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This guide was written to outline the basic policies that will pertain to productions scheduled in the Kennedy Ernst Lab Theatre during “Late Night Theatre” slots.
The Theatre Management staff at Kennedy Theatre consists of a team of people working in Publicity, Box Office, and House Management. This team provides a critical link between you and your audience. We are glad to answer any questions that your Board Officers cannot answer and hope that this guide will give you a good basis from which to start. Ultimately, you and your Board are responsible for every aspect of your production, so make sure that you or your stage manager are in constant contact with the Late Night Officers so that you will be assured that all elements are done when you need them!
Front of House
Jessica Jacob, Theatre Manager/Publicity Manager
Christine Lamborn, Operations Coord. (Box Office & Publicity Associate)
Gerry Kawaoka, Technical Director
Rick Greaver, Production/Facility Manager
Hannah Schauer Galli, Costume Shop Manager
Royalties for your production need to be secured as soon as possible. As the Director, you will research the Royalty Holder: contact information and estimated cost. (this is was included on your proposal) This information is passed on to the Faculty Advisor by the Late Night Artistic Director. No show promotion can be released until cleared by T+D Production Manager.
The key words in publicity are continuity, consistency, and repetition. Consequently, the Late Night Publicity Director will want to begin getting the word out about your project as soon as possible. This means providing that person with the following information as you wish to see it put into print:
You are responsible for providing your own greyscale publicity flyer for your auditions. The Late Night Officers may be able to aid in getting audition notices up around campus if you provide them with enough copies of your flyer in a timely fashion. With 2 – 3 weeks lead time, the Late Night Publicity Director can send an audition announcement to Ka Leo. Since auditions are usually limited to UH students, local newspapers will not normally be contacted.
EIGHT WEEKS PRIOR TO OPENING
A press/media release is the proper method to provide the media with information about your project. Ideally, the release will be written and disseminated by the Late Night PR Director, however the ultimate responsibility is with the Director to ensure that it is written. Always keep in mind that the Late Night PD, with a cc: to the KT Theatre Mgr & Op. Coord. is the best way to keep the public current on your show.
Information that will be needed is:
After you provide the Late Night Publicity Director with this information, they will draft the release and pass it by you for accuracy. Or, you will write it and pass it by them. Once reviewed by Faculty Advisor, Late Night PD and any Officers you would like involved, it is forwarded to KT Manager and KT Publicity for review and dissemination.
SIX – EIGHT WEEKS PRIOR TO OPENING; IDEALLY THE FIRST WEEK OF THE MONTH PRIOR TO YOUR OPENING
Photographs may be the single most important publicity tool that we have. A few minutes of careful planning for a Publicity shoot will help sell your show and help prepare the audience for your particular approach. You will need to seek a volunteer photographer to shoot publicity photos. The photo call falls under the jurisdiction of the Late Night Publicity Director. You will be asked to do the following:
A few suggestions on what makes a good publicity photograph:
Keep the composition simple — 2 or 3 people in a shot is plenty; crowd scenes never work well in newspapers — remember you are fighting for the reader’s attention;
The final photos submitted must be 300 dpi minimum, and the shortest side no less than 4 inches. In full length shots, don’t cut off extremities (hands, feet, etc.) during the shoot. Do the cropping in post-production.
Try to think of something that will reflect the story and/or tone of your production; you don’t have to be strictly literal with the play in a photo shoot — at this point you are dealing with ideas and concepts and a little artistic license is acceptable;
Bear in mind that publicity photographs are released to major newspapers and that your photo needs to be acceptable in their publications, e.g. nudity and suggestive poses, although in your production, may not be acceptable for newspaper publication.
Try to think of something a little unusual — theatre photographs are tricky, they tend to all look very similar; if your photograph isn’t interesting, it may not get used;
Be aware of technical problems — the photographer will need proper lighting — he/she can provide flash equipment, but will need to know this;
Give thought to the background of your shot — make sure it’s not too busy so that it takes away from the focus; usually a neutral, black, or white background, to contrast with actors and costumes; your actors are the focus of publicity photos, not the setting;
Within 3 – 5 days after the photo shoot, meet with the LN Publicity Director to state your preferences on photos. At this point, please provide the LN Publicity Director with captioning information: name of photographer, names of actors in shot in order left to right for each shot, final title of show. Remember that the ultimate responsibility of the Director is to ensure that each aspect is followed-thru. The captioned photos must be submitted to the KT Publicity Director and KT Manager for review and approval at the same time as the press release.
