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Theatre Blogs

  • Vianey Salazar: Navigating POC Politics in Production

    Porsche McGovern | Illuminations | January 13, 2020When I designed for The Last Five Years at Portland Stage last spring, I met Vianey Salazar who programmed lights for me. Vianey Salazar (vya-NAY sah-lah-ZARR) is a Mexican lighting designer and electrician who was born in Chicago and raised in Texas. She received a BFA in Theatre Design & Technology from Illinois Wesleyan University and has worked […] Read More...
  • Defining Stage Management

    Jennifer Leigh Sears Scheier | Stage Management History | January 13, 2020With 2020 heralded as the Year of the Stage Manager (see YSM2020: 100 Years of Being Explicit for more details), each month has been given a theme to encourage the generation of new stage management content. January’s subject for YSM2020 is “What is Stage Management?” and contemporary stage managers have wonderfully flocked to social media […] Read More...
  • YSM2020 – 100 Years of Being Explicit

    Jennifer Leigh Sears Scheier | Stage Management History | January 2, 2020Happy New Year! In case you haven’t heard, 2020 is the year of the stage manager with the intent to celebrate and educate! Why 2020? Because 100 years ago, on February 16, 1920, the executive council of Actor’s Equity Association carried a motion that changed the contractual language to include Stage Managers and Assistant Stage […] Read More...
  • The Hand Off

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | December 21, 2019Today I wrap up a one-week gig where I took over the SM position due to schedule conflicts for the original stage manager.  I joined the company on Tuesday and the original SM departed Thursday night.  I used my experiences as both a sub and as the SM receiving a co-production to plan for this […] Read More...
  • The Art of Blackness: Sound Design for the Culture

    Porsche McGovern | Illuminations | November 13, 2019I met Derek Graham when he was the resident sound designer/engineer at PlayMakers Repertory Company on Skeleton Crew, for which I designed lights. Derek Graham is a sound designer, composer, and audio engineer based in North Carolina. A native of Queens, NY, Derek holds a MFA in Sound Design from Ohio University. His sound design and composition works include: Redwood (Portland Center Stage at the Armory), Your Healing is Killing Me and Bewilderness (PlayMakers Repertory Company: PRC2 Series); The Passion of Teresa Rae King, A Raisin in the Sun, and Beautiful Star (Triad Stage); Believe in Cleveland (Karamu House); and Wakey Wakey, An Octoroon (Dobama Theatre). Derek has recently co-founded a multi-media design company with his wife, Jessica called Life by Design Media & Productions, recently launching the first episode of the new podcast series What’s the Law? Ask John Eluwa.  Read More...
  • Let Your Voice Be Heard

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | November 12, 2019This year marks the 7th edition of the Stage Manager Survey. If you have not taken the survey yet and you have served in a stage management role in at least 3 American productions, please visit http://smsurvey.info. The 2019 survey runs through Monday, November 25th, but don’t wait to share your thoughts on the profession. Read More...
  • Cause for Celebration + Exciting Announcement

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | October 7, 2019 Perfect scores for Stage Managers On October 10th we celebrate International Stage Management Day. We can thank our fellow SMs in the UK for starting this holiday* and festivities are planned quite literally around the world (please free feel to share yours in the Comments). The Stage Managers’ Association of the United States is hosting parties, sharing punny telegrams, and asking folks to post photos of SM teams with the tag #Internationalstagemanagementday2019. Read More...
  • Christopher Scott Murillo: Storytelling Through Scenic Design

    Porsche McGovern | Illuminations | September 12, 2019I was introduced to Christopher Scott Murillo through a mutual friend. We also work on the USA829 diversity committee together. Christopher Scott Murillo is a scenic designer, artist, and educator based in Los Angeles, CA. Most recently, his work has been seen at The Kirk Douglas Theatre, International City Theatre, The Chance Theater, Skylight Theatre Company, East West Players, New Village Arts Theatre, Native Voices at the Autry, The El Portal Theatre, and the Getty Villa, among many others.  Read More...
  • Stage Managers Play More Than Drinking Games

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | July 15, 2019Recently the question of how stage managers practice their soft skills was posed in an online forum and my immediate response was GAMES! I will confess that I am life-long fan of games of all kinds but, beyond general enjoyment, I find them to be incredible learning opportunities for stage managers. Games can teach you how to analyze a problem and develop strategies to solve it, read people and their bluffs, cooperate with colleagues, negotiate with those in power, and even learn how to benefit when you know you are going to lose.  Read More...
  • Tara Houston: Navigating Mixed-Race Identity

    Porsche McGovern | Illuminations | July 10, 2019While interviewing designers from the Latinx Theatre Commons Carnaval 2018, Porsche McGovern met Tara A. Houston and wanted to learn more about her. Houston is the Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at Louisiana State University as well as a freelance scenic designer. Her design work has been featured at Swine Palace, Skylight Music Theatre, Casa Mañana Theatre, Ocala Civic Theatre, Austin Shakespeare, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Music Theatre of Wichita, and others. Read More...
  • Finding Stage Management History

    Jennifer Leigh Sears Scheier | Stage Management History | June 12, 2019Students often ask, “So where do you find resources for stage management history?” Usually this question is paired with an explanation of a final project or paper they are working on and are reaching out to me in hopes that I can point them in the right direction. Read More...
  • Making Theatre in South Africa

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | June 2, 2019Three years ago, I used this blog to promote a new Fulbright initiative that supports stage managers and stage management students in cultural exchanges. I didn’t just announce the program; I applied for it myself. Today I finish a two-week residency in Pretoria, South Africa, in what has been an amazing journey. Read More...
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