CalArts              Theater School

Course Syllabus                  Management For the Theater

Tuesday 1:10 to 3 pm         Café B         gkechely

Course Description:

Just as a designer brings the design and an aesthetic, managers bring process and organization to the table.

This class is designed to develop an understanding not just our ideas of process and protocol but also those of the artist we are engaged with. Students will develop an understanding of what is necessary in the management of the artistic process. Through a series of guests from all disciplines students will discover their expectations and processes and how to connect to them. Students will explore those things that are philosophically driven and which connect the principles of leadership and the practice of management in setting and supporting goals.

On the practical side, history is a defining factor in the understanding of process in any given environment. This class starts with a sense of history of the school the theater the players involved.

We will explore how the production process is applied in the theater school, a guide, of how to do it, where to get it, who does it, where do we get it. What are the rules, who decides, all of those questions we as managers of process need to understand

Course Requirements:

Class Attendance;                      More than 3 absences will result in “NX”

Class participation:                   As a Manager you must be engaged, the same is expected                                                                                           in class

Complete Assignments:            I anticipate several exact # TBD

Computer:                                   You may need a computer available from time to time.

Reading Materials, these books may be referenced; it is not necessary to purchase these books for class

The School Of Theater Student Handbook This will be a primary source of information for understanding how CalArts works. Will be available on the CalArts Theater School Website

The PM Hand Book

The SM Hand Book

9/15            Class 1 Introduction to the class

Just as a designer brings the design and an aesthetic, managers bring process and organization to the table. Mangers have the ability and responsibility of organizational and operational control. Control in this situation does not mean direction it means understanding where we are and where we are trying to get to. (Excerpt from Fundamentals of Project Management, definition of control pages 100 to 107)

Introduction to the philosophical and the practical

We all have our own ideas and understanding of the tasks relating to management, scheduling, notes, responding to requests and directives, setting specific rules around specific actions such as a rehearsal protocol, call times, reports etc. We need to get a consensus understanding of what the necessary and appropriate processes and protocols are and develop a common vocabulary. We need to consider those things that are more philosophically driven or motivated such as “engaging as an artist” setting and supporting goals, understanding the ideas of Leadership and the practice of management and how they work and how they are applied.

How is history important? Carol, Leslie Stephanie and Gary

History provides us with the single best opportunity to understand what is expected from us, the project our peers and colleagues and the best determining factor for procedures relating to goals.

9/22 Class 2 Hand Books; Stephanie, Leslie and Gary

Introduction into the Theater School Handbook

The place to start with history for CalArts is this publication;




Who is who?

9/29 Class 3 The Stage Manager Hand book

The Production Manager Handbook

10/6 Class 4 Reviewing the Basics

Finish handbook

Accessibility to project, to the process, to the team;

Follow Through and results;

10/13 Class 5 Communication Strategies,  (with Carol Bixler, Leslie Tamaribuchi, Stephanie Young

How we communicate sets the tone for success, options to live or die by

10/20 Class 6 Reviewing the Basics


Assign Ten Steps


10/27 Class 7 Reviewing the Basics

Schedule Grids due

Vocabulary due

The 10 steps assignment verbal/written presentations

Ten steps to mounting a production from five points of view, one                                                             is your own select 4 others from the following categories;

11/03 Class 8 Continue from Class 7

11/10 Class 9 Relationships (Guest Session)

11/03 Class 8 Relationships (Guest session)

Producing, Carol Bixler, Director of Design and Production, Head of Producing

Artistic Directing, Travis Preston, Head of Performance, Head of Directing, Artistic Director for the Center for New Performance

11/17 Class 10 Relationships (Guest session)

Directing, Nataki Garett, Associate Head of Acting, Director, Artistic Director of Blank the Dog Theater

Rafael Lopez-Barrantes

11/24 Class 11 Relationships (Guest session)

Production Management, TBA

12/01 Class 12 Relationships (Guest session)

Technical Direction, Michael Darling, Jeremiah Thies

12/08 Class 13 Relationships (Guest session)

Stage Management, Stephanie Young and TBA

12/15 Class 14 Relationships (Guest session)


Scenic Design, Chris Barreca

Costume Design, Ellen McCartney

Lighting, Don holder, Lap-Chi Chu

Sound, Jon Gottlieb

Video, TBD

Reading Materials; We will pull excerpts from the following sources;

Sun Tzu and The Art Of War  (Translation to be determined

The Rules OF Management by Richard Templar a Definitive Code for Managerial Success

We will explore various chapters in the books noted above. These are books I believe you should have in your Library. There will be some handouts as well. TBA

Fundamentals of Project Management, by James P Lewis

Supplemental Reading for the adventurous;

Sun Tzu, The Art of War 1910 translation by Lionel Giles (available on line at This document is used for comparative purposes with the Art OF War for Managers.

