The Functions of Stage Management Essay Example
The Functions of Stage Management Essay Example

The Functions of Stage Management Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (991 words)
  • Published: November 11, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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The four functions of management can be applied to business, sports teams or stage management to name a few. Stage management can apply to stadium size concerts to small theatrical acts. Planning is a key function that gets the party started. Proper planning leads to the event being organized.

An organized show allows for some mistakes that can be solved in a quick and precise manner. The entire act is controlled with proper gain staging and outboard processors. These functions are specific to stage management.

Functions of Management

The functions of management are the key concepts for any successful team or group. Management is the key element in any team’s dynamics. Leadership is a skill that not everyone has in his/her skill set; some people are better at being followers or the bass player. There are four basic functions to management, which


are planning, organizing, leading and controlling. Each of these four functions is detrimental to the success or failure to managing.

A team that’s lead by a so-called leader that doesn’t understand the four elements or doesn’t abide by them will more than likely be unsuccessful.The leader in a live musical performance is called the Crew Chief. A Crew Chief is responsible for knowing all aspects of the team from lighting to SPL. In smaller productions the leader of team is most commonly called the Front of the House Engineer.

The entertainment industry specifically “live Sound” is known as a “live performances” to the general public follow the same basic principles of management as in business.


The planning stages for any event or team oriented function is the most important function in management. Planning keeps the team moving in the righ

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direction towards one common goal or multiple goals. Planning consists of “identifying goals, objectives, methods, resources needed to carry out methods, responsibilities and dates for completion of tasks (McNamara).

A FOH Engineer for a live musical act is required to accomplish several planning stages for the show to be successful. A stage plot should be presented to the FOH Engineer or Crew Chief prior to the show date in order for them to prepare for the needs of the bands instrumentation. A stage plot is a diagram that plots the set up of the band. The engineer also needs to assure that the proper equipment needed for the bands performance is accessible.

This includes having the microphones needed, microphone stands, stage monitors etc. Planning is imperative to the success of the show.


The organization of or organizing an event can make or break the success of a live performance. The organization of an event is basically keeping on the team on the right track so the event runs smoothly. If a show is not organized the morale of the band can be interrupted therefore, the vibe of the act can below standard. A schedule for such things as gear load in, stage set-up and sound check are some examples of keeping the show organized.

All these elements are established in the planning stages. It’s also very important that the crew along with the FOH have all the gear needed for the event in an orderly fashion. All the equipment is stowed in an orderly fashion so it can be easily accessed. The appearance of the stage is usually also set up in a neat manner.

The flow of the stage

set up and finally the live performance all rely on how organized the overall team has planned the occasion.


Many different people in the crew can hold different leadership roles when speaking of stage management.Wikapedia describes it as such, “Although a somewhat fluid line of work, in essence the stage management team (which can consist of a production stage manager, several assistant stage managers, and any number of production assistants) is responsible for organizing the production, communicating across different disciplines. ” The two major types of disciplines are live music and theater. They also may vary depending on the size of the venue or the popularity of a specific act. In smaller venues it may be just the Front of the House Engineer that holds all hats.

Leading can be described in the simplest form as the person in charge rom loading in to load out.


Controlling can be a very lucrative term when referring to stage management. This can range from controlling the frequencies to controlling the decibel level. It is commonly said that the drummer controls the tempo of a song or the Front of the House engineer is controlling the mix. The mix is controlled with outboard gear such as compressors, equalizers, gates, effects, and sonic maximizer.

The electrical power is even something to consider when planning a show. The power mostly used for music events is called “clean power”.Clean power is power that has been regulated to remove any electrical interruption known as noise. Controlling the sonic frequencies is the best way to describe the term in this context.


All aspects of team dynamics are important to the completion of a goal set for the team

to accomplish. In business practice the main goal is obviously to be profitable. There are many different teams that can comprise the overall company. Stage management can be compared in the same manner. The main difference is the product, which in the case of stage management a live event that can only be a memory not a materialistic item.The entertainment business can be a very niche based business.

It’s a business of relationships beyond stage performances. I successful leader in this industry had better be cool and know what their doing.


  1. McNamara, C. (1997). Basics -- Definitions (and Misconceptions) About Management. Free Management Library, (para. 2-5), Retrieved September 29, 2005, from http://www. managementhelp. org/mgmnt/defntion. htm database.
  2. Stage management. (2008). Wikipedia, Retrieved September 29, 2008 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Stage_management database.
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