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


Well it is that time of year again when the annual Southeast Theatre Conference happens.  We are in Lexington, KY this year.

Today I had an opportunity to attend numerous sessions some good some not so good, some met expectations, some surpassed expectations, like the session hosted by Shawn Paul Evans.

He gave a presentation on new technology for Stage Managers.  It had some really good ideas and gadgets that are not only good for SM’s but for other theatre people as well.  Here is his presentation in PDF and Evernote, and a few other forms.

My favorite techno-gadget that was the Livescribe Pen. It is definitely something I want to try and see if I can incorporate it into my workflow.

Along those lines here are a few other related type devices that do a few similar & but also different things.  Canson Papershow & Inklet — Enjoy the techno stuff. 🙂

Gearing Up

We are getting ready for the new semester for all the changes and new opportunities that will come our way……

…… but I wanted to take a moment and remind all our current majors to go sign up for a google wave account.

Still not sure and a little uncertain about it please watch the video about it and try to think about all the ways we as a dept. work to communicate with eachother.  We hope to centralize a lot of that through Google wave and need you to have accounts to be a part of this communication shift for us.

Especially stage managers and those needing to receive rehearsal reports.

I see this as a great opportunity to try something new and see if we can make it work to our advantage.

So sign up and give me a wave!  I look forward to waving back with you 🙂

Here is the really long technical video if you are so inclined