The Overture…

This year, for one day, all over the UK, The Stage Management Association would like the spot light to pan off into the wings and pick up those backstage ninjas, stage managers. The day? 10th October, of course, because we think all stage managers deserve 10/10!


10th October 2013 is Stage Management Day (#StageMgrs13)  and we want to tell the world a little bit more about the work stage managers do and rejoice in and celebrate the ingenious and creative ways in which they go about it. Who better to organise this than stage managers themselves? Logistical experts and outstanding communicators, with artistic flair to boot! Just think how often you’ve heard the question “But what is it you actually do?…”  Well, now is your chance to answer that question and share the answer with the world, having a bit of fun at the same time…

Remember when Rock of Ages shared this YouTube video of the DSM calling a segment of the show?

We loved it and we know other stage managers and theatre fans loved it, too. Could you get permission to do something similar? Could you film a video diary of some of your department’s work? A day in the life of…? How about a time lapse video of a fit up or a reset, or even of making a prop? We want to focus on stage managers in all types of theatre, whether large scale or fringe. It’s all interesting. Maybe you just want to film something a bit silly? That’s fine, too. Let’s face it, much of stage management centres around having a terrific sense of humour!

Does your show have a Twitter feed? Would they allow a stage management #TwitterTakeover for the day? Or even the week? Sometimes the things which seem ordinary to us are intriguing for people who don’t work in theatre.  Share those things. Who are the performers in your company who tweet? Would they do Twitter shout outs for the stage management team? We know they love and respect you… let’s make #StageMgrs13 the day when everyone puts it into words and photos.

What fun events can you think up for that week? If you’re in the West End, there are so many neighbouring teams around that you could challenge one another to… a tug of war in between shows? Or something much more imaginative, and risk assessed to high heaven, than our idea. Get your thinking caps on! Maybe you can do something to raise a little money for charity? The Theatrical Guild and The Actors’ Benevolent Fund are the ones supporting stage managers in times of need. We want drama schools to get involved, too. What could you students do? Could you showcase your work? Or maybe challenge the actors to a mark out? A scene change contest, even? Just make sure they don’t win – we’ve got standards to live up to!

How about a bit of a role reversal? Obviously we don’t want to encourage anarchy, but perhaps this is the one night when it would be nice for the stage management team, or indeed the whole backstage team, to join the cast for the curtain call? We understand some stage managers might actually pass out at the thought of this, so how about stage managers choose the music for warm up? Or your company manager give permission for one of the cast to call the half or read out the running times? Perhaps they can do the shout check with you or a bit of well supervised prop maintenance?

Will you be in rehearsals in that week? Perhaps this is the day that your director will make your tea,  and certainly we think that someone else should help out with the washing up that day. For those with matinees , maybe producers can pop down for a brew and a chat with the department they might not see that often. If they bring cake, and we have certainly suggested to them that they do, all the better!

Does your theatre have an education department? We’d love to see them throwing the focus onto stage management that week. This is also the perfect week for the local paper to run a “Behind the Scenes…” feature. How about a post show Q and A with the stage management team one night? This would be really popular with the audience on a busy technical show. If you’re shy, get one of your cast to host it and all you have to do is answer the questions to which you, hopefully, know all the answers!

In February The Stage Management Association held the first ever Stage Management Census and 767 of you responded. If  767 of you got involved with Stage Management Day that would make 10th October 2013 a fantastic celebration of all that we do. 

We’ll be using this blog to share the many ideas we’re sure stage managers are going to come up with, so we need you to get planning and to let us know what you get up to.

Tweet us your photos, your videos, your Vine clips. You can tweet us at @SMAssoc and/or tweet with the hashtag #StageMgrs13.  If you’re not on Twitter, then join the Friends of the SMA group on Facebook or just email us instead at:

– Upload photos and videos to our new Flickr group

– Upload videos to Youtube and let us know that they’re there.

– If you have a blog, why not write something about your job or what stage management means to you?

Come on, people. There are just under 8 weeks to go. We can put on large scale musicals in half that time!