5 Ways to Keep Your Stage Manager Happy

5 Ways to Keep Your Stage Manager Happy

The ultimate cog behind running a show is the stage manager. From beginning to end they keep everything and everyone in order so that each show is the best you can give. They are problem solvers and highly organised individuals, but rub them the wrong way and the wing tension could be cut with a knife. Here are 5 ways to keep your stage manager happy...

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Every Actor Should Try Stage Management

Every Actor Should Try Stage Management

Going into college, I knew that, although my heart lies onstage, I wanted to try everything that I could that involved theatre. My department is perfect for this: all performance focuses must audition for every show starting your first semester, and no matter your focus, you must be active in at least one production each year. We are required to submit crew forms stating what technical elements you are interested in, and they assign you positions based on those roles.

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Setting Up My Prompt Book

Setting Up My Prompt Book

When a production is complete, and you are on the technical side of the table, there are a number of ways you can organize all of your work to have it ready for future employers or just as a way to refer back to it. I try to give myself a ritual at the end of each production I work on as far as organizing my scripts and paperwork. I usually am the role of the Stage Manager on most shows, so there are a few things I believe in doing to keep things organized during the show and post-show. Even before a show begins, I always start by buying and building my binder. It can be any kind of binder, expensive or not. I try to keep them on the inexpensive side because I buy many throughout the year depending on how many shows I work on. Every Stage Manager needs a binder. I even go as far as trying to pick a color that is relevant to the show itself.

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Stage Manager 101: Taking Blocking Notes

Stage Manager 101: Taking Blocking Notes

Just like calling a show, taking down blocking is one of the most important tasks of a Stage Manager. I think if you were to split the role of a Stage Manager into two different phases, you would have the rehearsal process as part 1 and performance mode as part 2. In part 1, blocking notes are one of the most important aspects, while writing in cues and calling the show is the most important part during performances. This is why we have blocking scripts and calling scripts and keep them separate. Recording blocking notes quickly and efficiently as the director stages a show is something I have not fully mastered and is so incredibly challenging on many levels.

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Working in Community and Professional Theatre: The Differences and Similarities

Working in Community and Professional Theatre: The Differences and Similarities

In the artistic/creative industry, theatre is theatre in my opinion, but what many people fail to realize is that there are different levels/kinds of theatre in terms of community and professional companies. On a deeper level, there is absolutely no difference in the art itself. I think acting and even directing is the same on all levels of theatre and the methods of acting or the way directors direct are generally the same or are based on their own ways of doing things. It’s a personal choice of how you portray a character or the methods you take to get there, but in a technical sense, the process can differ depending on the company.

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Stage Manager 101: Calling Cues

Stage Manager 101: Calling Cues

What does it actually mean to “call a show?” To me, it’s an art or at least I treat it like one. It’s actually not the easiest thing to explain because of the many different elements that come into play, however, once you get the hang of it, it becomes a rhythm…..that is in most cases. In a nutshell, this is where the stage manager calls the lighting, sound and scene change cues (or whatever else) for a show. The cues control everything you see happening in a technical sense on stage. 

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Stage Manager 101: Who We Are & Why We're Important

Stage Manager 101: Who We Are & Why We're Important

What does a Stage Manager do? It’s the hardest question I’m asked and one that people ask me almost every time I tell a person that I stage manage productions. I always struggle with where to start because there is literally so many aspects of the job. It is such a complex department of the theatre world and there is no single answer to the question. This is my approach and hopefully, I can offer some useful tips to all of you stage managers out there.

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