Ever wondered what it's like to manage the unruly Kneehigh team on tour? In the first of an occasional series we asked Steph Curtis, Company Stage Manager, about her job with us
"As Company Manager my job is to look after the welfare of the company, act as a representative for Kneehigh and deal with any company issues which arise. This is through rehearsals, production period and whilst on tour. As Stage Manager my role is to facilitate the director, designer, production manager and the creative team in the process of putting together a show and be the communication and organisation within the rehearsal process to make sure ideas are realised and everything runs smoothly and efficiently.
"When a show is up and running, my role as stage manager is very much to act as the ongoing communication and organisation between Kneehigh, the touring company and the creative team. With the Production Manager, I liaise with venues we are touring to in order to plan the visit, inform them of the technical and practical requirements of the show, and maintain the artistic integrity of the show. And on a day to day basis make sure that the production elements are ready and set for each performance.
"In the rehearsal stages of Steptoe and Son, part of my job is to keep all areas of the team informed and act as the main point of contact in the rehearsal room to all the different departments involved in creating the show. For each rehearsal I send out a report which keeps all involved and informed in the creation of the show to assist the ideas and needs of the rehearsal room being realised. For example as rehearsals progress, the director may request specific props or sound effects, or a certain piece of action or choreography may have an impact for the costume department. The daily rehearsal report means those members of the creative team who are unable to be in the rehearsal room still can keep in touch with the show.
"I enjoy the variety of work I’m required to do on a daily basis, the variety of places I get to go, and that everyday is different and brings new challenges. It never gets boring. Putting on Steptoe has been great fun and the small cast has meant a really special and intimate process. There are a lot of props involved in the show and creating some sort of order from the chaotic world of junk has been an enjoyable challenge."
Steph Curtis, Company Stage Manager, 2012