Prompt responsibilities

The position of prompt for a production is an extremely important one. In many groups, particularly smaller ones, the prompt may also be the director’s assistant or production secretary.

Duties are:

Read the play in advance of your attending.

As rehearsals progress, enter in the prompt script any cuts as decided by the director and check that actors’ and stage crews’ scripts have similar changes. (rights permitting)

Mark all pauses/beats in the action and dialogue, so you will not be giving prompts too soon or unnecessarily. (Don’t panic, you will learn to breathe with the actors and feel their rhythm)

Attend all rehearsals as scheduled once the cast members are working without their scripts.

It is essential that the cast has complete confidence in the prompt, so you must follow the script exactly, give any prompts required in a clear loud voice, enough to carry to the actor. (actors go a little deaf with the rush of energy and performance mode)

Don’t tell them they’re wrong – just give the line.

Position the prompt script on a music stand or similar at eye-line height, so you can see the actors over the top and not have to keep looking up and down.

Prompts are frequently not used during performance these days. It is considered that if the actors don’t know their lines – they have no right going on-stage!

In the rehearsal break, help the director avoid the crush and get them a cupa as there are always people who need to talk to them.