A tip to the new musical director is to make a note of everything in a director’s copy of the script, or prompt book.
This book is a director’s life and soul, listing directions, cues, stage diagrams and so on. (If you order from Mad Hatter, ask for a director’s script copy as one of your extra copies – see article about copyright requirements).
If you have a script printed on only one side of the paper, make the facing blank page a place for staging diagrams. This can be done quite roughly or by sticking in scaled diagrams which have been duplicated. Then all movements can recorded and changes easily made.
When you first start studying the script, highlight all entrances and exits, action directions and character names. Highlight all the cues in a different colour. These can then be written into the musical score. Each production team (for example lightning crew, sound engineers, props and stage crew) will need their own copies of the script with relevant directions.
As rehearsal continues, this book will be invaluable for making quick notes about everything: quick ideas, even small movements and actions, speech variations, gestures, noting staging changes, lighting needs, prop placements and use, and adding direct and indirect actions.
[direct actions are necessary for the plot, indirect actions are extra actions to flesh out the action]
Enter also warnings as necessary. These are alerts for conductor/lighting crew/actors/sound crew and so on regarding important calls to action coming up soon.
Really the prompt book or director’s script is an essential tool for every director and will be found invaluable for making notes on everything pertaining to your production.