ASSISTANT Stage Manager for KD THEATRE PRODUCTIONs
During December 2022, I was the Assistant Stage Manager for KD Theatre Production's Robin Hood at Saffron Hall in Saffron Walden. Here's some of the things I got up to during this short, intense production period.
Rehearsals and Fit-Up
Rehearsals took place over just a week, and during this period, I worked with the Stage Manager (Steph Weaver) and KD Theatre's Props Master (Fran Henderson) to determine what props needed to be sourced, made, adapted and require regular maintenance throughout the production period. This included making "Maltesers" out of small soft footballs and brown spray paint, creating a cover in Photoshop for a diary prop, and formulating a mixture of shaving foam and water to create "Slosh" for use during a scene in the show. This mixture was replicated everyday throughout the production in order to ensure consistency for audiences, and that actors could rely on the mixture not being more slippery than expected.
I also filled in for the SM when needed during rehearsals, and by the time we did full runs of the show, we had nearly all props placed in their final positions, and all props usable, including those that I had sourced and made, and those that KD had already sourced from their own props store.
Pictured above: Saffron Hall during fit-up
Fit-up immediately followed the rehearsal production period. We received lighting and sound equipment from 3D Productions, installing it in the Saffron Hall rig, before unloading scenic hires from Crossroads Pantomimes. Together with the venue crew, Steph, our Production Manager (Jonathon Simpson), and I assembled this set and worked out a plan for storing these large trucks, flattage and larger props, such as movable Skeletons, cake slices and a wheelbarrow. Before technical rehearsals, I also prepared props tables in each wing, and worked out preset procedures for props for the show.
Technical Rehearsals and Performances
Two days after the get-in began, we started tech rehearsal for the show. Throughout this process, I worked with Steph and the Stage Crew to ensure that quick changes, cloth cues, and set changes (especially for the Finale, where the set-up has 11 separate components) were doable in the time allocated. We ended up getting the furthest the tech has ever gotten in a day for KD Theatre's Panto at Saffron Hall. We then successfully completed a dress rehearsal and a preview performance with minimal fixes to be made before we entered the performance run.
During the performance run, I completed a busy stage track with the Stage Crew member allocated to my wing, completed presets in the minimal turnaround time between shows, and maintained props when needed. This led to virtually identical shows for all audiences, with minimal notes at the beginning of the run, with less given to me over the performance period.