OFO No: 343903
Other names for Stage Manager:
What is a Stage Manager?
A Stage Manager’s number one job is people management. It is their role to organise all aspects of a theatre production for the successful delivery of the show.
He/she will be in charge of rehearsals, actors, technicians, props and costume fittings etc, as well as talking with front of house staff and the director.
A Stage Manager should be the most visible person backstage and the most invisible on stage.
An understanding of both the technical and artistic parts of the show will ensure it happens exactly to the director’s specifications.
Stage Managers are involved from the very beginning through to the final live performance. They handle any emergencies that might happen during the show and deal with them quickly so that the show goes on.
In a small company there will be one Stage Manager but in a larger company, the job is done by a team of managers.
What does a Stage Manager do?
- talks with the director and understands, in detail, the director’s ideas
- works within budgets at all times
- plans rehearsal schedules
- manages all scenery, props, furniture etc
- maintains costumes and arranges fittings
- manages lighting and sound
- manages health and safety rules
- deals with emergencies
- is bound by theatre tradition – supplies the daily coffee before rehearsals begin
Are you … ?
- passionate about theatre and how the whole performance comes together?
- very organised?
- good with people?
- confident to manage a group of very creative, temperamental individuals?
- a good listener?
- a good planner?
- prepared to work unusual hours?
- cool under pressure?
- a hard worker?
How do I become a Stage Manager?
Traditionally, Stage Managers learn through apprenticeship. You can get experience early by joining your dramatic society at school or a theatre group in your community. Here you’ll learn all the backstage skills, for example: master rigging practices, safety procedures, lighting, sound and other theatre skills that interest you.
The best way to get these skills is through doing them. One can then work one’s way up from Assistant Stage Manager to becoming a Stage Manager.
After years of experience as Stage Managers, you can go on to become a director or producer.
Getting a degree in theatre also has its advantages. Some theatres like to work with college-educated Stage Managers because they are well rounded. Some local universities offer these, here is an example.
- TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Offers courses in:
- Stage Technology and Theatre History
- CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
- Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
- To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education.
- CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions.
Is becoming a Stage Manager the right career choice for me?