I had to smile. Labour intensive? Exposure of theatrical stuff, like Jack says is always tricky. Some scenes are deliberately gloomy, others excessively bright and video cameras hate both. The use of face light to for the performer is common, and allows all sorts of brightness and colour changes elsewhere, so every scene, or sometimes more than once in a scene manual intervention is required. Theatre video (what 90% of my business is) requires plenty of hard work. manual focus and manual exposure are number one on my list. Auto might work in an evenly lit, choir concert, but it will fail you so easily – burnt out faces are difficult for auto systems to cope with – on the stage – one face is far too small for the camera to determine it even IS a face!
I find that finding the brightest state they are using and setting that as my maximum, works fine, and as my lenses have iris dials, I can ride the iris if I have to, but during the sscen it's rare. Worst case is when a scene is mostly dim, but then ramps up for the FUF – full up finish! Not as common as it was, but musicals often have a bump on the end, where levels perk up – maybe not full up – as that's an old concept, but a song that ends de-de-DE-DE DUH! is a warning. Personally I'm quite happy riding the iris.