Working from home? Switch to the DIGITAL edition of Stage Directions. CLICK HERE to signup now!
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

Theatre Blogs

  • I Hate to Admit It, but I Miss Tiny Tim

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | December 12, 2017Like counting the rings of a tree trunk, you can often determine an SM’s age by asking how many Christmas Carols/Nutcrackers they have managed. Unlike other theatrical and dance classics, these shows are cash cows with a very limited lifespan, so managing these holiday chestnuts usually means packed schedules with lots of overtime. I remember feeling a sense of comradery with the old “time to make the donuts” commercials every time Marley or a toy soldier hit the stage. Read More...
  • A Crash-Course in American Stage Management History

    Jennifer Leigh Sears Scheier | Stage Management History | December 5, 2017Before the second Industrial Revolution in the late nineteenth century, the prompter performed the duties commonly associated with the contemporary stage manager. Why do I say that? Because the prompter notated all blocking movements in the promptbook along with any special effect cues, scenic changes, and call boy cues. The promptbook served as a collection of paperwork that represented a production. Sound familiar? It stands to reason, that the historical bearer of such a book would be the predecessor to today’s SM. Read More...
  • A.W. Nadine Grant: Costume Design & Representation

    Porsche McGovern | Illuminations | November 10, 2017I first met A.W. Nadine Grant when we both were participants at USITT’s Young Designers Forum in 2009.  She is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Emerson College. Read More...
  • Backstage at the SM Survey

    SM Group | Stage Manager’s Kit | November 6, 2017Every two years, a national study begins in early November: The Stage Manager Survey. This 3-week survey has evolved over the past decade into the largest study of stage managers in the United States and, quite possibly, the world. At just five days into the 2017 survey, we have already surpassed the participation count of the 2013 but are still hunting the record turnout of 2015. So let’s look behind the scenes into the survey. Read More...
  • Everything Changes? Or Nothing?

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | October 24, 2017Last week Actors’ Equity Association announced a major change to the Equity Membership Candidate (EMC) program. The stated goal of the change is to modernize the EMC program and to advance stage managers and actors from EMC status to full membership more quickly. Previously, AEA membership could be earned by accumulating 50 points, one point for each week you apprenticed on a show with Equity stage managers. Now SMs can become AEA members after just 25 weeks at EMC-participating companies.* So what does this mean for stage managers? Read More...
  • Welcome to the New Stage Management History Blog

    Jennifer Leigh Sears Scheier | Stage Management History | October 18, 2017After posting two articles on SD’s SM Kit blog curated by David J. McGraw, I am incredibly excited to join the Stage Directions’ family, with my very own blog, SM History.  Check back often, as I’ll be posting information about the projects that I’m working on and other fun facts that I find along the way. But before we get to the historical stuff… let me introduce myself, my journey, and what information you can look forward to. Read More...
  • The Honor of a Stage Manager

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | October 10, 2017On this International Stage Managers Day (October 10th or 10/10 to use the British shorthand for Tech like the American 10-out-of-12), we honor stage managers. I will never turn down a gift of chocolate and, although I will squirm and potentially blush when receiving praise, it does make me feel good to hear that another artist appreciates my work. I love hearing stories about magic SM kits that can produce the most obscure but absolutely necessary object. And SM jokes are usually very dry (“How many SMs does it take to-- Done.”) or end with fools getting their karmic comeuppance (the SM getting the third wish from a genie is my favorite).  But I would like to use this special day for honoring stage managers to consider the stage manager’s honor. Read More...
  • Questions for the 2017 SM Survey?

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | September 25, 2017Rehearsing the 2017 SM Survey It is nearly time for the Stage Manager Survey! Started in 2006, the 6th edition of this now biennial study of American stage managers will start in November. As we prepare for the survey launch, we want to know if there are any questions that you would like to see asked in the 2017 survey. Read More...
  • Onboarding Past Prep Week

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | September 13, 2017As 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? Read More...
  • Fighting the Patriarchy

    Ross Jackson | Illuminations | August 19, 2017An 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.   Read More...
  • Standing in the Dark Project

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | August 9, 2017Standing in the Dark “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. Read More...
  • Cherelle Guyton: Artistry of Hair & Wig Design

    Porsche McGovern | Illuminations | July 14, 2017Cherelle 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.{youtube}v=8f7MC8LNV2Y&index=19&list=PLQj1k-BmYkxqd_3QCVxBWewL4Aoklhett{/youtube} Read More...
The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!