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Build Schedule

Since the advent of google calendar, I've been developing and posting my schedules on-line. Now if you're unsure, anybody with a mobile can find out what I'm working on. I've used any number of calendar programs over the years. "The cloud" is a great way to share info.

Usually in my 1st year the schedule is determined for me. When a theatre has few people, multiple stages, and overlapping productions with the expectation that the shop staff will also serve as run of show crew, resources get spread thin. People get spread thin and want a work/life balance.

I typically work in environments where we build during the day and rehearse/run at night. At Mill Mountain, once show B loaded in and began tech on stage, Show C would be taped out in the rehearsal hall and start build in the shop while Show A was running on the other stage. It's one thing to operate like that for 15 weeks during summer stock. It's a different animal when you run like that for 50 weeks with a small staff.

On my end I attempted to alleviate some of the burden by giving 12hrs from the end of one call to the start of another. So, if my Master Carpenter and my Shop foreman were also board op for one show and rigger for another show, if the show was out at 12am, they were not called until 12pm. They would build until 1hr. Take a 1/2 hr lunch and be ready for rehearsal. 

It was always best to beat the morning traffic in down town Roanoke. If I needed to buy materials, I was at the lumber yard when they opened. I would build with my interns from 9am-Noon then with my staff in the after-noon and during rehearsals if I was not needed elsewhere.


Dec 22, White Model Delivered to Shop, begin prelim drafting.
Jan 19, Final Color Model Delivered to Shop. Finalize Drafting, begin working drawings.
Jan 20, Ground Plan and Section to Lighting Designer
Jan 24, Pull from Stock and Order Materials. Assemble plats and escapes in shop.
Jan 31, Light Plot From Designer to M.E. Begin flats units.
Feb 7, Load in, install trap, build elevator, set up tracks. (lighting hang)
Feb 10, Construction Complete
Feb 11, Paper Mache Party!!! (rough focus lighting)
Feb 12-16 Scenic Painter in. Continue tech for elevator and tracks.
Feb 15, Lighting Designer In. Feb 15/16 dark for lighting. Clean shop/Prep for next show.
Feb 17, Adjust to Stage (Actors 1st Day on Set)
Feb 22, Begin Build (Next Show)
Feb 27, 10/12 Tech Rehearsal
Feb 28, Final Dress
March 1, Open.

There were several problems with the division of labor and the schedule. Contracts were year long. Staff requested days off and vacations often before the production schedule had been decided. There were frequent staff turn overs. I suggested a different schedule that accomplished the same # of productions in the season but balanced the work and minimized overlap. I also factored in set vacations and reduced the contracts to 48 week.
Attached is the grid I proposed for 05/06.

Shannon Miller,
Mar 16, 2012, 8:43 AM