Find out more about training to become a Stage Manager at Guildhall from students and staff in the video above
Stage managers are thoroughly organised individuals who require all manner of skills and competencies, but chief among these are ‘people skills’. Only through good interaction, communication and negotiation with people will stage managers be able to understand and work with actors, directors, designers and all the technical departments in the theatre.
"My training gave me the skills I needed to network and plan my career as well as a solid knowledge of my field on which to build and learn from. I was given so many opportunities to learn and broaden my experience at Guildhall. I went to many of the concerts and music recitals, as well as assisting in a variety of technical departments, and being Vice President of the Union allowed me to get some events experience and meet new people."
Alice Barber, Stage Management Graduate 2013 & DSM on Rigoletto at the Longborough Opera Festival 2015
This pathway is all about developing your craft to professional standards in a fully professional context. By the end of the course you will bring all your skills to bear on full-scale productions, taking lead roles in managing shows from rehearsal room to final performance.
What you will study
Along with all other students in the programme, Stage Management students take classes in a broad range of core subjects. These include: Theatre History, Period Style, Contemporary Theatre, Health & Safety and Stagecraft & Production Process. Classes are usually project based and wherever possible have a hands-on, practical approach. For example, when studying trends in contemporary theatre we’ll take you to see some shows, and when we’re looking at period styles we’ll take you to galleries and museums to look at examples.
In this year you will also take a core module called Associated Studies, which allows you to take three short courses in other areas of technical theatre such as Prop Making, Lighting, Sound, Video, Scenic Art etc.
Besides the core subjects you’ll be spending time in classes and working on projects to develop your knowledge of management skills, organising rehearsals, sourcing and managing props, and cueing to music. Classes cover all areas of stage management and give a thorough grounding in preparation for the responsibilities to come.
Students will also work on three productions during their first year as crew and dressers.
Your second year is entirely practical. You will divide your time between working as an Assistant Stage Manager on the School’s drama and opera productions. You will work with actors, directors and designers sourcing and organising the props for each production.
You will also spend a term working in two of the areas you studied in Year One Associated Studies.
Third Year students normally spend two terms in leading production roles as Stage Managers, Deputy Stage Managers, or Production Managers. You will lead teams of second year students and take responsibility for productions from pre-production through to the final performance.
You will also undertake a six-week professional work placement and complete a Graduation Project.
Careers and secondments
Stage & Costume Management blog
For a little more insight into this Pathway, visit the Stage and Costume Management blog, which offers photographs showing some of the work undertaken by Stage and Costume Management students, as well as other information on what happens behind the scenes of Guildhall School productions.