The Zen Room Procedure Manual

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This is the original procedure manual written by Christopher Ambler in 1995 for The Zen Room, which was the California Polytechnic State University's (Cal Poly - SLO) Rocky Horror cast. The Zen Room only performed Rocky a few times a year, but they did it in a BIG way! The author of the Rocky Horror Sourcebook, James Norman noted, "I should also mention that Chris Ambler is the Rocky fan who devirginized me in Santa Barbara in 19.... well, nevermind! With the exception of some endnotes and one title change, this is the whole of their procedures manual."

Definition of Positions

Production Positions

Production Positions are those positions necessary for the production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Executive Producer

The ultimate responsibility for the show rests with the executive producer. The executive producer should be aware of all aspects of the production, and should be prepared to step in at any time to insure that everything gets done on time and correctly. The executive producer has final authority over all production decisions, without exception. The executive producer shall hold no production part on stage. The executive producer shall be responsible for the creation and publication of the agenda for all meetings.

Assistant Producer

The assistant producer assists the executive producer in the production of the show. The assistant producer also has the following specific duties:

  • Ensuring that tickets are printed correctly and on time
  • Distributing the tickets to the sales venues
  • Picking up the tickets and money from the sales venues and getting it to the house director before the box office opens

Publicity Director

The publicity director shall be responsible for all publicity for the actual production. This includes:

  • Fliers
  • Handbills
  • Radio, Television and Print notices
  • Farmer's Market Appearances
  • UU Booths and Fairs
  • Zen Room Banner Placement

Cast Director / Assistant Cast Director

The cast director shall be responsible for all stage direction of the cast. The cast director's decision for roles in a performance shall be final (with the exception of the executive producer's right to override). The cast director is responsible for training the assistant cast director.

Trannie Director

The trannie director shall be responsible for all stage direction of the trannies, but shall defer all authority to the cast director in case of conflict of direction.

Technical Director

The technical director shall be responsible for all technical aspects of the production, including

  • Theatre Lighting
  • Theatre Sound
  • Film Logistics
  • Pranks Coordinator

Stage Manager / Props Manager

The stage manager shall be responsible for all on-stage activity not already covered by the cast and trannie directors. This includes:

  • Props (setup, strike, move, procurement)
  • Cast Cue List
  • Backstage
  • Green Room
  • Dressing Rooms
  • Green Room Munchies

House Manager

The house manager shall be responsible for the operation of the house, including:

  • Ticket Sales
  • Concessions
  • In-Theatre Crowd Control
  • In-Theatre Door Monitors
  • After-Show Cleanup
  • Comps, Seat Assignments and Reservations, and Seating Topoff

Security Manager

The security manager is responsible for the management of the security team, including:

  • Securing all entrances/exists of the theatre and insuring that there are no sneak-ins as well as keeping the fire exits clear.
  • Being the first point of contact in case of an emergency. Either responding to the emergency or contacting theatre personnel to do so.
  • Frisking patrons at the door and ensuring that there is no disallowed material coming into the theatre.
  • Escorting patrons and/or cast members to their cars after the show
  • Outside crowd control

Makeup Director

The makeup director shall ensure that the inventory of makeup is always sufficient for the next performance, and ensure that all cast members are made up in time for the show. The makeup director shall publish a makeup call prior to the show to inform cast members when they are expected for their makeup session.

Costume Director

The costume director shall insure that the inventory of costumes is always sufficient for the next performance, and ensure that all cast members are in costume in time for the show. The costume director shall publish a costume call prior to the show to inform cast members when they are expected for their costuming session. The costume director shall keep an accurate inventory of all costume pieces and be responsible for procurement of needed material.


  1. All essential communications will be in writing, and archived. Communications sent via the mailing list will satisfy this requirement.
  2. The treasurer shall make a report, in writing, to the executive producer monthly, on or before the next scheduled meeting. This report shall contain current balance, all transactions over the past 30 days, and any financial matters of immediate importance to the next performance. This report shall be given at the next scheduled meeting.
  3. Nobody leaves until the theatre is clean, except those actively moving props offsite or escorting people to their cars. The house manager may excuse people from this rule.
  4. The executive producer shall submit a budget request to each department head at least 30 days prior to each performance or group of performances. The budget request shall outline the estimated expense limit for that department, as well as the expected items and/or services needed. Each department shall submit to the executive producer a budget no later than 15 days prior to the next performance, outlining the actual monies needed for the performance. The executive producer shall then either approve or disapprove the budget. If it is disapproved, the executive producer shall reach a revised budget with the department head no later than 10 days before the performance.
  5. No department head may overrun their budget by more than 5% without the approval of the assistant producer or producer. Failure to acquire approval may result in expenditures not being reimbursed.
  6. All receipts for budget items must be submitted to the treasurer by way of the department head within 2 calendar weeks of the first Monday following a performance. Failure to submit receipts in time may result in the reimbursement being delayed until the next performance cycle.
  7. Dress rehearsal is mandatory. If a cast member does not attend dress rehearsal without the express permission to be absent from the executive producer, that cast member will not perform. Their role will be played by the next person in the rotation. All other crew positions must attend as well.
  8. Due to item 7, all those next-in-rotation are considered understudies, and must attend dress rehearsal and performances as well.
  9. Money is the responsibility of the house manager until the lock box is handed over to the theatre. Once all ticket sales are complete, the concession money is added to the lock box and taken upstairs to Bob, who shall lock it in the cabinet. After the show, the treasurer shall recover the lock box.
  10. It is the responsibility of the club president to return the film to Films Inc. as well as retrieve it from the ASI box and insure that it is at the theatre for all rehearsals and performances.
  11. The VP shall take minutes at the meetings and insure that they are posted to the mailing list.
  12. All pranks must be cleared with the tech director, and all technical requests must be registered with the tech director by technical rehearsal day.
  13. Meetings are the FIRST TUESDAY of every month, and are mandatory by default. The executive or assistant producer may designate a meeting as optional if there is no significant business to transact.
  14. Those in the performance rotation who are not performing or understudy will be assigned to another job by the cast director if they are not already signed up to work another job or have requested a bye for the performance in question. Those not working to the satisfaction of the cast director may be dropped from the performance rotation.


  • The reference to "UU" means University Union, aka Student Union, Student Plaza, etc.
  • Films, Inc. is a standard film company that deals with college campuses, and yes, they DO have Rocky Horror.
  • The reference to ASI, is "Associated Students, Inc.," A student body organization.

This article originally appeared in The Rocky Horror Sourcebook, which is Compilation Copyright (C) 1997 The Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club All original material (Content) Copyright (C) 1997 The Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club, This Edition (C) 1999 Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club All other material (Content) belongs to the orignal copyright holders, used with permission. HTML Copyright (C) 1997, 1998, 1999 by James Norman