REFLECTIONS ON MANAGEMENT

The fusion of creativity and technology is a driving force behind some of the most imaginative, high profile public projects we have seen over the last few years; one need only consider the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games to see what can be produced with such positive collaboration. But our awareness of the collaboration between athletes and their support teams as demonstrated during the games themselves is equally important, the consolidated effort of everyone involved, working towards a single shared vision, one goal.

The focus of my current research, for which this site is a portal, is an exploration of the role of management in bringing such diverse fields and groups of people together in order to achieve synergy.

The aim; to develop a wider understanding of Management and the Creative Mind.

CREATIVITY

How much of what we do is truly creative? In reality, much of it is merely curative. In the words of Carl Sagan (American Astro-physicist; 1934-1996): "In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe."

So what do we actually mean by creativity? Is it perhaps simply using a fresh approach; putting things together in new ways; manipulating our materials imaginatively in order to stimulate the senses?

COLLABORATION

And collaboration, central to everything we do, is so well summed up by Phil Jackson (American Basketball Coach; 1945-): "The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team."

Alternatively... The whole is more than the sum of its parts.  A translation from Aristotle’s Metaphysica (c360BCE), noting that the original “more than” does not necessarily mean “greater than”, it may be taken to mean “more than merely”. Back in ancient Greece and presumably before that, it was recognised that working together, we could achieve so much more than working alone.

MANAGEMENT

Management is all about the people we work with. As Stuart Pearce (English Football Manager; 1962-) said: "I think management is about just that - managing people via man-to-man skills."

Collaborating with others to create something synergous, something in which we all invest and of which we can all be proud is surely something for which we all aim to strive. What is the role of Management in this process? Bringing factions together, facilitating a creative working environment and keeping track of resources; building and maintaining productive relationships. I would simply suggest it is all of these things, but that it is the way in which we achieve them that elevates the role from important to vital.

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PROFILE

Having spent a large part of my career as a Stage Manager and Company Manager, including twelve years at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, I am now building on the knowledge and skills I have developed over my time in theatre; enjoying new directions in teaching, writing and research.


CURRENT

In 2008, I started lecturing at Rose Bruford College. I was awarded a Masters Degree (with distinction) in Theatre Practices through the same institution in 2009 and more recently, a Post Graduate certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education leading to a fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Teaching management theory & technique, stage management, score reading and web design, I am also responsible for Professional Preparation across all Production programmes and coordinate the academic studies for our International students.

As part of this role, I was instrumental in the rewrite of the stage management programme at Rose Bruford and in addition, I am the external examiner for the Technical Theatre and Stage Management programme at East 15.

Keeping in touch with industry contacts over the last couple of years, I have worked with both British Youth Opera and Music Theatre Wales as Company Manager. I have also lectured at the University of Kent and more recently have worked closely with the Royal Shakespeare Company on their OPEN STAGES initiative, running skills exchange workshops up and down the country.

Alongside this work, I am also conducting research at doctoral level exploring collaboration in the performing arts, management and the creative mind.


AND A BRIEF HISTORY

Born in Swansea and raised in Kent, I went to a Boys' School in Rochester, where I played many of the female parts in school plays. My LADIES CAPULET
Romeo & Juliet/Lady Capulet
and TEAZLE,
School for Scandal/Lady Teazle
not to mention my CECILY CARDEW
The Importance of being Ernest/Cecily
and my FRENCH MAID
Hands Across the Sea/Maid
were very well received and won me the Drama Prize in my final year.

Whilst at school, I started to learn to play the Piano, this led to an interest in composition and much later, I was lucky enough to have one of my miniatures played as part of a concert in the Crush Room at the Royal Opera House.

After school came Amateur Dramatics. I was on follow spot for a production of LOCK UP YOUR DAUGHTERS and realised I'd found my vocation, going on to train in Guildford where I specialised in Set Design and Lighting, winning the Stage Management Prize.

My first job was as an Assistant Stage Manager at the Civic Theatre in Chesterfield. I then became Stage Manager in Worthing,
Team Worthing
moving on to Bromley and Windsor;
The Band
all around the Country and into the West End before joining the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Team ROH

There was a lot of touring and travelling involved here: in the UK, from Bradford to Bath, via Clwyd, Chichester and Coventry. Worldwide to Japan,
Mount Fuji
China,
Team China
Egypt,
The Great Pyramid
Qatar,
The Aspire Sports Stadium
Sri-Lanka, Scandinavia,
Team Savonlinna
France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Luxembourg and Sicily.

Interspersed with work as a Stage Manager, there was time to do some acting
I, an Actor
and singing;
Godspell/Jesus
time too for writing, graphics and music. Current interests include painting and sculpting, photography, computer aided design and web design.

Many of the experiences I identify here influence my current work, I hope in a very positive fashion.

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RESEARCH

Here, I include research proposals, current projects and finished papers. Some include downloads and some include links to other resources or sites.


THE PRODUCTION BOOK

2012 - Current

It’s about the people, not the paperwork; how can we get ourselves out of the office and back onto the floor?

A project to develop a website/web-app for use by production departments in the theatre and associated performing arts industries. Whilst valuable in its own right, this project forms a major part of my doctoral research outlined below.

PROJECT SKETCH SITE - Trying out the layout and developing the information sharing UI
PROJECT SITE - In prototype, but you can register as a viewer
PROJECT PAGE - Introductions and thoughts on the development of the project


THERE'S NOT ENOUGH SMOKE COMING OUT OF THE MOOSE'S NOSTRILS!

2011 - Current

A research project exploring the management of the creative process in the performing arts industries

The fusion of creativity and technology is a driving force behind some of the most imaginative, high profile public projects we have seen over the last few years; one need only consider the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games to see what can be produced with such positive collaboration. But our awareness of the collaboration between athletes and their support teams as demonstrated during the games themselves is equally important, the consolidated effort of everyone involved, working towards a single shared vision, one goal.

The focus of my current research, for which this site is a portal, is an exploration of the role of management in bringing such diverse fields and groups of people together in order to achieve synergy.

The aim; to develop a wider understanding of Management and the Creative Mind.

PROJECT PAGE


THE iSM PROJECT

2010 - Current

Encouraging an INTELLIGENT approach to STAGE MANAGEMENT

Centred around a desire to share existing knowledge by building a database of resources for students of stage management, this project aims to encourage those students to consider elements of their management practice as they go about their studies and practical work by offering a selection of tips and other resources as food for thought on a daily basis.

PROJECT SITE
PROJECT PAGE


WHOSE STUDENTS ARE THEY ANYWAY?

With Pat O'Toole - Spring 2012

A research project at Rose Bruford College, looking at how we encourage notions of collaboration within HE for the Performing Arts

DOWNLOAD PAPER


TEACHING THE TECH

September 2011

An action research project exploring an approach to teach the intricacies of the Technical Rehearsal to undergraduate Stage Management Students

DOWNLOAD PAPER


BURNING CANDLES, DYING STARS

April 2011

A case study questioning the pedagogical value in suggesting that students should work to the hours specified in the EU Working Time Directive

DOWNLOAD PAPER

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