Don’t forget these backstage guidelines to help the smooth running of the performance and keep everyone safe and happy. Patience can run thin at times of high stress so it’s important everyone knows and understands what the rules are before the show.
- Everyone should sign in when they arrive so you know they are there. Have a parent helper by the stage door to sign children in and out after show.
- Allocate dressing rooms so that the ‘busiest’ performers are closest to the stage and locate ‘quick change areas’ for seniors at the side of the stage.
- Have a list displayed showing everyone which children are which dressing rooms.
- Get each child to provide a labelled bag or container in which to keep their personal belongings
to save lost items and tears after the show.
- Tell them to stay in their designated area at all times so that they can be easily ‘found’ when called.
Performers could miss their entrance if they are not in the right place on cue.
- It is wise to put very young performers in a dressing room in which they can have a TV or DVD player on low volume to keep them quiet and distracted. It is also sensible to locate younger children as far away from the stage as possible as they find it more difficult to be quiet for a long time. Scrap paper, wax crayons rather than felt tips are useful.
- Be conscious of escaping light from doors opening backstage. Tell the children that when waiting in the wings, if you can see the audience, they can see you (and so can the video camera.)
Stay out of sight, especially arms, legs, hands and feet.
Using masking tape, place a line to mark the area over which performers should not cross.