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Студенческий документ № 070923 из Школа-студия МХАТ

What does a Stage Manager do?

A stage manager is essentially the head traffic controller of a live theater or television production. Once the director has issued his or her final notes to the cast, the stage manager usually assumes command of the physical stage area. All of the various technical crews, such as lighting, sound, props and scenery, report directly to the stage manager, who in turn remains in constant communication with the director by in-house phone or wireless headset. The head stage manager has a number of duties to perform, some of which may be delegated to other stage managers or assistants.

During the rehearsal process, the stage manager's most important role is to record all of the blocking, lighting cues, prop usage, costume changes and entrances of all the performers. This usually requires shadowing the director and taking copious notes. A stage manager is also responsible for scheduling rehearsal times and making sure those times are respected. During rehearsals, it falls on the stage manager to make sure understudies have sufficient time to learn their roles in case of an emergency. The stage manager is also bound by theater tradition to supply the daily coffee before rehearsals begin.

On the day of the live performance, a stage manager may have to deal with both technical and human crises. An actor may not be able to perform due to illness, or a crucial prop may disappear. A good stage manager must learn to think under pressure while maintaining some semblance of order and timeliness. Actors often depend on a stage manager or an assistant to count down the time until the curtain rises. Indeed, it is the stage manager's job to issue the familiar call of 'Places Everyone!' shortly before the performance begins.

During the performance, a stage manager might also be responsible for cuing the lights, sound or scenery changes. Notes for all of these cues are often contained in a notebook, which inspired the theatrical description of a stage manager's job - "running the book". A stage manager may also have to track down a performer who forgets an entrance or has a wardrobe malfunction. Emergency messages for the cast or crew are also routed to the stage manager for delivery.

Ideally, a stage manager should be the most visible person backstage and the most invisible person onstage. Becoming a stage manager requires both artistic and technical stagecraft skills, since it often requires dealing with creative temperaments and technical glitches at the same time. Many stage managers go on to become directors or producers after years of on-the-job training.

How Do I Become a Stage Manager?

There are two ways to become a stage manager and each has distinct advantages as well as drawbacks. One way to become a stage manager is to learn by doing, working one's way through the theater ranks as an intern. The other way is to go to college and receive a degree in theater while also getting practical experience. In both cases, someone who wants to become a stage manager should plan on a lot of long hours and hard work.

The stage manager is a crucial member of the team in a theatrical production. Stage managers supervise the backstage crew while also ensuring that the needs of the cast are met. A good stage manager keeps things running so smoothly that most people aren't even aware of the stage manager's importance, and he or she is prepared to deal with a wide range of situations, from an actor who is missing in action to a damaged light board. Stage managers are flexible quick thinkers, and a high quality stage manager can command a very high salary for his or her services.

The most important think to ask when one is considering a career in stage management is whether or not the career is right for you. Stage managers work very hard, and the job is extremely stressful. They must be able to deal with a wide range of personalities and situations with aplomb, and they must be willing to do any job, no matter how menial it seems. Even the best stage managers mop a stage now and then, or drop off someone's dry cleaning. People who are firm but polite and extremely organized while being levelheaded and quick on their feet tend to do well as stage managers, while people with fiery personalities and a lack of organization may not fare as well.

Traditionally, stage managers have learned through apprenticeship, often starting young, in high school. The advantage of apprenticeship is that it allows stage managers to learn every aspect of backstage work; a good stage manager is capable of operating a light board, handling sets, dealing with the production's sound, managing props, and so forth. The best way to get these skills is through doing them, working one's way up to an assistant stage management position and ultimately becoming a stage manager.

While learning to become a stage manager through internships, trainees may not get the best wages, but they sometimes have a chance to work with very talented directors, actors, and theater crew, and they can establish a network of connections which could be very useful later in life. Ideally, trainee stage managers will work their way upwards on the theater circuit, starting out in community theater and ultimately ending up in professional theater organizations. This allows them to pursue union status, which can be very useful for a professional stage management career.

Becoming a stage manager by getting a degree in theater also has its advantages. Some theaters like to work with college-educated stage managers because they are well rounded, with a broad depth of knowledge about the history of the theater. Most colleges with stage management programs also offer plenty of opportunities for learning in the college theater, and they encourage students to pursue internships with theaters in the area to get lots of practical, hands-on experience. A college degree in theater also allows someone who wants to become a stage manager to pursue a master in fine arts, which can be useful if he or she wants to teach.

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27 Кб, 21 ноября 2011 в 15:48 - Россия, Москва, Школа-студия МХАТ, 2011 г., doc
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