How Much Difference Does a Degree Make?

Katy McGlaughlin

Having recently embarked on my own MFA journey I find myself asking this question, a lot. When I was applying and even after I was accepted in to my program I constantly had to answer the similar question, “Why grad school?” I made the decision to go back to school for myriad reasons, some personal and some generic; after helping facilitate the National Stage Manager Survey (http://www.smsurvey.info) I started to wonder if there were trends in the benefits of going back to school.

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A still of Carrie Havel calling Greased Lightnin

Breaking Down Greased Lightning

David J. McGraw

A video quickly going viral (more than 850,000 views and 10,000 shares on Facebook as of Wednesday Feb. 3) is the Associate Director of Grease: Live! calling the camera shots for the song “Greased Lightning.” Carrie Havel does an amazing job calling the shots and I can’t wait to see a side-by-side view of the show and her call.  But let’s break down the call…

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Is This Thing On?

Katy McGlaughlin

As stage managers we often set the tone of our work environment and we strive to be professional and well spoken. Sometimes, though, I find myself slipping into the vernacular of my team; when less than savory language is involved this can get you in trouble!

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SM Magic: Shadowing Backstage at The Tempest

Lindsay Warnick

I added another item to my list of “coolest theatre experiences EVAR” when I shadowed backstage at Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of The Tempest. A surprising and very exciting opportunity.  When I arrived I was immediately led through a series of passcoded doors and hallways before being dropped off onstage with some crew guys while I waited for the Assistant Stage Manager.

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Ghosts & Ghost Lights

Katy McGlaughlin

Have you ever wondered why we use ghost lights? They provide a measure of safety for the staff leaving the theatre late at night or arriving first thing in the morning (and mayhap helps prevent new ghost from being born) and they are necessary to meet fire codes in many parts of the country. They may originate from the extra lights used to keep stage lights from “ghosting” when the dimmers are inefficient. But many theatre practitioners believe that the ghost lights greater function is to provide light for a theatre’s ghostly patrons. If the ghostly occupants of a theatre don’t have light to play by they get cranky and may cause trouble (even cursing the theatre; some say this is also why theatre have a dark day each week).

Many Broadway theatres have famous ghosts – 

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