Programs & Performances: The Most Important, Invisible Person in the Theater: The Stage Manager

posted by ThrHistoricalSociety on October 15, 2015 at 12:18 pm


On 10 October we celebrated National Stage Managers Day. Here is a great tribute to their skill, talent, and hard work from LA Weekly and USITT.

During rehearsals, the stage manager is the one responsible for seeing that the actors show up on time, that the props and, later, the costumes are in place. The stage manager is the one responsible for holding the text and feeding lines to actors who are in the process of memorizing them. The stage manager is the person who must utter the correction when the phrase isn’t quite accurate, when a word or two is out of place, and then must patiently endure the exasperated expression of the actor who might react with a look that asks, “Is the exact line really that important?” The stage manager must log all of the actors' movements, as staged by the director, so that if the actor forgets where he or she is supposed to be, there’s an official log of the director’s intent.

It’s the stage manager who records all of the lighting and sound cues, as designated by the lighting and sound designers. It’s the stage manager who loads those cues into the computer for the lighting and sound operators to execute.

During performances in smaller theaters, such as Sacred Fools, sometimes the stage manager is also the lighting and sound operator, running those boards from a cubicle tucked into some corner behind the audience and above the stage. Sometimes, during a show, when the theater has sound and light operators, the stage manager is backstage setting props and helping actors get into and out of costumes — because the stage manager knows all aspects of the show more than any other participant.

Read the LA Weekly article featuring Megan Crockett, Sacred Fools Stage Manager,here:

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ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.

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