How to be a stage manager

How to be a stage manager

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During theater rehearsals, the stage manager acts as the director’s assistantdconveying instructions to the actors and crew and making sure they’re carried out. She takes care of the logistics of set changes, evaluates whether the actors express themselves according to the script and tracks changes in the production. When rehearsals are over and the show begins its official run, the director leaves. This puts the stage manager. He makes sure the actors play their roles as rehearsal, that the technical team handles lighting and other effects on demand, and that the show runs smoothly and on time. Maybe he learns his skills at work or school.


According to the Stage Managers Association, the way to learn how to manage the internship is by doing it. Since the job does not require an education, many stage managers learn their craft in the theater. They may start out as actors with small roles who, without rehearsal, shout on set, contact absent performers, or place certain props throughout the show. Thanks to their talent and willingness to manage and organize, they continue with more administration tasks, such as telling the technical team when to play sound effects. They can then help full stage directors with larger productions before handling the smaller shows themselves.

Prospective stage managers can also learn their craft through the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Stage Management, available at some colleges and universities. The degree offers a foundation in all aspects of theater such as design, production, performance and directing. Depending on the student’s interests, the education may focus on acting, movement, voice and speech, or concentrate on set design, construction and technical skills. To complete their studies, students generally have to participate in several school productions to gain practical experience.

For those with experience or a bachelor’s degree in a theatrical subject, a Master of Fine Arts in stage management may prove a more suitable education. This degree program generally assumes a basic understanding of the fundamentals of the scene and can be oriented towards the development of organizational skills. The courses focus on management and organization issues. Participants will learn advanced concepts such as marketing, theatrical safety, and law. Then they meet with students from other theatrical disciplines such as acting, directing and design to develop different school productions.


Whether part of a university program or just a way of further training, many professional theaters offer internships and apprenticeships in stage management. Some of these positions offer college scholarships and credit and some do not. Some may even award “points” which ultimately lead to membership in Actor’s Equity, the theater syndicate. All internships give the inexperienced the chance to work in a real theater under the supervision of a professional producer and director.

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Aurelio Locsin has been writing professionally since 1982. He published his first book in 1996 and is a frequent contributor to many Internet publications, specializing in technical, commercial and consumer topics. Locsin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Science and Technology Communication from the University of Washington.

Last updated: October 9, 2020 References

This article was written by Kendall Payne. Kendall Payne is a writer, director and comedian based in Brooklyn, New York. Kendall specializes in directing, writing and producing comedy shorts. Her films have screened on Indie Short Fest, Brooklyn Comedy Collective, Channel 101 NY and 8 Ball TV. She has also written and directed content for Netflix’s social channels is a joke and has written marketing scripts for the films Between Two Ferns: The Movie, Astronomy Club, Wine Country, Bash Brothers, Stand Up Specials and more. Kendall directs an IRL online comedy show in Caveat called Extremely Online and a comedy show for @ssholes called Sugarp! ss to Easy Lover. She studied at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and Tisch at New York University (NYU) on the TV Writing Certificate program.

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Being part of a live art production can be very exciting and rewarding. The stage manager is responsible for the entire production and must know the secrets of each production he oversees. The stage manager needs to know how to get each production job done. Strong leadership and communication skills are also important. Once you have the necessary skills, you can apply to local schools and colleges, theaters and theaters, as well as concert halls and concert halls.

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How to be a stage managerStage managers typically provide practical and organizational support to the director, actors, designers, theater crew, and technicians throughout the production process. They also represent the director during the performances, ensuring the smooth flow of production.

The role of the producer is particularly important to the director during rehearsals. Here the director and stage manager work hand-in-hand, while the stage manager records the director’s block decisions and notes for the actors, keeping track of logistical and scheduling details and keeping the rest of the team informed of what happens during rehearsals. This allows the director to focus all his attention on directing.

Stage Managers have several key roles and responsibilities to complete at each stage of production, including:

  • planning and conducting tests
  • sending the director’s wishes to designers and artisans
  • coordinate the work of the theater troupe
  • activation signals and possibly input from the actors during the performance
  • supervision of the entire show every time it is performed

In consultation with the director, the stage manager establishes a schedule for all rehearsals and ensures that all involved are informed of rehearsal times, meetings, costume / wig rehearsal and coaching sessions. During the rehearsal phase, the stage managers also:

  • mark the size of the set on the floor of the rehearsal room
  • make sure the props and rehearsal equipment are available to the actors
  • participate in all tests
  • notify designers and craftsmen of changes made to the process

During rehearsals, the stage manager also records all the blocks, as well as all the changes of lights, sounds and scenery in the main copy of the script called the encouragement book. The information in the tip book also allows the stage manager to conduct technical rehearsals, calling out each technical signal in turn to determine exactly how it should be timed to coordinate with the action on stage.

