There are plenty of people who work on shows, but there is one person who can make the job ten times easier: The Stage Manager. I have had amazing experiences as a producer as a result of hiring a great stage manager. So when a stage manager said she wanted to guest blog, I had only one answer:
Read Eileen's post below and if you can check out this event. It is something the industry needs. Cheers to them for starting some engaging discussion. Take it away, Eileen!
Talking Amongst Ourselves – Stage Managers Initiate an Open Dialogue With Industry Peers
By Eileen Arnold – AEA Stage Manager & Chair of Theater – A View From the Wings
On March 5, the national Stage Managers’ Association will host the second annual Theater – A View From the Wings at Connolly’s Pub and Restaurant (121 W. 45thStreet) from 10:00am – 6:00pm. The event began in 2010 as a way to look at life from the other side of the curtain expanding the round table discussions we have as part of our own membership meetings to become an open dialogue with our peers in the industry. Traditionally, the entertainment industry in general has been represented by the Show Biz Expo focusing on film, television and, in a more limited capacity, on theater. A founding SMA member, Zoya Kachadurian, suggested that the Stage Managers’ Association could be a catalyst for a theater focused event that would serve as an opportunity to talk candidly about how we, as stage managers, share both achievements and challenges with our industry colleagues. As part of a production, Stage Managers are the central connection between actors, designers, directors, crew, producers and general managers. The Stage Managers’ Association wanted to create an event to connect us all in conversation.
I volunteered for the first Theater – A View From the Wings in November, 2010. This year, I am the event chair and will also speak as part of our morning round table “The Traveling Stage Manager – Tricks of the Road” a discussion aimed towards stage managers to give hints and tips about handling a touring show. After over two years and five national tours with professional children’s’ theater company TheatreworksUSA, I know about the ups and downs of life on the road! This round table will be in a similar vein to discussions held as part of our general meetings.
After a networking lunch, we will shift our focus and open the conversation up to two groups of our industry peers: In a panel called “The Stage Manager and the Associate Director: How do we work together? What works and what doesn’t?”, Lezlie Wade (Assistant Director, Jesus Christ Superstar / Dodger Productions and Associate Director, Henry V, Stratford Shakespeare Festival), Steven Minning (Broadway and National Tours: Resident Director: The Lion King and Supervising Resident Director: Billy Elliot) and Joe Langworth(Associate Choreographer of Lincoln Center Theater's South Pacific) will share their insights about the working relationship of the stage manager and associate director. After that, Tony DePaulo (International Vice President and co-Division Director Stage craft of the IATSE International), Ken Keneally (Property Head for Book of Mormon), Laurie Koch (Production Prop Supervisor: Young Frankenstein, The Producers, Moose Murders and Chapter Two; First female member of IATSE Local #311), and Neil Mazzella (president of Hudson Scenic Studio and Hudson Sound and Light) will join us for final plenary, “The Stage Manager and the Crew: In the Trenches Together,” about the working relationship between stage managers and the production staff. The day will conclude with cocktails and a chance to continue the conversations.
I am very proud to be a professional stage manager and member of the Stage Managers’ Association and thrilled to be chairing this event. It is my hope that it will be the second of many opportunities to talk openly with those people we work closely with to make each show a success.
More information about the March 5 Theater – A View From the Wings event and about the Stage Managers’ Association can be found at www.stagemanagers.org. Registration for the March 5 event can be done through https://stagemanagers.eventbrite.com .The event is only two and a half weeks away so register now to engage in the conversation!
Awesome. I love seeing this kind of discussion out there, it is what art is all about.
Enjoy your weekend folks
P.S.- Solving for X tickets are on sale now!