Stage management is the practise of organising and coordinating a theatrical production. It encompasses a variety of activities, including organising the production and coordinating communication between various people such as director and backstage crew, or actors and production management.
Stage management is a sub-discipline of stage craft. A stage manager is one who has overall responsibility for stage management and the smooth execution of a production. Stage management may be perform by one individual in small productions, while larger productions typically employ a stage management team consisting of a head stage manager and one or more assistants.
The responsibilities and duties vary depending on the setting of a production (rehearsal or performance) and the type of production (theatre, dance, music). Most broadly, it is the stage manager responsibility to ensure that the director's artistic choices are realised in actual performance.
As the lighting, sound and set change, cues are developed and the stage manager records the timing of each as it relates to the script. He or she maintains a prompt book which contains all cues, technical notes, blocking and other information pertinent to the show.
During rehearsals, the stage manager serves as an adjunct to the director by recording the blocking and ensuring that cast members stay on script, have the requisite props, and follow the blocking. Stage manager are also responsible for helping establish a show's rehearsal schedule and ensuring that rehearsals run on time. He or she documents each rehearsal in a rehearsal report.