Stage Manager — Model of a Servant Leader

Being the completely-new-to-theatre person that I am, it will come as no as surprise to discover that I had never heard the term “stage manager” before coming here. Well guess what? I KNOW IT NOW! I discovered almost immediately that the Stage Manager of a show is the very picture of servant/leader, and deserves so much respect and gratitude.
For those of you out there who are as uninformed as I was when it comes to theatre, a stage manager is essentially the person in charge of keeping the show moving forward! That person is there from beginning, through auditions and every rehearsal, and eventually “calls” the show during performances. The reason I say that a stage manager is the ideal servant/leader, is that he/she is invariably in charge most of the time, and yet is also a servant to the needs of each person involved in the show.
Last fall, D.S. informed me that she would be stage managing for “Murder in the Cathedral” in the spring, and asked if i would like to be an Assistant Stage Manager. Well who am I to turn away an opportunity to display my vast theatrical ignorance?! I happily agreed, mostly because D.S. is one heck of a person, and I couldn’t possibly pass up a chance to work with her!
Well, two very large shows later, here we are; finally beginning rehearsals for “Murder in the Cathedral”. With the final member of our SM team, (S. B.-Assistant Stage Manager), we are full steam-ahead in this production! So far, one of my favorite parts of being an ASM is that I got to sit in on the casting process. It was a huge gift for me to be able to watch the creative process of choosing who would be cast. I saw a lot of thought and love poured into the decision-making, and it was beautiful to see.
As an Assistant Stage Manager, I try to make the Stage Manager’s job as easy as possible. That includes getting her coffee, doing whatever paperwork I can, helping prepare for rehearsals and meetings, and sometimes just singing in harmony while we take our minds off of things! Isn’t life as a theatre major fabulous?!

-G H

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