Resources for Stage Managers

I can always tell when it is the beginning of a semester by the number of searches that I see leading to that involve the phrases “How to make a prompt book” “color coded prompt books” “how to write blocking” “prompt book examples” and others in the same vein.  Welcome young stage managers! The posts you are most likely looking for here are:

Calling the Show: Three C’s to Conquer – An in depth look at the tool necessary to effectively call a show.

The SM Prompt Book: The Show Bible Part 1 & Part 2 – A look at what goes into a prompt book and how to organize it efficiently

The Vancouver SMArts Conference 2010 – SMArts is a Canadian stage management conference that occurs every year in Toronto and one other major Canadian city.  In 2010 it was in Vancouver and these are my notes from the sessions I took in.

The SM Kit – A look at my SM kit and a list of all the things that have gone into it, along with where to find the items.

Other resources around the internet:

SM Network is a forum for stage managers old and new.  It is full of resources in the form of old posts with questions and the solutions that other stage managers have suggested and has a large base of users that can answer questions you may have.  But before you post, do a search and make sure someone else hasn’t already asked your question.  Better to continue an existing thread than to make a second one.

Trish Causey is a resident blogger at TheatreFace and has written a series on the role of the stage manager.  Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4, Part 5

Stage Managers Do Make Coffee is an article written by Carissa Dollar that is often used as a text book for beginning stage managers and is free online.  It has a good mix of practical advice, anecdotes & questions to ask yourself to help prepare for the job at hand.

There are a number of great books that you can pick up at a local bookstore, read in a library, or order online.  A few of my favourites are:

The Art & Craft of Stage Management by Doris Schneider

The Backstage Guide to Stage Management: Traditional and New Methods for Running a Show from First Rehearsal to Last Performance by Thomas A. Kelly

Stage Managing the Arts in Canada by Winston Morgan

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About Lois

I am a Vancouver-based Stage Manager and frequent theatre goer. After graduating from Trinity Western University I spent two seasons as the resident stage manager at Pacific Theatre. Now I am working as a freelancer with various companies in Vancouver.


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  2. Another good tool is, a website that lets stage managers create and share online rehearsal schedules, take attendance, and update cast and crew lists.

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