Case Study: Show Scheduler
The National Comedy Theater in San Diego has a cast of 25 actors wanting to perform in its weekly improv comedy show. Each show only allows at maximum of 9 players to perform per show. In addition, cast members are not always available for every show. The director of NCT was finding that casting each show was a laborious task each month.
Every month each cast member submitted a spreadsheet indicating what shows they where available to perform. The director would merge 25 spreadsheets and then cast each show looking at who was available to perform in each show and select nine people. He would then e-mail the spreadsheet to each actor. He would also have to republish the spread sheet each week if there were changes to the schedule.
The task took the director 2 hours to schedule shows each month and an additional hour throughout the month to communicate changes to the schedule.
The solution was to build a web-based scheduling application. Each month, the director would post all available shows on the scheduler. The cast would log into the scheduler and select from a list of shows, the ones they were available for.
Once everyone has completed the show selection process, the director can look at each individual show and cast it based on a list of players who have made themselves available.
Once shows have been cast, a master calendar is immediately published for the cast to view.
In addition, to the scheduling system, the scheduler also has a cast directory, which is updated as new actors are added and removed. The theater's website is able to publish the cast performing in upcoming shows automatically based on the scheduling system. Finally, I created a "Workshop Manager" to collect the name and contact information of anyone interested in taking improv comedy classes.
Monthly show set up - 5 minutes. Cast show notification - 5 to 10 minutes. Casting Process - 30 minutes. Communication - 15 minutes. The show scheduler saved the director 2 to 2.5 hours every month in time and most of all aggrevation.
- Improv Workshop Manager
- Show Scheduling System
- Show Reports
- Microsoft Access