Theatre Etiquette (Part Four) - Cast, Meet Crew
Posted on 1 August 2015
You only ever see them in the shadows. All in black, moving silently, appearing out of nowhere … The crew – a baffling force. A group of people who have the power to make or break your performance – they're the sort of people you really want to have on side. But how?
1. Defer to the Stage Manager on all matters.
You are all puppets of the SM. Accept this now, and save yourself a lot of stagey trouble.
2. Spend three seconds saying thank you.
When you're about to go on stage, life seems stressful. Of course, if you don't say thank you, it will almost certainly be because you just didn't think of it. You were thinking of a million other things. But it is well worth making the effort to say thank you – just try to remember. It is always noticed.
3. DO NOT PUT DRINKS ON THE PROPS TABLE.
4. In fact, preferably, don't move, sit on, or touch anything at all.
The crew imagine a show where nothing is put out of place much like Mrs Trunchball, in Matilda, imagines a school with no children. It is a beautiful dream.
5. If moving something is really unavoidable, put it back where it came from.
Do not be that person who causes the loss of a prop, or a piece of equipment. Here's what will happen: forty seconds before the essential prop / piece of equipment is needed on stage, someone will realise that it's gone. After the concentration and panic of finding that item is over, the anger will start. Like a volcano.
6. Try not to leave random stuff on stage.
Scene changes are tricky enough, without having to pick up your debris.
7. Help with the get-out after the show closes.
Whilst the cast saunter off happily to their after-show party, the crew are left packing up an entire show. If you are one of those cast members who does stay back to help with the get-out, you can probably get away with violating all of the above tips.
Other than putting drinks on the prop table; that really isn't forgiveable.
Crew members will remember those people who help with the get-out.
If in doubt, bring chocolate.
And, if you do most of these things, you should have nothing to fear.
I wish you the best of luck with your cast-crew relationships!