The facts of life regarding feature coverage of your production are that Ernst Lab Theatre shows will usually not tickle the fancies of the editors of the major dailies or the assignment editors of the television stations. There may, however, be good feature material amongst your cast or the production team. Please keep the Late Night PD and KT Publicity informed about, again, the unique, the unusual, the far out, the famous.
Title of Space: Earle Ernst Lab Theatre (please use Lab and not laboratory; please spell Earle Ernst correctly–he is one of our former faculty members!)
The graphic image that is used on printed materials to promote your production will help entice the audience and prepare them for your concept. You will need to secure a graphic concept for your production. If Late Night has a graphic designer on the Board, work with that person; otherwise, you will need to find your own volunteer artist or graphic idea.
You should think about the following things in preparing your graphic idea:
Final poster needed at least three weeks prior to opening
Allow 2 – 3 weeks for preparation in advance
A standard poster format has been adopted for Late Night productions. The format is 8 1/2 x 11″ and must include any appropriate logos. You, with the LN Graphic Designer, will need to provide a graphic and the information to be placed on the poster. If the KT season is using a standard frame for the season, you need only provide the master image and show-specific text/fonts to be dropped into the frame. If a standard frame is not in use – the LN Publicity Dir. will provide KT Publicity the fully formatted draft poster.
Information that needs to be included on every poster:
Allow a week for printing after final draft is approved.
Changes to seating capacity have consequences; it is critical that you consult with and gain the approval of the KT Production Manager and KT Manager if you are reducing capacity or moving (or blocking) chairs for any reason. This must be done early in the process due to Box Office ticketing impact, other uses of hte theatre & building code compliance.
Box office will need to know the running time of show (you’d never believe how often we get asked this).
All ticket sales will be handled by the Theatre Box Office.
Your cast and crew are eligible to receive two (2) complimentary tickets to any single performance of the run if you are using full capacity seating (150). Reduced capacity shows will impact the number of and/or the nights that comps can be redeemed.
The Director or Stage Manager must provide the Box Office Manager with a complete and accurate list of cast and crew members and their email addresses eligible for comps 1 week prior to opening or sooner. Starting in January 2016, cast and crew comps can be requested during box office open hours starting 24 hours after the complete cast/crew list is submitted.
As the Director, you may have VIPs that have substantially donated supplies or supported the production in an exceptional manner, but are not on the crew list. Contact the KT Manager for authorization of special VIP comps. You are trusted to use your utmost discretion in the issuing of complimentary tickets; ticket revenue is a critical part of financing your show and is the ONLY source of funding for student employees of the theatre. Please be aware that you will need to justify your comp request as we are required to submit a valid justification to University accounting as well.
You will be provided with a House Manager for each of your public performances held in the Ernst Lab Theatre. Preview performances may not be held for Ernst Lab Theatre shows because of limited Departmental resources and rehearsal schedules in the mainstage. You may privately invite a few friends to your final dress rehearsal, maximum 6. No exceptions. You are personally responsible for them and their actions, and will escort them while in the building.
Since the Ernst Lab Theatre space is versatile, it is critical that you have Jessica Jacob and Rick Greaver approve your proposed seating arrangement prior to any set construction. There are many technicalities about arranging the space with which you must conform. A seating plan that does not meet safety guidelines could result in your show not opening! Some things to keep in mind when making decisions about seating arrangements:
Other things to think about in terms of space:
Use of foyer as actor entrance: The house management staff does set up in this area and needs to be able to complete their work as well as deal with any audience members arriving late, etc. Please keep this in mind when considering use of this area. Props/costumes should never be left in this area as it is a major impediment to audience and fire safety. Any violations to this may result in your show not opening.
Other things to think of in terms of your audience:
Waiting for admission to theatre – the Ernst Lab Theatre does not have an adequate foyer, so it is imperative that the house opens on time (:30 minutes prior to your performance), especially when it is raining. An audience that has been kept waiting in uncomfortable conditions will be harder to win over.
Latecomers – We have started a policy where once the performance begins we advertise that latecomers will not be admitted to the theatre. We will do our best to uphold this policy. During dance concerts we will seat in between pieces.
Disability access – We must try to accommodate any reasonable request for accommodation under the Americans with Disability Act since we are a public space. This might involve sign language interpreters, pre-show orientations, large print programs, programs on audio cassette, or access to the script. The arrangements for any special requests will be handled by the front of house staff, but we will need your assistance in making any requested accommodation possible.
Final program needed for opening night.
Allow 1 week for duplicating; minimum 2 weeks for program editing and design.
