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Theatre Blogs

  • Angels and Ministers of Grace Defend Us!

    Katy McGlaughlin | Stage Manager’s Kit | November 16, 2015 ​The world is rife with superstitions and the theatre has its fair share; never wish an actor good luck, don’t whistle backstage, never use real money or jewelry onstage, peacock feathers are bad luck, etc. One of the most famous or rather infamous involves the play Macbeth.  Read More...
  • Survey Says…

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | November 5, 2015 The Stage Management program at the University of Iowa has been conducting a major survey of the American system of stage management since 2006.  The survey started small with simple questions like, “Do you record both blocking and cues in the same script?” and has grown to include questions not just about how we do our job but also who we are as stage managers. Our most recent survey in 2013 received responses from 878 stage managers, making it the largest study of stage managers nationally, if not globally.  We conduct the survey every 2-3 years so as to not risk fatigue – we are very grateful for the time everyone takes with this study.  We ask new questions with each edition of the survey, we also repeat some questions to track how our field is changing.  In our 2006 survey, 66% of participants were female; in 2013, this ratio grew to 69% but with much higher female representation among younger stage managers. Read More...
  • Book Review: Production Stage Management for Broadway

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | October 26, 2015 Come for the Stories, Stay for the Paperwork The gateway for many theatre-lovers is the Broadway musical, so a growing trend is to teach stage management from the Broadway perspective. Peter Lawrence, recipient of a Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre, has authored a book focused on the work of a Broadway PSM. Lawrence’s extensive resume (original Broadway PSM for Spamalot, Shrek the Musical, and Sunset Boulevard, among others) provides him with ample opportunities to explore different styles of stage management and to shape his perspective on topics ranging from why he prefers Sitzprobes over Wandelprobes to why he believes the American model of stage management is broader and stronger than the UK system. Read More...
  • Welcome to the Stage Manager’s Kit!

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | October 19, 2015 A good SM kit contains all the tricks of the trade, ranging from new tech tools to age-old remedies to treasures from the office supply store. It might seem like magic when the stage manager pulls out the most obscure item*, but that bag of tricks is actually the sum of the stage manager’s experiences in solving problems. This web series aims to be just that: the collective experiences of stage managers distilled to interviews, strategies, and more than a few tricks. We stage managers often work in isolation and many of us learned the trade through just a couple of mentors. We don’t have our own annual conference (it would have to be a single day and on a Monday!) and social gatherings are usually limited to the larger cities. We are very grateful to Stage Directions to give us a home. Read More...
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