Program Goals

Production Management – MFA- CalArts School of Theater

http://calarts.edu/theater

History

The student production manager and the management position have become an integral part of CalArts’ production process; students in the Production Management Specialization are actively solicited to work on projects in the School of Film/Video as well as on independent projects generated by Theater School students.

A student may enter directly into the Production Management track or shift into it from either the Stage Management or Technical Direction programs, with the approval of the faculty.  The specific curriculum will be developed in consultation with the mentor and based on the student’s existing background and experience.

Description

Through this specialization students develop the ability to engage as artists while functioning as managers. This calls for an understanding of creative vision and an avid interest in developing inventive solutions to issues that arise as a result of that vision. Students will learn the fundamental vocabulary of technical and performance concerns while developing the basic elements of budgeting, contract law, scheduling and honing skills in the art of compromise, collaboration and diplomacy. This specialization is highly experiential; students provide leadership on projects of varying complexity and challenges in multiple production configurations. The curriculum for this specialization is supported by the Producing, Technical Direction and Stage Management curriculums, as well as courses in the Film School and other areas within the Theater School.

Each semester the students receive production assignments of increasing complexity as they gain expertise and experience. The assignments each semester are rotated so that students all have the opportunity to work with their peers, with guest artists, and in multiple spaces, on a variety of projects. One semester is designated for an internship at a theater or company that will provide the student with experience within the profession s/he wishes to pursue.

Mission

We will graduate students with a philosophical foundation and perspective on management and leadership, in terms of projects and overarching artistic ideals (critical thinking). We will develop the students will to foster collaboration and communication skills (verbal, written). Our programming is designed to give students the skills and the flexibility to work in a wide range of disciplines promoting an awareness of the field, esthetically, politically and globally.

Students who complete the PM specialty will have the marketable tools and skills to enable them to fully engage as managers specifically in the entertainment industry and in project management in general. These students will be well adapted highly motivated men and women who will have a solid foundation of values, principles and philosophies. They will be imbued with an understanding of the ideas and practices of leadership and management;

  • The willingness to engage; we must engage the Artist on an even field to promote the sense of support necessary for the artist to succeed. “We may function as managers but we must engage as Artists”
  • The willingness to be responsible; (self-recognition and independence). If we are unsure or unwilling to accept responsibility for accomplishing the goals and objectives we can not be effective. We must learn to embrace responsibility as an essential tool for success.
  • The willingness to be wrong; (to work experimentally), If you are afraid to fail you will never attempt to succeed. Managers must have the courage of their convictions to make the choices necessary for ultimate success.
  • The Conviction to be right, To raise ones hand, stand up  and say you want to come with me we can do this together.

Production Management is an art. The programming develops and utilizes a collaborative process to achieve goals through providing the environment were our students can develop. Through close mentoring and continual assessment, the course of study is tailored to the individual.

Program Goals

On entry to the Program we seek;

  • Individuals with a sense of self, an eagerness to engage in process and situations beyond their comfort level;
  • Individuals who have a talent for handling detail, versed in technology and have a broad base of experience in theater, project based jobs, teaching, film, etc. I am interested in their life experiences.
  • Individuals who are both goal and process oriented.

At Mid-residency students will have;

  • Students have a base understanding of the four personal commitments necessary in becoming a Production Manager;
    • A willingness to engage
    • A willingness to be responsible
    • A Willingness to be wrong
    • The conviction to be right
  • An increased level of comfort in the meeting room
  • An increased ability to problem solve both in a prepared manner and “on the fly”
  • An increased ability to handle “personalities”
  • Increased efficiency in budget preparation, tracking and close out
  • Increased understanding of scheduling
  • Increased awareness of their sensibilities, strengths and weaknesses.

Upon Graduation Students will;

  • be well adapted highly motivated men and women who will have a solid foundation of values, principles and philosophies
  • be able to appreciate who they are as individuals and how they can interact with peers, colleagues.
  • understand how to foster collaboration and communication skills (verbal, written
  • understand the fundamentals necessary to “read People” and develop a modality of “engaging” to achieve the best relationship
  • possess the skills and the flexibility to work in a wide range of disciplines promoting an awareness of the field, esthetically, politically and globally.
  • be imbued with an understanding of the ideas and practices of leadership and management and be able to fully engage as managers specifically in the entertainment industry and in project management in general
  • be able identify, anticipate and take steps to prevent problems and identify possible solutions to challenges that may exist.
  • master the principles of budget development, monitoring and maintenance
  • master scheduling as a tool to achieving goals
  • effectively lead meetings
  • identify, anticipate and take steps to prevent problems and identify possible solutions to challenges that may exist.
  • understand the fundamentals necessary to “read People” and develop a modality of “engaging” to achieve the best relationship
  • appreciate who they are as individuals and how they can interact with peers, colleagues.
  • master the principles of budget development, monitoring and maintenance
  • master scheduling as a tool to achieving goals

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