What does a Company Stage Manager do?

A Company Stage Manager (CSM) plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of a theatre production, both during rehearsals and performances. They act as the central communication hub and are responsible for the overall coordination of the production.

What are the main responsibilities of a Company Stage Manager?

  • Maintain open lines of communication with all members of the production team and theatre management
  • Act as a liaison between the production and the theatre management, ensuring smooth operation and addressing any administrative issues
  • Act as the primary point of contact between the director, cast, and production team, conveying important information and updates
  • Be prepared to manage any emergencies or unexpected issues that arise during the process
  • Ensure the rehearsal space is prepared with necessary props, set pieces, and equipment
  • Oversee the ‘get out’ (dismantling) of the set and ensure all equipment and props are properly stored or returned
  • Ensure the well-being of the cast and crew, addressing any concerns or needs they may have

What qualifications do I need to be a Company Stage Manager?

There are no specific qualifications required to become a Company Stage Manager. However, a degree or diploma in theatre production, theatre studies, performing arts, or a related field provides a solid foundation of knowledge and skills relevant to stage management. Specialised training or courses in stage management, production management, or technical theatre offer practical skills and knowledge specific to the role of a CSM.

Search stage management opportunities from across the theatre industry here

What skills do I need to be a Company Stage Manager?

  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and keep detailed records of all aspects of the production
  • Strong verbal and written communication to effectively convey information and instructions
  • Ability to lead and manage a team, providing direction and support to cast and crew
  • Strong budgeting skills 
  • Quick thinking and resourcefulness to address issues that arise during rehearsals and performances
  • Efficiently manage time to keep the production on schedule
  • Understanding of technical aspects of theatre production, including lighting, sound, and set design

What does a career as a Company Stage Manager look like?

Hands-on experience working in theatre productions, either through internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level roles, helps develop essential skills and familiarity with the industry. You could start as an Assistant Stage Manager to gain the necessary experience before becoming a Stage Manager and finally a CSM.

How much can I earn?

For a freelance Stage Manager, ITC/Equity rates of pay for 2024-2026 suggest a minimum weekly rate of £573 or a daily rate of £126. Travel, accommodation and meals all have additional rates, if you are on tour. UK Theatre / Equity Commercial Theatre Agreement rates for 2023-2024 for shows that are 8 weeks plus and performing to 1,500 seats plus, suggest a weekly minimum of £695.11 for rehearsals and £815.08 for shows. 

The above is a guide. Pay, salary or fee can vary depending on the theatre or company, as well as your personal experience. National institutions or commercial productions can pay in excess of the above, with profit-share or community theatre paying less. 

You can find theatre jobs via The Stage Jobs here 


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