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The Stage Managers’ Association

May 13, 2014

You can normally tell when a Stage Manager is extremely busy – they tend to drop off the face of society. That’s been me of late and it will only get worse as the summer season really gets going this month. But what is currently at the forefront of my mind is the Stage Managers’ Association. The Annual Meeting is in NYC next Friday in the Equity building (any Stage Manager or theatre professional interested in attending – you don’t have to be a member – can find specific details on the SMA website: During that meeting there will be the annual election to fill any open Board seats and a panel on working in Regional Theatre which I will be on.

The SMA began as a way to make the Stage Manager voice heard more clearly in the Actors’ Equity Association. With that achieved, the organization has since operated as a networking entity for Stage Managers (Equity and non-Equity) across the country (by the by, England has its own SMA as well). It’s membership-based so an annual fee will allow you access to job postings, forums, mentoring opportunities, and access to most any event that requires a fee to enter. I’m especially excited about the launch of the new website this summer which will increase our capabilities to be an even more useful resource for any Stage Manager (student to the well-seasoned professional) and any prospective employer or educator.

I’ve been with the SMA for several years – served on the Board as Co-Secretary for 3 of those years and have been lured back to run for Vice Chair. I always tell everyone that the organization is as useful as what you put into it. This is a member-run place. We all volunteer our time to serve on the Board or organize events, etc. Which is hard to do when you are in show mode. But there’s always someone out there putting together an activity as simple as Drinks Night where any Stage Manager in the area will meet at a pub or bowling alley, for example. Many of us also offer opportunities to shadow a Stage Manager and watch a show be called. We’ve had conferences and panels that discuss the relationship between the Stage Manager and various Theatre Professionals (i.e. General Manager, Director, Choreographer, etc.), how to navigate unemployment, and even a workshop in stage combat.

The membership numbers to about 500 members (last I checked which has been a while) and most, if not all, have submitted a resume to the online directory that can be accessed by anyone seeking to hire a Stage Manager. It’s yet another method of getting your name out there. And any member who organizes or works an event or panel further helps to get them noticed and remembered. It’s a great marketing tool for this profession where we are out own advocates and promoters. We don’t have agents constantly putting our names forth.

The Stage Managers’ Association is one of a kind in this industry. If you know or work with a Stage Manager, ask them about it and if they have no knowledge of it, please urge them to look the SMA up. Spread the word and consider dropping by or calling into the Annual Meeting next Friday – Stage Managers, Actors, Directors, Designers, Technicians … all are welcome!

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