The program format for Ernst Lab Theatre productions is an 8 1/2 X 11″ paper folded to a 5 1/2 X 8 1/2″ finished size. You must provide the LN Graphic Designer, if there is one, with carefully thought out and checked program copy. Do not expect any one else to fill in missing information or include poorly written copy. It is required that you get program copy and director’s notes approved by your LN Artistic and Managing Directors first. Poorly submitted copy may result in you not having a program in time for your production! The reviewed program draft will be forwarded to KT Manager for final review and approval. The LN Secretary or delegate will duplicate the programs.
The following stylistic guide should help you gather your information: COVER:
T+D and C.A.L.L. text or Logo
Earle Ernst Lab Theatre text or Logo
Kennedy Theatre Logo
Name of Production
Author /Translator Credits if not Devised
Dates of Production
“Late Night Theatre or Series”
Artistic and Acting Credits:
Scenic Design by
Costume Design by
Lighting Design by
(You may have other credits that go here, but these should be limited to major artistic credits)
License may call for required text – read the contract!
(If your cast is being listed in order of appearance, please say so otherwise arrange alphabetically by last name of actor)
CHARACTER NAME……………………..Cast Member Name
(It is your responsibility to make sure that the cast listing is spelled according to the wishes of your cast. The Program Editor will not double check spellings for you.)
SYNOPSIS OF SCENES AND PERFORMANCE AGREEMENT
(Put this in your program if it is needed to help your audience figure out what is going on. This should also include intermission information, e.g. “…is performed without intermission”) Somewhere here you also may need to credit the publisher…. “Performed by Agreement with Samuel French.” Check this carefully with KT Production Manager.
UHM is a smoke-free campus.
No photography or recording of any kind is allowed.
(This needs to appear somewhere on your program, generally right under synopsis information.)
Director’s Notes should provide the audience with an insight into your production that they might not normally get. Director’s Notes might provide the audience with some background on the play — they most probably will not know anywhere near as much about the play as you do. Notes might grow out of your research, notes might elaborate on something that is unique about your production — e.g. “Why I am doing Richard III Kabuki style.” Director’s Notes are not the place to do your thank yous — they should come under acknowledgements. Please make sure they are carefully written and are literate; it doesn’t hurt to get some editorial assistance on notes — often an uninvolved editor will greatly improve notes. For editing purposes we use the Chicago Manual of Style.
This listing should include everyone else who has worked on the staff of your show. A sample listing is as follows:
Assistant Stage Manager
Lab Technical Director (if any)
Lighting Board Operator Sound Operator
Because Ernst Lab Theatre programs are small, you do not need to list non-related Theatre faculty or staff under production staff.
Here is your chance to thank everyone and anyone who gave you special help. You normally don’t need to list what they are being acknowledged for (and shouldn’t), but just list names and businesses if they are associated with one. Don’t get too maudlin here; personal acknowledgements should be made personally!
If at all possible, please allow some room on the back page of the program for the promotion of coming events. Audience members do like to know what the next event at KT is!
LN DANCE PROGRAMS
Dance Programs can be quite different since they need to credit collaborators and performances with each piece. A suggested format for Dance Credits:
NAME OF PIECE
Date Piece First Performed
Scenic Design by
Costume Design by (if not for the entire production)
Lighting Design (unless one designer did the entire production)
Dancers: (alpha by last name)
With Dance, it is very important to let your audience know what is going on. Will there be a pause between pieces?
PRODUCTION PHOTO CALL
If you wish to have a production photo call or a shoot-thru, you must pay for this yourself since you will want the photos for your own purposes. We simply don’t have space or much demand for archival photographs for Ernst Lab Theatre productions, so do not arrange to take them as a general rule.
The Publicity Director can provide you with the names of photographers, but you must make your own arrangements with the photographer, supervise the photo call, provide film if needed, and pay the invoice. Kennedy Theatre photographers charge between $50 – $100 hour for services, plus costs.
Here are some hints to having a smooth production photo call – as defined by a “blocking cue to cue”:
You and your stage manager should be prepared with 8 – 10 set-ups that provide a capsule record of your production. A still photograph will not replace video — you can’t get everything, so be selective.
Your photo call could last up to an hour, so plan ahead.
In order to get good contrast on the photos, the photographer may ask for light boost if the cue is particularly dark. So be prepared to boost light levels where needed.
Any recording of the production during public performances must be approved by the Theatre Manager since video equipment could take up seats or impact the audience experience. If the license/written agreement with the playwright for original new works does not specifically allow for recording, you must not record the show. If any participant does not provide written consent, you must not record the show.
Funds must be spent through University of Hawai‘i fiscal procedures. There is absolutely NO reimbursement for purchases made by anyone other than the KT Production Manager. The Director or Stage Manager must provide a list of all desired purchases, and these purchases be under $100 including tax.