Production Book

Prairie Players Civic Theater

Overview        3

Production Planning And Education Committee        3

Annual planning and leadership        3

Theatrical productions and educational events        3

Curation of the Season        4

Selection        4

Pre-Production        4

Production leadership        4

Pre-production roles for musicals        4

Auditions        5

Production Policies        5

Budget-related policies        5

Honorariums        5

Theater Use Policy        6

Rehearsal schedule:        6

Post Production        7

Production Roles and Responsibilities        8

Director        8

Costume and Makeup Design        9

Costume Designer        9

Head Costumer        9

Wardrobe Chief        9

Makeup Designer        9

Lighting, Scenic, and Sound Design        10

Lighting Designer        10

Board Operator        10

Master Electrician        10

Scenic Designer        11

Master Carpenter        11

Paint Boss        11

Property Master        11

Set Decorator        12

Sound Designer and Operator        12

Technical Director        12

Production Manager        12

Stage Manager        14

Stage Carpenter        14

Production roles unique to musicals        14

Choreographer        14

Music Director        15

PPCT Appointments        15

Box Office Manager        15

House Manager        15

Ushers        15

Publicity Manager        16

Program Layout Assistant        16

Publicity Designer        17


The Prairie Players Civic Theater (PPCT) Production Book is intended to provide a foundation for consistency and excellence for all theatrical and educational events produced by PPCT.  Community theater is an exciting world, and PPCT is committed that ours be a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive environment for all participants.

The Production Book is organized around the annual, seasonal, and production cycles to provide detailed guidelines, PPCT policies, and helpful information in a contextual way for those leading theatrical productions and educational events. While the focus of this document is theatrical productions, all aspects of educational events will be covered as well.

Production Planning And Education Committee

Comprised of volunteers from the PPCT community, the Production Planning and Education Committee reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for curating and supporting each season’s theatrical productions and educational events. Below are the core responsibilities of the committee:

Annual planning and leadership

Theatrical productions and educational events

The committee will provide one committee member to act as liaison with each production or event. The liaison will attend all production meetings from auditions through close and report progress and status to the committee at each monthly meeting. Additionally, the liaison will:

Curation of the Season

The Production Planning Committee invites all community members who wish to direct a show to submit a proposal via an online form. Upon receipt of a submission, the committee Chair will contact the proposed director to:


In the first meeting of each calendar year, the committee will review the submissions collected and curate a season from the proposals and make a formal recommendation to the Board of Directors. Once the Board has approved the season, the Chair of the Production Planning Committee will contact selected Directors to provide the following information:


The pre-production phase can begin as early as a director is confirmed for a selected production, and lasts until the cast list has been posted for the show (usually 7-8 weeks prior to the show opening).

Production leadership

There are several key leadership roles that must be filled in the pre-production phase, ideally prior to the pre-production meeting for the show:

  1. Director; ultimately responsible to the PPCT Board of Directors, and for overall vision for and supervision of production activities
  2. Production Manager; responsible to the Director, and for ensuring the administration of the production is successful
  3. Stage Manager; responsible to the Director, production-related facility maintenance, and management of the backstage area during tech week and performances

Pre-production roles for musicals

For musicals, these roles should also be filled prior to auditions:

  1. Music Director; responsible to the Director, leads vocal and orchestral music for the production, and helps plan auditions
  2. Choreographer; responsible to the Director, designs dance/movement and teaches the performers


All auditions must follow the PPCT audition policies. The recommended audition form is here. Required fields in the form include all contact information and photo and liability waivers.

Production Policies

Budget-related policies

Each year, the Board of Directors determines the seasonal production budget, which may fluctuate from year to year.


Directorial honorariums are awarded to the book director of a play or musical, and may be split up amongst other production staff at the Director’s discretion. The amounts will not fall below $250 for a straight play and $400 for a musical. If the Director deems it appropriate, the Directorial honorarium may be returned to the production budget for other expenses.

Technical Director honorariums shall be included in the amount of $150 for each show, budgeted as an honorarium line item. These funds may only be used for a person who fulfills the roles and responsibilities outlined in this document for a Technical Director. If these funds are not used, they may not be returned to the production budget for other expenses.

Accompanist honorariums may not exceed $400 and are not a separate line item - they are included in the total production budget.

As we are a community theater that is dependent upon people coming together to produce theater out of the sheer love of it, no compensation of any kind, including comp tickets, will be provided to the following:

Theater Use Policy

In order to balance the needs of our productions with the need to be able to rent out the PPCT space, the following is the policy regarding the scheduling of rehearsals for PPCT productions.

Rehearsal schedule:

The Production Manager is responsible for ensuring that there are no conflicts with the theater’s master schedule for any rehearsals scheduled outside of these guidelines, including outside rentals of the building lobby.

Building Access

Double doors to the theatre lobby are only open for auditions and performances. For rehearsals before tech week, cast and crew are expected to use the single door entrance inside of the front gate.

