The production manager coordinates the design team, and helps them achieve their designs practically and in a way which fits the vision of the director. A good production manager should be able to absolve the producer of any technical and design tasks and responsibilities. For a medium to large scale show, having a dedicated production manager who is not holding any other role in the production is beneficial to the overall workings of the team as they are available to resolve any creative conflicts and offer additional support to less experienced team members.
The responsibilities of the production manager can vary greatly, but often include finding designers and assistants, scheduling and minuting production meetings, liaising with venue staff, keeping track of hires, writing the risk assessment, collating any paperwork, and ensuring each department is on track. They are also in charge of planning and running the get in, get out, and tech rehearsal and are the general head of operations once you’re in the venue. In the Playhouse, the production manager will also manage the set build.
Since production managers work across all design and technical departments, it is not a suitable role for beginners and they should preferably have prior experience in at least one field of backstage work.