Know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.  If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained            you will also suffer a defeat.  If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

The very natures of the processes we manage present the opportunity for                                                 conflict or at least divided interest. The artist is by need vested in their                                                 vision and therefore highly motivated to achieve it. As managers we need                                                 to understand the dynamics of that emotional investment and how to                                                 engage at the appropriate level with the appropriate understanding. In                                                 order to accomplish this we must first learn what is expected, needed and                                                 wanted.


CalArts              Theater School

Course Syllabus For          Production Management II

Tuesday 1:10 am TO 3:00 pm                   Café B         gkechely

Course Description:

This class is designed as an extension of Management for the Theater. We will pick up with a discussion with design and how to best implement our relationship and communications by establishing associated and achievable expectations. Next we will explore the needs of, budgeting, we will discuss concepts of budgeting, what budgets represent, the questions one needs to ask when constructing a budget. This section will culminate in the “Yellow Pad Budget” exercise, which will be done over 2 class periods. Section 3

Course Requirements:

Class Attendance;                   More than 3 absences will result in “NX”

Class participation:                As a Manager you must be engaged, the same is expected                                                                                       in class. No one gets a free ride, your voice is important and we                                                                            need to hear it. There are no dumb questions or comments we are                                                                           all hear to practice our craft and learn

Grading                                  Grading is based on class participation, complet4ion of assignments and                                                              attendance. A pass is given for doing the work completely; a high  pass                                                                   is given  for showing leadership in class and going beyond in discussion and                                                         assignments.

Assignments:                      Some assignments have been Identified, some will be discovered                                                                       in process, exact # TBD

Computer:                          A computer will be necessary in many classes

Reading Materials;

Fundamentals of Project Management, by James P Lewis

We look at the similarities of project management and production management. We will learn the process of cost analysis.

I will purchase the books for those who do not already have one, and you can buy them from me at cost.

2/02 Class 1 Introduction to the class      TBA

2/09 Class 2 Project Management

Read, Fundamentals of Project Management and be prepared to discuss Chapters as per “E” hand out supplied.

2/16 Class 3 Project Management

Be prepared to discuss budget and scheduling concepts in depth

2/23 Class 4 Budgeting Class 1 Computer Required

Basic concepts

What is a budget? What does it represent to the team? How do we decide? What is the Process of budgeting, where to begin? Hand out the “Yellow Pad Exercise” where you will be asked to develop a budget for a “Run Out” production.

3/02 Class 5 Budgeting Class 2 Yellow Pad Exercise            Computer Required

You will be expected to come in with a completed “YP” Budget for “In Class” review

3/09 Class 6 Scheduling, 10-11 Timeline                        Computer Required

We will begin to develop the 10-11 timeline and related information. Depending on the number in class we will divide into teams with assignments for completion each week.

  1. Fall and Spring production Timeline
  2. Production “At-A-Glance”
  3. Project Information sheet composite
  4. Individual project information sheets

3/16 Class 7 Scheduling, 10-11 Timeline                        Computer Required

3/23 Class 8 SPRING BREAK

3/30 TO 3/29 Plan Reading                                    Computer Required

Scheduling continues

I will provide a set of plans which we will approach as though we were looking at the project

4/06 Class 9 Plan Reading                                    Computer Required

Scheduling Continues

4/13 Class 10 Safety Plans                                    Computer Required

What is a Safety Plan? What needs to be included? When does it need to be turned in? Who needs to sign off on it? Who’s help do I need to produce the information?

4/20 Class 11 Safety Plans you will be handed a design plan and asked to create a safety plan

4/27 Class 12 Final Scheduling class         Computer Required

5/4 Class 13 Last Class


CalArts                                                                      Theater School

Course Syllabus                                                      Special topics in Leadership

and Management

Thursday 1:10 to 4:00                 D 309              Gkechely

Course Description: L&M  from 08.09 School Year

This course is designed as an exploration of varied approaches to Management and Leadership ideologies and techniques. The class will be divided into 3 sections. We will read 1 book in each section.

