Stage Manager’s Handbook
This is a guide for students serving as stage managers and assistant stage managers for Theatre Simpson productions. It is a clear overview of the process and will serve as an invaluable guide throughout the process. There are examples and explanations of required documents as well as an explanation of Theatre Simpson protocol and expectations. As a student stage manager, you should read through this information in its entirety prior to meeting with the production assistant for the training session and continue referencing the material during the process. For questions or concerns about the stage management process, contact the production assistant.
The Back Stage Guide to Stage Management by Thomas A. Kelly is strongly suggested to help guide you through the stage management process.
What makes a “good” stage manager?
“Good” Stage Managers manifest professional attitudes: they assume responsibilities gracefully, they think ahead, they are organized and efficient, they are punctual and dependable, they “keep their cool” in times of adversity and they are considerate at all times. While the position of Stage Manager involves heavy responsibility and little official recognition, the success of the show and the pleasantness of the process rests heavily (though not exclusively) on the shoulders of the Stage Manager.
What does a stage manager do?
“Stage managers are responsible and adaptable communicators who have the ability to handle and coordinate diverse groups of artistic personalities with tactful discipline and a sense of humor. They establish a creative environment by combining the ability to prioritize and anticipate and solve problems. With calm sensitivity and grace under pressure. Their ability to do the above stems from organizational ability, acquired technical knowledge (sound, music, lights, design and construction, typing, use of computers, and so on), familiarity with union requirements, and inspirational personality that creates positive energy.” (Kelly 19-20).
Stage Management Positions:
Stage Manager: Typically provides practical and organizational support to the director, actors, designers, stage crew and technicians throughout the production process.
Assistant Stage Manager: Assists the Stage Manager in duties as assigned, including blocking/line notes, props tracking, etc.
Student Director: During the Festival of Short Plays, acts as the director of one or more short plays, in conjunction with the Senior Seminar course.
Production Stage Manager: During the Festival of Short Plays, acts as coordinator of the individual show Stage Managers, and provides practical and organizational support to the director, actors, designers, stage crew, and technicians throughout the production process.
Show Stage Manager: During the Festival of Short Plays, provides practical and organizational support to the director, actors, designers, and Production Stage Manager. Acts as a backstage manager during the run of the show.
Below are links to PDF documents that will help you through the stage management process
Pre-Rehearsal Document Guides
Guidlines for E-mailing Documents
First Meeting with the Director
Statement of Intent
Production Meeting Template
Company Member Application
Company Contact Sheet
Guide to Reading a Ground Plan
Rehearsal Help Documents
Rehearsal Report Template
Rehearsal Props Check-out Guide
Line Notes Sample 2
Line Notes Sample 2 Template
Scenic Breakdown Sample
Pre-Work Call Meeting Agenda
Pre-Post show checklist
Pre-Tech Meeting Agenda
Tech schedule template
Tech and Performance Reports
Tech Report Template
Performance Report Template
Props Preset Example
Props Running Sheet Example
Marking and Calling Cues
Cue Calling Example
Check out the websites below for more helpful examples and stage management techniques: