The set décor head is responsible for obtaining all physical objects for the stage.
Example: Interior – furniture, chairs, sofa, end tables, hassocks etc. Exterior – potted plants, hanging vines, water fountains, garden furniture etc.
At an early production meeting each item should be clarified as to area of allocation. Set décor head is accountable to the set designer.
- Obtain a script from the Administrative Producer and become thoroughly familiar with it.
- Obtain a production schedule and become aware of the general and specific deadlines.
- Obtain a floor plan from the set designer.
- Have an individual conference with designer and director (props head may be included) as to style, period, mood, locale as applicable to set décor or elements. Obtain complete list of required items.
- In consultation with the designer decide on how special or unique items will be acquired or built.
- Determine extent of job and find appropriate assistants.
- Advise assistants that they may be required to assist during run of the play.
- Begin researching and investigating the availability of necessary items. Obtain pictures, drawings, color swatches, etc. and consult with the designer regarding choices.
- Prepare a cost estimate for décor items and confer with the set designer and technical producer. Establish a budget with the administrative producer and try to stay within that limit.
- Assign specific items to appropriate assistant. Make them aware of all deadlines and purchasing system, rentals, insurance, damage deposits, etc.
- Establish a record list for each item borrowed, rented, bought and where appropriate inform administrative producer of need for acknowledgment in program.
- Attend production meetings.
- Attend early rehearsals to establish relationship between action and set décor items.
- If possible coordinate set décor work with set construction work parties to capitalize on all available expertise.
- Assist designer in acquiring and setting up rehearsal pieces.
- Arrange for pick up and delivery of all items to arrive at theatre at an appropriate time. Check with the Theatre Manager or the producer to ensure that the theatre is not being rented.
- Cooperate with set construction crew, designer and stage manager as to positioning set décor items on stage.
- Be prepared to add, strike, change or substitute any item that is not considered suitable by the designer or director.
- Be present for the full run through prior to first technical rehearsal and subsequent dress rehearsals as required. Be present to receive notes from the director regarding changes and unfinished items.
Once the first technical rehearsal time has come the acquisition and placement of set décor items is complete – barring minor changes or adjustments. The set décor head and assistant(s) may become running crew members and are, in this capacity, under the direction of the stage manager.
- Set décor head and assistant(s) are responsible for removing all items from the stage area. It is desirable to come one hour prior to strike time, in order to leave the set free. Some items may be removed immediately after final curtain.
- Store or return all items. Confer with the designer or technical producer.
- Be sure all bills and receipts have been submitted to the administrative producer.
- Where appropriate send thank you notes.
- In the event of damage to borrowed items, consult with the producers as to course of action.
- Return job description manual and key to the producer and key master.