Students will be asked to suggest topics for discussion at the top of each class. And be prepared to lead the discussion on their selected topics. There will be one written assignment, for a final presentation and discussion. The students will select a principle or ideology from the text, write a position paper referencing your agreement or disagreement with the principle or ideology and make a formal presentation to the class on the topic

Course Requirements and expectations;:

Class Attendance;         More than 3 absences will result in “No Credit”

Assignments:                 It is expected the student will attend each class prepared to present and lead the discussion on his/her selected topics. Select write and present a position paper to the class and guests.

Leadership;                  Your willingness to express discuss and defend your view point  and lead others to that view point is an important principle of  Production Management and therefore an important part of this class. It is necessary for the student to be able to identify ideals, philosophies and principles which may be applied to a management structure and to be able to speak to those issues Management is both a debate and a negotiation, and requires a dedicated opinion and an ability to hear the opinion of others.

Presentations:               Each student will select a topic for a position paper to be both written and presented orally. Presentations will be made over one or two class periods depending on the number of students in the class. Presentations will be made to guests from the PM 1 class, MFA 3 PM’s if scheduling permits as well as invited faculty. To that end each student will need to provide an outline of the topic on which they are speaking for those attending by the class on 12/04. You are allowed to use any visual aid, video aid you deem necessary and appropriate to make your case. There will be a Q and A following your presentation. Presentations and Q and A are expected to take 30 minutes.

Reading Materials;

Sun Tzu and The Art Of War For Managers by Gerald A. Michaelson Meetings on

Leadership Secrets Of Colin Powell by Oren Harari

Developing the Leader within You by John C. Maxwell

(Supplemental reading only)

Sun Tzu, The Art of War 1910 translation by Lionel Giles (available on  line at This document is used for comparative purposes with the Art OF War For Managers.

Section One

9/11 Class 1 Sun Tzu and the Art of War for Managers, read through Chapter 4, select 4 topics for discussion, (1 from each chapter)

9/18 Class 2 TAW…Through Chapter 8, select topics for discussion, one from each chapter

9/25 Class 3 TAW…Through Chapter 13, select topics for discussion, one from each chapter

Section Two

10/2 Class 4 The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell read

Part I, Select 3 topics for discussion

10/9 Class 5 Part II, Select 3 topics for discussio

10/16 Class 6 Part III, Select 3 topics for discussion

Section Three

10/23 Class 7 Developing the Leader within You; read through Chapter 3, select 3 topics for discussion, (1 from each chapter)

10/30 Class 8 Read through Chapter 6, Select 3 topics for discussion

11/06 Class 9 Read through Chapter 10, Select 3 topics for discussion


11/13 Class 10 Select Topics for Your Position Paper form one of the books, defending or denying an ideology, concept or philosophy based on                                        your own belief.

11/20 Class 11 Presentation Preparations Outlines on topics are due for  distribution

11/27 No Class Thanksgiving

12/04 Class 12 TBD Based on number of students in class; either presentation prep or Round One of presentations.

12/11 Class 13 Finish presentations…Last Class



Wednesdays 1:10 PM to 4:00 PM

Room E314

Course Description: Budgeting for the Theater from 08.09 School Year

Class Overview:

  • This class will learn the budgeting process by creating a season budget for a LORT Theater made up of the individual show choices. You will use current or past CalArts show or a show you know well. The class will be given a budget format to use, but will be expected to do research into specific show expenses, contract specifics etc. in order to complete the budgeting process.

Class Requirements;

  • Your attendance and participation are important; this class is based on staying current with class work as well free discussion of concepts and practically based information.
  • Completion of reading assignments
  • Completion of projects
  • Bring your computer

1/28     # 1       Introduction to the Budgeting Process

  • Explanation of the class format
  • Yellow Pad Budget

2/4       #2        Framework of Budgeting

  • Process overview
  • Hand out of budget format with discussion

2/11     #3        Beginning the process

  • Assumptions Sheet

2/18     #4        Creatives

2/25     #5        Performers and Music

3/4       #6        Physical Production

3/11     #7        Physical Production

3/18     #8        Other and Miscellaneous, start Stage Crew


4/1       #9        Stage Crew

4/8       #10      Stage Crew

4/15     #11      Budget Review and cut down

4/22     #12      Budget Review and Cut Down

4/29     #13      Final Budget Due

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