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Legislation A stage Manager has to think about

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Hi, I am a college student who is doing an assignment on the legal aspects in the creative industry. In one part of the assignment I have to write about legislation relevant to a professional role, to which I chose Stage Manager. I was wondering if anyone had advice or documents they use personally to make sure they are following rules.
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Welcome to BR, Josh but why choose such an enormous and open-ended subject? Down below there is a Community Event Guide and page 20 is given up to a list of basic laws and regulations but, as it points out, it is far from comprehensive. That list might give you a head start but I doubt it.


Every venue, every gig, every production has unique roles, responsibilities and duties for the SM.There can be no "little list" of documents as it expands continually. All one can do is train and learn continually. No two jobs are the same even in corporations that run almost identical projects because the individuals are all unique. There are no shortcuts to gaining the experience. If I gave you lists they would be enormous and still miss vital stuff out.

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I think it is less about what legislation a Stage Manager needs to know about, and more that a Stage Manager needs to know when they need to consult someone who knows. It is a good idea for the SM to know the overarching OH&S legislation, working time legislation and also venue policies (which is not legislation) - but more importantly they need to know what they don't know - and where to go to get the correct advice.


Each region/locality/country/county/state/town has different rules and regulations however they all tend to revolve around a single key concept - and that is mitigating risk.


The key document is the Risk Assessment.


As part of doing a show, I would put together a comprehensive risk assessment of the risks I see and how to mitigate them. But I also consult with department heads, venue management and subcontractors - having them provide me with copies of their risk assessments and collating them all together. My electrician/head LX should know what laws he needs to comply with, as should head sound, mech, flyman, rigger etc.


If it is an outdoor event I consult with local council about pertinent regulations for noise, crowd control, catering regulations etc. But I also engage local contractors for crowd management, essential services, catering etc. I don't try and do this in house. If budget is limited (for example a community event where many of the staff will be volunteers) I engage these companies as consultants and perhaps to provide management for those aspects with crew leaders and fill the rest with the volunteer staff. By using local contractors I get people who will a) be providing me services (hopefully) in compliance with local laws and b) able to provide me advice regarding what the local restrictions and laws are.


If I am touring a show, I make sure I sit down with the local venue manager or licensee and go through the production, I highlight risks in my risk assessment and ask if there are any legal hurdles they can see. If there are big ones (fire arms/pyrotechnics) I bring this up really early on and also try to find a local contractor who deals with doing this frequently.


There is sometimes a perception some SM's have that they need to KNOW everything and sort it out themselves. That is not the case. A Stage Manager should be more of an information collator and filter. Asking the right questions to get the correct output. If they cannot find someone to give them the correct output they should know who to call/where to search to find that information. And they need to be able to identify issues in order to ensure that they are asking the right questions.


My 2c.

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