

Theatre is a team sport and requires everyone to contribute equally.

Areas of Responsibility Covered:

  • Director
  • Production Manager
  • Stage Manager
  • Set Designer
  • Wardrobe Manager
  • Properties/Furniture
  • Lighting Operator
  • Prompt
  • Publicity
  • Front of House

Community theatre groups vary from town to town, depending on their size and structure. These pamphlets are intended as guidelines rather than hard-and-fast rules as some groups may want to add their own particular information relevant to their specific operational needs.

It is important for the smooth running of any production from first rehearsal to final night, that each member of the production team is conversant with their responsibilities, time-lines and integration with other areas.

Sometimes there are over overlaps, so the production team should meet regularly (weekly if possible) during the rehearsal period to update progress, identify problems, share the load and ensure that each member is coping with their task.

It is easy to see rehearsals progressing – but often not the other aspects of production as they are frequently constructed elsewhere.


Another consideration is how to integrate multicultral aspects into your production.  This document from Playmarket covers many aspects of working with a large diversity of cultures. Cultural_Practice_in_the_Theatrespace.pdf

Playmarket asked Nathan to write a resource for theatre companies and venues which have not had exposure to, or practice in engaging with, Māori, Asian and Pacific cultures. We wanted it to apply to new arrivals to their buildings as much as to those employed on their staff. Many theatre companies and venues are doing an admirable job in this engagement but some are intimidated or worried about the best way to approach these practitioners working onstage or in other capacities in their buildings. Of course, we hope the resource will have wider application and uses for touring international companies or smaller cooperatives of practitioners who have had little contact in their work with Māori, Asian or Pacific artists. We identified a need for this kind of resource and Nathan seemed an ideal person to develop this for us. He is not only of Ngāi Tahu, Rangitāne and Tainui descent, he has travelled extensively in Asia and has worked internationally.

His experience working in theatre circles and his networks allowed him to comfortably engage with the leading theatre practitioners in these fields. I am grateful for his navigation of the, sometimes complex territory encompassed in this project and thank him for his skill and his commitment to it.

Murray Lynch