The Production Manager's Toolkit
Successful Production Management in Theatre and Performing Arts
"Our theater world is so much better with this book in it, and even better with Cary and Jay at the helm."
–David Stewart, Director of Production for the Guthrie Theater
The Production Manager’s Toolkit is a comprehensive introduction to a career in theatrical and special event production for new and aspiring professionals, given by expert voices in the field.
The book discusses management techniques, communication skills, and relationship building tactics to create effective and successful production managers. With a focus on management theory, advice from top production managers provide insights into budgeting, scheduling, meetings, hiring, maintaining safety, and more. Through interviews and case studies, the history and techniques of production management are explored throughout a variety of entertainment venues: theatre, dance, opera, and special events. The book includes references, tools, templates, and checklists; and a companion website contains downloadable paperwork and links to other useful resources such as unions, venues, and vendors.
This book is written for student and professional production managers.
Table of Contents
PART ONE – Hard and Soft Skills
1 – Communication
2 – Relationships
3 – Management Techniques and Theory
4 – Planning and Scheduling
5 – Meetings
6 – Money and Budget
7 – Hiring and Casting
8 – Safety
PART TWO – Connecting it to the Work
9 – Theatre
10 – Opera
11 – Dance
12 – Rock and Roll
13 – Symphony Music
14 – Presenting
15 – Co-productions
16 – Touring
17 – Special Events
Concluding with Balance
Cary Gillett has worked as a production manager and stage manager in the Maryland/Washington DC area for over two decades. Cary was recently appointed as the Director of Production at Baltimore Center Stage – the state theatre of Maryland. In addition, she has worked as a Production Manager for the University of Maryland in College Park, Round House Theatre, the Potomac Theatre Project and the Helen Hayes Awards, celebrating theatre in the Washington DC area. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland in College Park and annual visiting professor at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing. Cary is married to director and educator Bill Gillett and together they manage their biggest production – Mary Louise.
A 30 year resident of San Diego, Jay Sheehan oversees the production management and stage management areas for the School of Theatre, Television and Film at San Diego State University. Additionally, Jay created and leads the Certificate in Entertainment Management Program for the School. In addition to teaching stage management, production management and live concert production., Jay also oversees all aspects of production for the 8 show main stage and student production season.
Jay also serves as the National Production Manager for Young Arts, dedicated to help identify and support the next generation of artists in the literary, performing, visual and design arts. In this capacity, Jay oversees productions in Miami, and the Presidential Scholars program at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Jay is an Equity stage manager, having worked on over 50 shows during his stage management career. Jay’s other jaunts around San Diego have found him as the Director of Production and Operations for the San Diego Symphony and Director of Operations for House of Blues, overseeing the 20,000 seat Coors Amphitheatre in Chula Vista.
Jay is also owner of Cue One Productions and is a freelance special event manager who’s event list includes the NFL Super Bowl, Major League Baseballs All Star Game as well as non-profit charities concert events in and around the United States.