What does a Stage Manager do?

A Stage Manager supports and organises all the different teams involved in the day-to-day running of a theatre production from rehearsals right through to performances and then post-show. They liaise and communicate with the full company and organise each team to ensure the smooth running of a production. See the difference between stage management and production management by reading our blog 'What does a theatre Production Manager do?'

What are the main responsibilities of a Stage Manager?

  • Create and set up rehearsal schedules
  • Managing furniture and props
  • Arrange costume and wig fittings
  • Liaise with all theatre departments and collate information
  • Liaise with Production Manager regarding budgets
  • Supervise the ‘get in’ and ‘get out’ (When the set, lighting and sound are installed and removed from the space)
  • Create a prompt script compiled with notes on Actors’ cues and requirements for props, lighting and sound
  • Make alterations to the set and props between scene changes
  • Cue the lighting and Sound Technicians
  • Create a risk assessment to ensure the safety of the full company
  • Manage the backstage and onstage area during performances
  • Call Actors for rehearsals and performances
  • Maintain props, furniture and set during the run
  • Liaise with resident staff (if touring)

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What qualifications do I need to be a Stage Manager?

There are no specific qualifications required to become a Stage Manager. People with the right skills can get into the field, however it can be useful to have training in any of the following subjects:

  • Drama and Theatre Studies
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Stage Management
  • Theatre Production/Professional Practice.

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What skills do I need to be a Stage Manager?

These are the desirable skills to have to become and ideal candidate for a stage management role:

  • High standard of organisational and communication skills
  • Computer skills and understanding of current technology
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • A sharp eye for detail
  • Problem-solving skills, ability to think on your feet
  • Negotiation skills, confidence and decision-making abilities

What does a career in stage management look like?

You can start in an entry level position which would be Backstage Crew or an Assistant Stage Manager. After gaining experience you can move on to Deputy Stage Manager, to Stage Manager, and in larger theatres Company Stage Manager.

How much can I earn?

Pay for a Stage Manager varies depending on your experience. Typically salaries are:

Starting salary: £18k - £22k

Experienced: £25k - £35k

Highly experienced: £45k +

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Photo: Stocksy

Published: 04 May 2019

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