Stage Management: An Introduction

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By , August 21, 2012 7:13 am

I am teaching Stage Management: An Introduction at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia. The class meets on Monday evenings, September 17 through October 22, 2012, from 7-10pm. We’ll be working through the script for The Importance of Being Earnest and will visit a local production backstage during Tech Week. If you are thinking about becoming a stage manager, or have already been assigned to stage manage a show, this class will teach you what you need to do and how to contribute to the success of your group’s production.

Official course description: Effective stage managers make the rehearsal process run much more efficiently and enjoyably, resulting in a higher quality production. As stage management touches on all aspects of a production, this course will expose students to all areas of the production process. Topics covered will include time management, organization, auditions, rehearsals, the prompt book, performances and strike. Homework assignments will give students the opportunity to put lessons into place.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the class.

Stage Management books

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By , August 30, 2011 10:36 pm

I recently helped out two different people who are stage managing their first shows. These are the books I’ve read, and can recommend. If you’re just starting out, start with the less expensive ones, and work your way up as you get more experience.

  • The Back Stage Guide to Stage Management, by Thomas A. Kelly. Very detailed.
  • The Stage Management Handbook, by Daniel A. Ionazzi (aka the yellow book). Basic, an easy read, a very good introduction.
  • Stage Manager The Professional Experience, by Larry Fazio. A solid read, aimed at professionals.
  • Stage Management, by Lawrence Stern. A great book, aimed at professional stage managers. Lots of real world examples.

Arcadia: Lines That Sound Dirty But Aren’t

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By , February 15, 2011 3:27 pm

As a stress reliever during rehearsals for Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia that I stage managed last year, I came up with this list of lines that sound dirty, but aren’t.

  • Hodge, what is this? (page 11)
  • Now at last, it is your turn. (page 11)
  • In my what? (page 59)
  • Lend me a finger. (page 76)
  • I can’t show you how deep it goes. (page 76)
  • Hannah! Bernard! Hannah! (page 90)
  • It won’t work backwards. (page 93)

I’m willing to guess that every play has lines that when taken out of context would be “dirty.”

Backstage at the Nutcracker

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By , December 17, 2010 11:27 am

Here’s an interesting article about a backstage cat herder for the Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker. This is a part of stage management I’ve never worked.

Her job has been compared to herding cats, but for Donna Glover, it’s the mice that are tougher. They’re rambunctious. They step on one another’s tails. They’re at the point in their pre-tweens where everything makes them excitable, no matter how many times a grown-up tells them to calm down and stay in line. Same goes for the rabbits.

Full article at: TBD.com.

Life Behind the Curtain

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By , November 28, 2009 10:30 am

“Life Behind the Curtain” is a short documentary film about Broadway child performers and their relationship with Stage Managers and experiences backstage. The film was created for a Stage Management class at Susquehanna University, by freshman Laura Luc. Cinematography is by NYU film student, Louis DeCaprio. Featured Kids: Marissa O’Donnell, Matthew Gumley, Dylan Riley Snyder, Marlon Sherman, Devynn Pedell and Alex Scheitinger

BBC News: “Unsung Hero: The stage manager”

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By , July 3, 2009 9:41 pm

Here’s a very brief look at the work of Graham Harrison, the stage manager for the musical Joseph in London’s West End.

Learning ASL Fingerspelling

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By , June 24, 2009 9:04 am

I’ve finished reading The Miracle Worker, the show I’ll be stage managing for Fauquier Community Theatre (auditions in October 2009, show opens in mid-January 2010). Annie Sullivan spends a lot of time teaching Helen, and Helen’s mother, words using the letters of American Sign Language. So now I’m starting to teach myself ASL fingerspelling. My five year old niece gave me my first lesson, she spells very quickly! I found a useful page at the Wikipedia page for the ASL alphabet. Hopefully by auditions, I’ll be capable, if not proficient.

Light Board Operator/Tech Crew for ACT’s Seascape

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By , June 20, 2009 8:15 am

To fill out the rest of my summer, I’ll be running the light board and helping with miscellaneous duties on the crew for load-in for American Century Theater’s Seascape, running July 29th through August 22nd. I’m really looking forward to working with a new group, and doing new things.

The amazing thing is the way the schedule worked out. The load-in is the day after my current show (Shakespeare in Hollywood) closes, and then the strike for Seascape is the day before auditions for my Fall show Arcadia.

TD Shakespeare in Hollywood with NWTG

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By , June 10, 2009 12:00 am

I was planning to stage manage a show in Manassas this summer. But the weekend before the first rehearsal, the show was cancelled due to financial concerns from the Board. So I scrambled, networked, and searched, and applied for a few positions. I am now the Tech Director for NoVa Woodbridge Theatre Group‘s July production of Ken Ludwig’s comedy Shakespeare in Hollywood. TD is a new position for me, but so far I’m enjoying it. I met with the directors tonight to discuss the set. It looks like we’re going to use a mixture of mounted flats, scrims, and periactoids. I’ll post more details over the next week.

The Miracle Worker for FCT

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By , May 29, 2009 8:00 am

I will be stage managing The Miracle Worker for the Fauquier Community Theatre. Auditions will be in the fall, with the show running in January 2010. The director is Nancy Daughterty, who I worked with on Pippin for Prince William Little Theatre back in February 2009.

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