The producer and technical director also develop a fluid and effective plan that the theater crew will follow as the scenario changes. Furniture and props plans for intricate stage sets are developed by the stage manager and technical designer to show exactly where the furniture and props on stage should be placed at the start of each stage and sometimes on the wings.

With the opening of the show, the director’s work is practically done. Now it is up to the stage manager to make sure that every aspect of the production goes as the director intended over and over again until the production is complete.

Sample Job Description & Duties

Assistant to the stage manager

Often needed in larger productions when the stage manager is at home, the ASM is often stationed right behind the stage to facilitate communication between the stage manager, crew and actors, as well as ensuring safety. ASM can often help with complex set changes, quick offstage changes, or setting the stage for a performance.

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How to be a stage manager

How to be a stage manager

The producer is often described as the glue of any production, a person who always knows what’s going on, where it’s going and how things are going.

A great stage manager is usually a calm, professional and organized person with a good basic knowledge of the performing arts and the ability to handle others with courtesy. To help you hone your skills and get closer to the next upcoming production, below is a short list of the commandments that must be followed to ensure proper scene management:

To be prepared.

Start preparing before your first production meeting by jotting down notes about your initial needs, schedules, or contacts. As some productions are always more difficult than others, it never hurts to do a little Google search to get an idea of ​​any common obstacles. And when the rehearsal period begins, make sure you always have a set of essentials with you, including everything from administrative things (pencils, chalk, duct tape, highlighters) to tools (flashlights, pens, batteries of all kinds and more. ). first aid basics, emergency sewing supplies (especially buttons and snaps) and more.

Know your contacts.

Always keep production contact information with you during all meetings, rehearsals, performances and more. A little administrative planning can be a godsend when an emergency pops up, so be sure to write, print, and copy call lists and rehearsal schedules as soon as they’re set. Soprattutto, assicurati sempre di avere le informazioni di contatto per tutti nella produzione, dal regista e assistente/i e altro personale, cast e troupe, ai gestori delle strutture o al personale addetto alle pulizie negli spazi delle prove (e delle esibizioni).

It collects good notes and gives good notes

In the life of a stage manager, especially during rehearsals, there are not too many notes. Then, he listens carefully to each meeting, taking in-depth notes on blocking, lighting, and technical tips as they arise, as well as any other noteworthy aspects. Write legibly in block letters and pencil until the show is staged.

Be thoughtful and professional when taking notes for the actors after the performances. Sometimes you’ll have to keep an eye on morale, so if an actor, for instance, flubbed six lines tonight, but four of them were minor omissions or rephrases? Save it for another note or talk to the actor privately later. Try to consciously indicate something positive by giving lots of notes as well as being a sweetener.

Know your blocking language and abbreviations.

To take good notes, you’ll need a working knowledge of stage terms and especially blocking language. For instance, if Chris is going to cross to upstage right during a monolog, you’d ideally write it in simplified forms, like this: C X USR next to that action in the script. Ten język pozwoli Ci szybko pisać notatki i w razie potrzeby dokładnie odtworzyć nawet skomplikowane ruchy sceniczne z powrotem do reżysera lub graczy.

Go ahead and make it fun

Producers are often the keepers of the production, keeping morale high, making sure everyone is happy, on time and doing their best. Therefore, cultivate a pleasant working atmosphere. Pay attention to breaks, jot down hours in your journals, and take candy and veggies to rehearsal for cast and crew for a snack (reimbursed if you can – common and justifiable). When it’s opening hours, hand out small gifts or heartfelt greetings in personal handwritten cards on grand opening night. Be sure to include everyone who helped bring the production to life, not just the cast and crew, but other volunteers, site support, housekeeping, and more.

You will be responsible.

Buck stops towards you. So come first and leave last. The stage manager’s job is as grueling as it is rewarding, and always being there is an important part of the job.

Keep the class.

This doesn’t mean you have to abandon the awesome casual feel of working in the theater. It simply means that you have to pay attention to how you present yourself. So try to present and look professional and casual too, try to stay classy, ​​with no low neckline, exposed bellies or torsos, etc.

