Management Idea/Assignment: Stage Management Floor Taping


Students are taught how to plot points on a found plan with a scale ruler. They are split into groups of 3-4 to tape out the ground plan for two acts of an opera.


  • Students became confident in using a scale ruler to replicate a full-size ground plan in the rehearsal space.
  • Students learned that accuracy in taping out rehearsal spaces is important to the process.
  • Finding accuracy in a group setting challenges the students to collaborate and refine their communication skills.
  • This project takes a substantial amount of out of class time. This helps future stage managers balance their time commitments with a group.
  • Students gain more skill and understanding at reading ground plans.


  • The biggest skill the students work on in this project is communication.
  • When they work together the communication they need to use is paramount to the success of the project.
  • Typically, one student emerges from the group as the leader. This also helps the students practice leadership skills.
  • These groups quickly learn working efficiently vs. quickly. Taking the time to plot your points first saves you time in the end.


I discuss how to plot points from a ground plan with a scale ruler (if students don’t know how to use a scale rule, instruction may need to be a separate class). A discussion on the importance of the centerline and plaster line follows. It is very important to discuss NOT using the theatre walls for reference, instead only using the PL and CL. I then show students this video (

I then have the students work on plotting all of their points. Then I assign them groups. I then assign each group an evening to tape out their ground plan. They are instructed to meet with their group outside of class to compare their points. Once the group is in agreement on all points they create a master to base their taping off. They then tape out the floor based on their previous group work.

TIME REQUIRED: One class period of explanation on how to complete project. Blocks of reserved time for students to work on project. Each group takes any where from 3-6 hours to tape the project out. The typically give them each one full evening to complete the project. Grading this project can be time consuming, as it is location dependent. I typically spend
about a half-hour grading each project first thing the next morning after their project is due.


  • ground plans that are to scale
  • scale rulers
  • lots of spike tape in various colors
  • pencils
  • tape measures
  • chalk lines

ADAPTATION: Changing group sizes as needed will help manage this. Grading this project is time consuming on the instructor. Limiting the amount of groups helps with this. This project is adjustable depending on size of class. Using only one ground plan or a simpler ground plan can make the project more accessible to level and size of class. Two students are the ideal minimum for a group, larger groups can be created if needed.

EVALUATION: I pick 20 points from each act of the opera and take a measurement from the centerline and the proscenium line. Those two measurements from the ground plan are then compared to the actual measurements from the students taping work. If one measurement is off by more than three inches, it is marked working. The students do not know which points I will be using to evaluate their work. I spend about 30-40 minutes grading each project. I take pictures as reference for each group. I give details on each area they had difficulty on and give them the exact amount their measurements are off by. Students evaluate each other from a group work standpoint.

Management Idea/Assignment: Theatre Management/Full Course Presentation


  • generate a mission statement from the interpretation of a business entity’s vision and core values
  • list the administrative structures and managerial positions of a non-profit arts organization, charting how artists, administrators, and board members relate to one another to accomplish various organizational and artistic goals
  • develop a series of financial strategies, including research of revenue-generating opportunities for performing and visual arts organizations
  • define and assess the management decisions necessary for an organization’s ongoing financial and artistic health
  • create, debate and appraise marketing and public relations efforts as they relate to arts organizations, events and/or productions
  • utilize and transfer learned management skills to work at a theatre or arts institution
  • present a viable management theory through the creation of an arts organization, from mission statement to production or opening event


The purpose of this course presentation is to present a viable management theory through the creation of a theatre company, from mission statement to production.  Emphasis will be placed on the company’s mission, organizational structure, budget, fundraising and/or development efforts, and marketing.

Students will be organized into teams for the purpose of this presentation.  As part of this project, each team will be expected to create a fictitious theatre company, which will serve as the basis for the various elements.

Areas that should be covered include (but are not limited by):  Mission Statement, Organizational Structure/Management, Initial Budget (Revenue and Expenses), Planned Fundraising/Development, Marketing Campaign.

Additional factors to consider for this presentation include:  general description of the theatre (i.e. touring house, period pieces), architecture, theater construction or environment, staging and production conventions, plays and/or other playwright specific productions produced, expected audience responses to or involvement in theatre.

This presentation is not a normal written essay.  Think originality and creativity…that is, slide shows, graphics, charts, Powerpoint/Prezi programs, audio or visual presentations, etc. are all accepted and encouraged.  Your presentation is due during this course’s scheduled final exam period, with each team presenting their “theatre plan” in class.  Each presentation will be followed by a discussion and Q&A by fellow students.  This presentation will be graded according to the Course Presentation Rubric.

TIME REQUIRED:  Full Semester (each element of project is covered within each course unit)

REQUIRED MATERIALS:  Materials distributed in class, within each unit

ADAPTATION:  Applicable for those pursuing arts management/theatre management positions, small business developers, and/or entrepreneurs

EVALUATION:  Each section of the project is graded separately (similar to those assignments given throughout the term).  Each section is graded then averaged together to reach a final grade.  Evaluation also considers presentation, creativity, MLA formatting, etc.  Rubric is broken down by points, with the final project grade a total point value converted to a letter grade. Submitted by:  Christopher M. Montpetit

Course Syllabus: Theatre Production Practicum

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Course Syllabus: Administration and Management of the Arts

Course Syllabus: Syllabus on a dual undergraduate/graduate course in arts administration and management, with a focus on both the visual and performing arts industries. Administration and Management of the Arts will provide undergraduate and graduate students with an advanced look at the managerial, structural, and operational functions of visual and performing arts organizations, translating traditional business practices into the language of the arts. Syllabus is a generic template that can be altered for specific management needs or areas. Course is a full-semester course, last revised August 2021.

Course Syllabus: Theatre and Stage Management

Course Syllabus: Syllabus on an undergraduate course in Theatre and Stage Management. Theatre and Stage Management provides students with a general overview of the administrative and management functions of an arts organization as well as an introductory look at the responsibilities and process of stage management. Course is generally a full-semester course. Revised February 2019.