Onboarding Past Prep Week

David J. McGraw

As the seasons change and we put away our summer show-blacks for our warmer show-blacks (please tell me I am not the only stage manager who divides his all-black wardrobe by season) it is also time to train our new staff. Whether working for regional theaters, tours, universities, or the constantly changing Broadway, Fall is the season of new staffing.

Stage managers are very good at training understudies and new crew, but how good are we at training our own teams?

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Jade Cagalawan
Jade Cagalawan

Fighting the Patriarchy

Ross Jackson

An Interview with Jade Cagalawan, Stage Manager

Jade Cagalawan is a Filipino American, Los Angeles based stage manager.  Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, she first fell in love with theatre when her family repeatedly watched the documentary on Miss Saigon, praising Lea Salonga. She started stage managing at the age of 18 when she told former Cal Poly Pomona department chair, William H. Morse, that she was interested in directing. He then stuck her into stage management, stating that “stage management is an important aspect of directing”. Since then she never looked back.  

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Standing in the Dark

Standing in the Dark Project

David J. McGraw

“Name a famous stage manager!” I suspect that many of us (A) have never been asked this question, (B) want clarification as to what makes a stage manager famous, and (C) probably default to a stage manager with a lengthy career on Broadway. But who are the pioneers in our field and what are their stories? The Stage Managers’ Association is looking for the answers.

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Cherelle Guyton
Cherelle Guyton

Cherelle Guyton: Artistry of Hair & Wig Design

Porsche McGovern

Cherelle Guyton currently works as the Wig and Hair Supervisor at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  I met her after a panel discussion at the Theatre Communications Group conference in Portland, OR this year. Cherelle Guyton is an artist, entrepreneur, educator, designer and speaker.  She is the CEO and Designer of C Stylez U, LLC, a bi-coastal wig and makeup design business.  C Stylez U offers a variety of wig and makeup design services for theatre, tv/film, photography, marketing videos, commercials and also serves individual clients. She has designed over thirty-three productions to date, including Les Miserables, voted one of the 2015 "Best of Ashland" plays.

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For every "hello," stage managers soon find themselves saying "goodbye"
For every "hello," stage managers soon find themselves saying "goodbye"

How to Say Goodbye to a Show

David J. McGraw
One of the perks of a life in theatre is the near-constant stream of collaborators.  But for every “hello” there is soon a “goodbye.”

This is especially true for me this past week as I saw the close of my summer show and I gave my notice to the University of Iowa, where I have taught for the past 14 years.  Sometimes the goodbyes are right on schedule as you knew the show closing date when you took on the contract; other times you are forced to decide when it is time to move on.

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Courtland Trapp
Courtland Trapp

Patience is Proven

Ross Jackson

An Interview with Courtland Trapp, Technician

Courtland Trapp is an African American Freelance Technician who has worn multiple hats since the age of 17. His first introduction to theater came as an actor in a stage play. During that process he took notice of the techs behind the scenes and their problem solving skills. Realizing he was up for the challenge he changed his position the following show. Since then, he has been a Stage Manager, Set Designer, Master Flyman/Rigger, and also a Teacher teaching kids set design at multiple performing arts centers in and out of the Los Angeles area.

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Photo by Peter Woodward
Photo by Peter Woodward

Overstocking Our Pond?

David J. McGraw

I’ll give credit to social media for one thing: it allows you to see if others are facing the same problems. Recently there was an online discussion about shadowing, a topic near and dear to me, not just as a training tool for new stage managers but also as an opportunity for established stage managers to reflect. Nothing like having company over to motivate you to clean up your place/calling station/callboard/promptbook!

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Wendy Eastland is a Hispanic Stage Manager
Wendy Eastland is a Hispanic Stage Manager

Passion, Opportunity, and Problem Solving

Ross Jackson

An Interview with Wendy Eastland, Stage Manager

Wendy was born in Honduras and her family moved to the U.S. when she was two. She is from Cedar Hill, TX, about 30 minutes south of Dallas, TX. Though currently live in Dallas, TX, Wendy will soon be moving to Philadelphia, PA where she spent two years after graduating from college, establishing a sense of home. She is a stage manager for primarily straight plays and musicals so far. Wendy identifies as Hispanic. 

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