Be polite!

As the stage manager, people will look to you for cues on how to behave, and for what’s acceptable during the production. So try to control your language and avoid swearing and insults or questionable references, even joking, between friends etc. Always be professional and polite. And during a boring rehearsal or difficult production, a simple smile or an encouraging word from you can accomplish great things, so make sure you’re always cheerful, helpful, and approachable.

You are not gossiping

It’s hard just because the theater is a fun place where we all make friends and relationships. But in short, while it’s fun to befriend the actors and crew while editing your production, make sure you keep a light but professional distance. Try to avoid too much fuss with the actors and absolutely not offend the director in front of the cast or crew, even casually or after hours. You should always put yourself on a united front with the director.

Know your technology!

Ideally, all stage managers should know how to operate the overhead projector, sound effects equipment, and commercials – this is invaluable knowledge for anyone in the theater. While not every stage manager can run a light board, you never know what will happen, and it’s always good to have good working knowledge of your lighting and sound equipment. At best, this will allow you to manage those crew members more efficiently, and at worst, you will be able to intervene in an emergency. Also, get used to common workarounds, bugs or headphone problems.

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How to be a stage manager

There are two ways to become a stage manager, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. One way is to learn by doing, moving through the ranks of the theater as an intern. Another way is to go to college and get a degree in theater while gaining hands-on experience. Either way, you should schedule many long hours and hard work.

The producer is a key member of the team in the play. He supervises the crew backstage while also ensuring that the cast’s needs are met. A good stage manager makes things work so well that most people don’t even realize what they’re doing, and that person is ready to deal with a wide variety of situations, from a missing actor to a broken one. Installers need to be flexible, think fast, and a good person can charge a very high salary for her services.

The most important thing to ask when considering a career in scene management is whether this career is right for you. Stage managers work very hard and the work is often very stressful. They need to be able to calmly cope with different personalities and situations, and they need to be willing to do any work, no matter how unpleasant it may seem. Even the best stage directors will clean the stage from time to time or leave someone else’s dry cleaning. Firm but polite and extremely organized people, while being composed and quick-witted, tend to do well as stage managers, while people with fiery personalities and a lack of organization may not do as well.

Traditionally, stage managers have learned through practice, often from their youth on. The advantage of an internship is that it allows you to explore every aspect of the work behind the scenes; a good stage manager is able to operate the overhead projector, manage the scenography, take care of the production sound, manage the props and so on. The best way to acquire these skills is to do them, be promoted to assistant stage manager, and eventually become stage manager.

By learning from internships, interns may not get the best salary, but sometimes they get the chance to work with highly talented directors, actors and theater crews and can create a network of connections that can be very useful later on. Ideally, trainees should progress through theater, starting with community theater and eventually ending with professional theater organizations. This allows them to pursue relationship status, which can be very beneficial for a professional career on stage.

Being a stage manager after your degree in theater also has its advantages. Some theaters like to work with graduates because they are well educated and have a broad knowledge of the history of theater. Most colleges with stage management programs also offer extensive learning opportunities in undergraduate theater and encourage students to do internships in area theaters to gain plenty of hands-on and hands-on experience. Undergraduate theater studies also allow anyone who wants to become a stage manager to earn a master’s degree in fine arts, which can be useful if they want to teach.

Since she started contributing to the site a few years ago, Mary has taken on the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking and exploring the great outdoors.

How to be a stage managerMary McMahon

Since she started contributing to the site a few years ago, Mary has taken on the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking and exploring the great outdoors.

How to be a stage manager

16 – 21: How to become a stage manager

Course dates:

Thursday 7 March, from 5pm to 8pm
Thursday 14 March, 5pm – 8pm
Thursday 21 March, from 5pm to 8pm
Thursday 28 March, from 5pm to 8pm

Duffield Study

This course is available for ages 16 to 21
To participate, you must be able to participate in every session.

£ 40 (Scholarships available)

If you love theater but don’t want to be in front of an audience, stage management could be for you.

On this course you’ll have the chance to come backstage at the National Theatre, work with our stage managers and try out the huge variety of jobs they undertake. From learning the basics of cues to building a list of items and having a hands-on conversation every day, it’s a great opportunity to expand your skills.

No previous experience is required, but you must be available for each session to participate.

To submit a question, please completethis formdThursday 21 February. This is your chance to tell us about your interest in theater. The more you tell us – counting on words – the more we will understand about you and why you want to participate.


