During a concert, the conductor constantly communicates with members of the orchestra using a series of movements and gestures. Each point of their finger or swoop of their arm has a different meaning to help keep the musicians playing in sync and hitting their cues and emphasizing different parts of the music at different times. The conductor is also crucial in recover if something goes wrong, such as the entire flute section coming in three measures early!
There are many occasions during a theatre production that cast and crew members need to communicate silently with each other. Sometimes it's because it's too loud to hear even the loudest stage manager. Sometimes it's so that we don't interrupt the rhythm of rehearsal. And sometimes it's to maintain the illusion of magic on stage.
For Shuddersome: Tales of Poe, we're using ASL signs to communicate. Signs we've learned so far for general use during rehearsals:
We're also learning these for cues within some of the scenes, in order to help the Shudders (the ensemble) all stay together during the complex back-and-forth of Tell-Tale Heart. The hand not making the sign may indicate the number of times the line is said: