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Stage Manager’s Kit

Stage Directions’ blog about all things related to Stage Management

  • 3 Myths About Union Stage Managers

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | September 9, 2016SM MythsIn honor of Labor Day, here are three common myths about being a union stage manager: Read More...
  • CM-ET Lodestar Now IP Rated

    Jacob Coakley | Stage Manager’s Kit | August 31, 2016CaptionGETZVILLE, N.Y., August 30, 2016 – As part of our dedication to providing customers with the best products and services in the industry, Columbus McKinnon Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCO), a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of material handling products, systems and services, has made significant improvements to its legendary CM‐ET Lodestar Classic electric chain motor. The CM‐ET Lodestar Classic now features an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IP66 and is easier to service and maintain in the field. Read More...
  • Duly-Earned Recognition

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | August 25, 2016The Fulbright Program has officially recognized Stage ManagementThe Fulbright Program has just announced that it is formally recognizing Stage Management as a category of sponsored study.  Forgive the cliché, but this is a game-changer for our field.  Read More...
  • When a Retreat is Moving Forward

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | August 10, 2016What would you do if you could spend a week thinking about stage management, but not a specific show?I just returned from the Iowa Arts Summit, which included a very interesting session on artist retreats and residencies.  The conference attendees represented a wide range of performing and visual arts, but I couldn’t help but wonder what a stage manager retreat would look like. Read More...
  • Musical Theatre Girl in an Opera World

    Katy McGlaughlin | Stage Manager’s Kit | July 21, 2016Musical Theatre vs. Opera as a Stage ManagerThis is my first summer working for an opera company – I am stage managing their musical but I have been surprised more than once because they treat the musical more like an opera than a musical.   Read More...
  • Cutting the Cord

    Katy McGlaughlin | Stage Manager’s Kit | July 14, 2016When Fate cuts our communication ties, how do we adapt?After my computer crashed on my first day at my summer gig I started thinking about how dependent we are on technology. Another post on this blog talks about the method of first contact, do you call or e-mail? (Before this summer I would have answered e-mail, no question) Without a computer I couldn’t even access the contact list. (Smartphones, tablets, and the ASM’s computer helped us run the first week relatively uninterrupted and I did get access to the contact list.) What I discovered is that even though stage managers communicate constantly we are potentially less connected to our teams than the generations before us, we don’t have to be as prepared, and we are training future generations to be even lazier than the current one. Read More...
  • Risky Business: Challenge or Danger?

    SM Group | Stage Manager’s Kit | June 30, 2016A circus training school in BeijingI am traveling in China this month and I caught show at a circus training program in Beijing. In many ways it was similar to the training program I observed in Montreal that feeds Cirque du Soleil: performers training at a young age in several acrobatic genres. The Beijing performers were younger, but that matches the cultural norms for some families sending children to dormitory schools as young as kindergarten. But the biggest difference was the level of physical risk in the circus acts. Read More...
  • Is There a Fight Choreographer in the House?

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | June 25, 2016Photo by earl53 on MorguefileLast week I traveled to Chicago to attend a stage combat workshop for stage managers offered by the Vagabond School of the Arts.  Barbara Charlene ran an excellent workshop, taking us through all the precautions and questions to ask.  But perhaps the best part of the workshop was the very first topic: how to find and compare fight choreographers.  Read More...
  • When Your Well has been Poisoned

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | June 13, 2016Cycle of Abuse, as developed by Lenore E. WalkerLike many theatre veterans, I was thoroughly sickened by the stories of abuse in the Chicago Reader article by Aimee Levitt and Christopher Piatt about the Profiles Theatre in Chicago, but I was also saddened that I was not shocked that it happened.  While this was an extreme case, we shouldn’t delude ourselves into thinking that it was an isolated incident. Read More...
  • A Tony for Stage Managers? No Thank You.

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | June 7, 2016What do we reward/award in a stage manager?Two disclaimers:1.  James Corden’s Broadway Carpool Karaoke is the best advertisement I have ever seen for the Tony Awards.  It almost makes up for…. Read More...
  • The Best Line Note App Ever Made?

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | May 31, 2016TagNotate: The best SM app not invented by a stage managerFor the past four years, I have been searching for a better way to record and distribute line notes.  It is easily one of the most labor intensive chores for stage management and speed is a priority so that actors can learn from their mistakes before we work the scene again.  I even met with a software developer, who estimated it would only take about $7,000 to build and another $8,000 in annual royalties to other programmers to create the software needed for this job.  How many copies would we need to sell – and at what price – just to break even?  Then I found an existing little app that does everything a line-note-taker needs for just $5.99. Read More...
  • Totes, Tackle boxes, and Toolkits

    David J. McGraw | Stage Manager’s Kit | May 21, 2016The author recommends the Plano Pro Rolling WorkstationA popular topic in stage management social media this week has been SM Kits: not necessarily the individual tools (see our very first blog post!), but the containers themselves.  Read More...
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