We would never want the cost of a course or project to prevent someone from attending it. A limited number of fully and partially funded scholarship places are available. If you wish to request one, please indicate this on the form when applying.

What does the Stage Manager do?

What does the Stage Manager do?

STAGE MANAGER (often referred to as SM) works on production from the start of rehearsals to the last show and coordinates schedules and information for the creative team. SM assists the DIRECTOR during rehearsals, takes note of the block and is responsible for all backstage activities once the show is open. SCENE MANAGERS “activate” a show – which may include coordination of the on-board guide with LIGHTING OPERATORS, SOUND OPERATORS, DIRECTORS and ACTORS while maintaining communication for all aspects of production during the performances. Depending on the size and needs of production, there may be different categories of scene management, such as PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER, STAGE MANAGER, ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER.


Organization | Communication | Leadership | Troubleshooting | Attention to detail | multitasking | patience | Treatment


Assistant to the stage manager | Assistant director | Production Assistant | Scholarships | Practices | Volunteering | Practices | Diploma in Stage Management, Management and / or Theater Production

How to become a Stage Manager

How to become a Stage Manager

Many colleges and universities offer degrees and a concentration in stage management, as well as stage management opportunities for student-led productions. Many theaters also offer scholarships, internships or professional training as stage directors. Broadway producers often start out as assistants and are hired everywhere from the beginning of the casting to the last performance. Those who are just starting out may want to learn about the experience of working with student directors or as stage assistants.

How to be a stage manager

Many of the articles you read about becoming a stage manager these days focus on how hard the job is, how hard it is to find a job, how little money you will earn, and even how all the good positions are filled.

There are so many great ways to make your career successful. The trick is to change your perspective. Take the time to work out the definitions that have been presented to you so far and suddenly the pool of scene manager positions you may be hired for will increase significantly.

1. More than a stage manager: you are a freelancer

We often think of a career in MS as time spent producing, rehearsing and performing. This unfortunately takes us only partially. In this industry, it is a near guarantee that we won’t spend the entirety of our careers in the same role working for the same company. The freelancer is king in our world.

I will do it again.The freelancer is king.

Not only will you have to learn to work with hundreds of freelancers over the course of your career, but you will also need to level upmyself with the “gig economy” mentality. In some ways, you’re already prepared for this. Shows open and close and you’re off in search of the next opportunity. Wiadomość, że coraz więcej branż dostosowuje myself do tego sposobu pracy, jest obecnie tematem poważnej debaty. Wielu zastanawia myself, czy jest to zrównoważone, czy to nowa norma. Co w pewnym sensie jest zabawną koncepcją dla ludzi zajmujących myself wydarzeniami i teatrem. We’ve been working this way for years! Our struggle cannot cope with this type of work environment. Our’s is looking beyond the next gig and the one after. It’s a long-term reflection on how we can turn these short-term jobs into a long career with rewards, security, and some financial stability.

To do this, you must think of myself as a business because in everything but legal status, that’s what you are. The services you provide to the manufacturer are the result of all the efforts of your company. To get to the point where you are able to deliver products and services, your business needs to build an infrastructure that covers many different departments.

Ecco alcune divisioni aziendali classiche e alcune idee su come applicarle alla tua "Società di noleggio indipendente".


Jak inni dowiadują myself o Tobie, aby Cię zatrudnić? How do you operate on the web? What makes the best impression? How do you present myself compared to other people vying for the same jobs?


What price do you ask for your services? How to increase the volume? How will you meet your sales goals for this year?

Finance and budget

Closely related to your Turnover, where does your money come from and where is it going? How do you pay your rent and bills? How are you paid? How much do you save for taxes? How to save for retirement? How much do you have to earn to cover the cost of living?


As a freelancer you’re going to be working for a lot of different companies. How do you make sure you’re protected?


Can you do your job more efficiently than others competing for the same role? How can you give myself advantage over your competition? What about lifelong learning?

2. Broaden your thinking

What is management really? Don’t only take gigs that fit within a narrow subset of what has been defined for you as “stage management.” There are plenty of other management roles that align beautifully with the wide sets of skills that you’re learning through your work in the theatre.

Think about the aspects of scene management that you really love (there are many to choose from). I guarantee you that there are job positions in various sectors that allow you to exercise these specific skills. Those roles just don’t carry the title, “Stage Manager.” Side note: many of them have the added benefit of paying well! Here are just a few potential stage manager jobs just to get your creative juices flowing: