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Sarasota News Leader January 24, 2014 Page 80 THE STAGE MANAGER IS THE UNSEEN FORCE IN MAKING SURE THEATER PRODUCTIONS RUN AS SMOOTHLY AS POSSIBLE By Barbara Dondero Contributing Writer The theatre, strictly speaking, is not a business at all — but a collection of individualized chaos that operates best when it is allowed to flower in its proper medley of disorder, derangement, irregularity and confusion. Thirty-five minutes before show time, the stage manager checks the sign-in sheet backstage, hoping that all actors and crew are on board. Then she visits dressing rooms to announce, "Half-hour, please! Half-hour!" The actors, according to theatre etiquette, Moss Hart respond, "Half-hour! Thank you!" Act One That is when scrambling becomes a fine art. What is the difference among an air traffic Where's the sword for the Act One fight scene? controller, an emergency room nurse and a Why is the paint on the dance floor still wet? stage manager? Nothing! These emergencies dealt with, it is time to Kelli Karen works from her 'prompt book.' Photo by Fran Palmeri

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