The Stage Manager Survey Returns for 2017

by Michael Eddy
The Stage Manager Survey returns for its sixth round
The Stage Manager Survey returns for its sixth round

The Stage Manager Survey is the largest and most comprehensive study of stage managers in the world. The results of this multi-year survey have been cited in both American and international journals and has been assigned as required reading in university stage management programs. The latest version of the SM Survey launches November 1st.

The Stage Manager Survey began in 2006 at the University of Iowa and is about to start its 6th study, now partnered with Elon University in North Carolina. The most recent survey, conducted in November 2015, received 1,662 responses, including 618 members of Actors’ Equity Association. The survey focuses on both work tools/practices—cue lights, promptbooks, reading music, and expectations of crew members—as well as the business side of stage management: job interviews, salary negotiations, and work-life balance. Given recent national events, the survey will also research workplace discrimination and pay equity.

The Stage Manager Survey is open to anyone who has served as a stage manager or assistant stage manager for at least three dance/opera/theatre productions in the United States (or tours that originate in the US).

To take the 2017 survey, visit All responses will remain anonymous; participants can join a mailing list to receive the results and an invitation to the next survey, but the mailing list is completely separate from the survey results. Most participants complete the online survey in 15-20 minutes. The survey can be completed in one session or you can save your responses to complete the survey later.

From 2015 Survey: Weekly Payment for Most Recent Internship/Apprenticeship in Past 2 YearsThe Stage Manager Survey runs November 1 - 21. The results of the November 2017 survey will be released in February 2018. In addition to current trends, the report also compares current results to previous years’ surveys: is the gender divide among stage managers increasing, decreasing, or remaining static? All editions of the survey are available for free at and may freely be shared for noncommercial use under a Creative Commons license. SM-Sim, LLC, underwrites the surveys and reports but receives no financial gain from the studies.