Writing credits for small theater productions.
May 11, 2013 2:54 PM   Subscribe

Are there some established practices for writing credits (cast and crew) on theater productions? In my case, I make weekly audioplays and have five to ten people helping me each week, with some people working in multiple roles. So I don't need to do too much here. But I'd like to present the project and the people that work on it professionally. And I'd like to be fair and consistent in how people are credited, avoiding angst and hurt feelings.

Questions arise like, "In what order should cast members be listed?", "If actors adlib, should I list a writing credit?", "What's the industry-recognized term for the work this person did?" Is there something like a Strunk & White Elements of Style for putting credits together? What is a good way to make sure I get it right?
posted by ErikH2000 to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Cast members are listed in order of appearance or audio. Adlibs are not writing credits.
posted by Ideefixe at 3:18 PM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

@Ideefixe, thanks! Those answers are useful to me. But I want not just the answers to these questions, but others that will come up too. Can you recommend a book or someplace to find the info? Books I've read on screenplay writing don't seem to cover it.
posted by ErikH2000 at 3:23 PM on May 11, 2013

Most films (esp. old ones) did the cast by appearance. Modern day has names above the title, due to contractual obligations, etc. Do you have access to any old Playbills etc?
posted by Ideefixe at 3:34 PM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Re your questions about crew roles and correct titles, IMDB can help if it's a film project. That said, standards are different across different forms.

For example in theatre there's a role called a "dramaturg" for someone who does research in order to help the cast and crew understand the playwright's intentions and the overall context of the play. This is a HUGE creative role in theatre and is usually credited alongside the director, stage manager, and other very important jobs. In TV and film, on the other hand, those tasks are usually given to a low-level assistant called either "writer's assistant" or "script coordinator", a role that appears very far down in the credits if at all.

Audioplays have their own credit conventions, I'm sure. Do you know other people who produce audioplays? How do they do it? What titles do they use, and in what order do they appear? Are there published guides to producing an audioplay?

One thing I'll add that you didn't ask, because you note that you have a small crew. It's usually better to assign each person one title that comes as close as possible to describing what they actually did. For example for short films I've worked on where I'm basically running a one person art department, I'm usually listed as the Production Designer or Art Director, not one of those and prop master, set decorator, graphic designer, etc etc etc. For a small crew, it's OK that "Art Director" doesn't strictly describe someone who handles props.
posted by Sara C. at 4:19 PM on May 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

Perhaps guidelines from the BBC will help? Additional info here.
posted by dirm at 11:40 AM on May 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

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