During Tech Week and performances, cast and crew should park behind the building and use back entrance when notified of an arrangement with the lot owner behind the building


Black theatre chairs are to be used only for performances, and are to be covered or stored in assigned area when not in use. Green-seat chairs/benches/folding chairs are stored upstairs & available for use.

Painting and set Construction

Set build can begin at any time, but no set pieces are to be permanently placed in the theatre box until four weeks before the production date.

Only flats set on a platform stage may be painted inside the theater.

Cleaning brushes or disposing of paint or other materials must be done using the paint sink against the outside wall of the shop restroom, not in a restroom sink.


Cast and crew are expected to remove personal items (incl. bottled water) after each rehearsal/work session

When the furnace or AC are running, one set of doors to theatre must remain closed

To eliminate additional cleaning, shop restroom and upstairs restrooms are to be used during rehearsals and work sessions (Lobby restrooms are for guests only).

Lobby lights are only for events. During rehearsals, these two light switches should be used to illuminate the lobby for safety:

Post Production

The Production Committee Chair will hold a debrief meeting with the Director, Production Manager, and Stage Manager for each show within two weeks after the close of a production to exchange feedback and share learning experiences to improve the production experience at PPCT.

Production Roles and Responsibilities

The following roles and responsibilities are listed in alphabetical order for primary roles, with supporting roles listed under the corresponding work area. But first, a flow chart


The Director is ultimately responsible to the PPCT Board of Directors, and is responsible for the following:

Costume and Makeup Design

Costume Designer

Responsible to the Director, the Costume Designer designs the overall costuming plan for the show:

Head Costumer

The Head Costumer supports the Costume Designer with costume planning and development:

Wardrobe Chief

Responsible to the Costume Designer, the Wardrobe Chief supports costume logistics:

Makeup Designer

Responsible to the Director, the Makeup Designer is responsible for the overall makeup plan and execution:

Lighting, Scenic, and Sound Design

Lighting Designer

Responsible to the Director, the Light Designer helps create and execute lighting design plans:

Board Operator

Responsible to the Lighting Designer and Technical Director, the Board Operator runs light cues from the booth during tech week and performances; sometimes, this role is combined with the Sound Designer/Operator role:

Master Electrician

Responsible to the Lighting Designer and Technical Director, the Master Electrician ensures electrical safety and operations:

Scenic Designer

Responsible to the Director, the Scenic Designer helps create and execute set design plans:

Master Carpenter

Responsible to the Scenic Designer and Technical Director, the Master Carpenter owns the construction of the set.

Paint Boss

Responsible to the Scenic Designer, the Paint Boss is tasked with painting anything on the set, including props, which require paint:

Property Master

Responsible to the Scenic Designer and Technical Director, the Property Master ensures that all props for the production are obtained, organized, and stored correctly:

Set Decorator

Responsible to the Scenic Designer, the Set Decorator is responsible for all set decorations, and consults with the Technical Director to:

Sound Designer and Operator

Responsible to the Director, the Sound Designer and Operator supervises all sound operations for the production:

Technical Director

Responsible to the Director, Scenic Designer, and Lighting Designer, the Technical Director directly supervises all technical personnel and areas including shop maintenance, construction, and strike:

Production Manager

The Director may elect to assume some of the responsibilities that fall under the Production Manager duties; this is dependent on the skills and strengths of both parties. The Production Manager is ultimately responsible to the Director, and acts as the key liaison with multiple committees of the Board of Directors.

Stage Manager

The Stage Manager is ultimately responsible to, and serves as principal assistant to, the Director

Stage Carpenter

Responsible to the Stage Manager, Technical Director, and Property Master, the Stage Carpenter plans scene changes and maintains scenery during tech week and beyond:

Production roles unique to musicals


The Choreographer is responsible to the Director, and leads the dance and movement portions of musical production development

Music Director

The Music Director is responsible to the Director, and leads the following areas of musical productions:

PPCT Appointments

Several of the roles involved in the public-facing execution of the show are performed by individuals appointed by PPCT leadership, and are not supervised by the Director or Production Manager for the show.

Box Office Manager

In close coordination with the PPCT Finance Committee, the Box Office Manager is responsible for onsite ticket sales for theatrical productions and educational events. This includes setup, breakdown, and onsite management of ticketing processes, and recruiting and supervising Box Office Assistant(s). The Box Office Manager is responsible for following PPCT Cash Handling policies.

House Manager

In close coordination with the Stage Manager and Production Manager, the House Manager maintains the lobby and “house” of the show, ensuring a great experience for all guests:


Ideally, there will be three Ushers for each performance, who are responsible to the House Manager.

Publicity Manager

The Publicity Manager is also the Chair of the PPCT Marketing Committee and develops and executes the promotion of the show:

Program Layout Assistant

Responsible to the Director and Production Manager, the Program Layout Assistant designs the program for the show:

Publicity Designer

Responsible to the Publicity Manager, the Publicity Designer creates publicity assets to be used in promotion of the show:

© Prairie Players Civic Theater 2019, as intellectual property under Creative Commons