Last week, the cast of the Broadway musical Hamilton paid tribute to the hard working technicians of Broadway. Unless you have a certain kind of seat in a very specific technical set-up, you're probably never going to see these behind the scenes professionals at work in a large theater. The last I remember was the sound and lighting engineer sitting far left in the mezzanine at Alan Cumming's Macbeth. But what you'll never see unless you're backstage yourself is the stage manager calling the show.
In this video, writer/composer/star Lin-Manuel Miranda introduces stage manager Jason Bassett to the crowd of people waiting for the Hamilton ticket lotto. Miranda brings out the cast of the show to perform "Ten Duel Commandments" while Bassett calls the show on a microphone.
So what is Jason Bassett doing? He's calling all the light, sound, and rotating platforms needed to safely run the production. "Go" is the cue word for every separate cue in a show. Meaning, every time the lights change, every time sound effects are triggered, every time a set piece is moved or a projection changes, the production stage manager gives the cue by saying "Go." It's a difficult job that not a lot of people understand. It's also the kind of job that isn't really noticed unless something goes wrong onstage.
Hamilton is a new Broadway musical retelling the life of Alexander Hamilton through rap, dance, and song. It features a diverse cast of actors meant to represent America in the present exploring the impact of our own history. It's an ambitious musical, critically acclaimed, and already very difficult to get tickets for. It's going to run for a long time.