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Broadway Stage Management Symposium | Annual Stage Manager Conference, May 21-24

Stage Directions • Industry News • May 12, 2021

Expanded Online Intensive for Stage Managers features over 40 Broadway Professionals and 20 Sessions

After a very challenging year for theatre workers everywhere, the Broadway Stage Management Symposium (BSMS), will unite stage managers from around the world in discussions about our art and craft in a post-pandemic world. BSMS 2021 will focus on strategies and adjustments to our practice and technique to respond to our experience and learnings during the shutdown. Here’s a video preview of this year’s BSMS:

The seventh annual Broadway Stage Management Symposium is an expanded program running over four days, with more than 45 Broadway Stage Managers and professionals participating in 20 different sessions. All attendees will have replay access, so no one will miss a moment of these important discussions about the art and craft of stage management in this new era. The immersive program is on a dynamic and interactive online platform produced in association with The 180 Group. Attendees come from across the country and around the world, from all levels of experience, to engage with top professionals, make new connections, and expand their knowledge.

New this year, the BSMS is doing prizes and giveaways! The big grand prize is a Point Source Audio CM-I3 headset. “We’re so excited to give one of these away to a fellow stage manager,” says BSMS Founder and Stage Manager, Matthew Stern. “I’ve basically been living in mine the last year and loving it. It’s comfy, safe, and stylish. How great will it be to go to the theater with one of these?! No more sharing, no more crushing heavyweights, and no more headset hair (for those with hair!)”

The 2021 BSMS panel topics and speakers include:

Managing Live Capture & Recordings. This session brings together stage managers from Hamilton, (Jason Bassett, Amber White) Diana, (Martha Donaldson, Sherry Cohen) & Come From Away (Arturo Porazzi, Gary Mickelson) to discuss the process of recording their shows for streaming and broadcast. Recordings are not just for archival purposes anymore, they will become more prevalent and part of our process. These great stage managers will share their experience and how we can best support live capture recordings.

Anti-Racist Stage Management, discusses concepts and techniques stage managers can use to bring anti-racism practices into their process. This panel brings together the authors of We Commit to Anti-Racist Stage Management Education, Narda E. Alcorn (Yale) & Lisa Porter (UCSD), with co-founder of Black Theatre Caucus & co-author of Hold, Please, R. Christopher Maxwell, as well as co-founder of Broadway & Beyond: Access for Stage Managers of Color, Beverly Jenkins (Hadestown), along with The Lion King PSM, Ron Vodicka, as well as stage manager and activist Cody Renard Richard (Freestyle Love Supreme). Together they will share their work, practice, and experience on how stage managers can create equitable and safe spaces that are anti-racist.

The panel Collaborating on COVID, brings together stage manager, Michael Passaro (Moulin Rouge & the Covid Think Tank), company manager, Carol Oune (Beetlejuice), production manager, Guy Kwan (Harry Potter, Dear Evan Hansen), and COVID Compliance Officer & Broadway stage manager, Charlene Speyerer (The Band’s Visit) to discuss their perspectives on how we can return to work safely in the COVID-era. Moderated by Broadway Producer Lauren Schneider (High, Looped) who produced the theatre specific COVID classes at artsnscience.com

Calling King Kong, will explore the show call of one of the biggest and most challenging shows in recent Broadway history. Stage managers, Matthew Leiner and Alice Pollitt will share the challenges of bringing King Kong to life, as well as the techniques and strategies they used to successfully call the show 8 times a week.

The panel Tik-Tok Stage Management features Cody Renard Richard, stage manager for Ratatouille The TikTok Musical, along with content creator, voice over artist, and stage manager, Cherie B. Tay (Hadestown), and author, content creator, and stage manager Michelle Scalpone (Matilda). Together, they will discuss TikTok, how they use it, the opportunities, challenges, and potential this popular platform can have.

Stage Management Theory, is a fireside chat moderated by Kamra A. Jacobs (American Son) with Narda E. Alcorn and Lisa Porter, the authors of Stage Management Theory as a Guide to Practice: Cultivating a Creative Approach. They will discuss the impact and ideology of their book and its application to stage managers, as we begin the process of returning to rehearsals.

Sustainability for Stage Managers features director of the Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) and stage manager, Molly Braverman (Wicked), along with stage manager, Jereme Kyle Lewis (The Height of the Storm), and BCEFA Producing Director, Valerie Lau Kee Lai. Together they will explore the BGA’s Green Reopening Toolkit and the many ways stage managers can bring sustainability into our practice.

Other sessions include:
Global Perspectives & Working Internationally, which brings together stage managers from abroad with Broadway stage managers who have worked internationally to discuss their similarities, differences, challenges, and what we can learn from each other. Understudies, Swings, & More brings together Broadway understudies, dance captains, and swings: James Brown III (Harry Potter), J. Austin Eyer (Evita), Josh Breckenridge (Come From Away), & Jennie Ford (An American in Paris) to share insights on their process and collaboration with stage managers.
Technology for Stage Managers: What You Don’t Know will explore new technologies and how stage managers can use them.
In addition, Karyn Meek (Natasha, Pierre…) and Matthew Stern (Finding Neverland) will discuss Leadership in a New Era bringing together business leadership concepts and how they apply to the work of theatrical stage managers as leaders in the return to an improved theatre making process; and more.

Full schedule at www.broadwaysymposium.com/schedule

All sessions have Q&A time for participants to engage with the panelists. The new online digital experience will allow attendees to network with each other and panelists between sessions, as well as, visit the dozens of partners and vendors at the online EXPO.

This interactive format brings our community together to network and build relationships, which is vital to our work and careers.

BSMS will also have stretches and workouts lead by stage managers as well as, watch parties with Q&A’s, and a Town Hall for The Stage Managers’ Association (the national organization which advocates for all stage managers). Finally, the wrap party will round out the numerous activities of the informative and inspirational conference.

This educational intensive is open to the public, available anywhere on our dynamic digital platform, produced in association with The 180 Group. A full replay is available for attendees for any missed sessions or to review the experience.

See the website for full details, schedule, special pricing, and payment plans. Contact: matt@broadwaysymposium.com with any questions.

About Broadway Stage Management Symposium
The BSMS brings together the most experienced and highly regarded Stage Management professionals on Broadway for an immersive two-day program that offers practical insights, instruction and inspiration for anyone interested in stage management.

This one-of-a-kind program offers the kind of practical career advice and deep insights, that only come with the benefits of decades on Broadway. BSMS is also a great networking opportunity, helping attendees exponentially increase their professional network and opportunities for employment.

BSMS was founded by seasoned Broadway stage manager and educator, Matthew Stern who has worked on over 20 Broadway productions including Finding Neverland, On The Town, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, The Little Mermaid, Wicked, Death Of A Salesman (with Philip Seymour Hoffman), Fiddler On The Roof (with Alfred Molina and Harvey Fierstein), Enchanted April (with Molly Ringwald and Jayne Atkinson), The Full Monty, and more.

Stern is on the faculty of SUNY Purchase and has also taught at UC San Diego. Inspired by his students’ enthusiasm to learn what it really takes to manage a  roadway show, he brings together his colleagues and fellow Broadway stage managers for this intensive weekend of panels, seminars and lectures, the Broadway Stage Management Symposium.

Further information from the Broadway Stage Management Symposium: www.broadwaysymposium.com or contact matt@broadwaysymposium.com

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