Stage managers work on every phase of a production process, from prep to closing night. That projection/lighting/moving turntable sequence you thought was so cool at the last live production you saw? The stage manager says the words to make that happen. The latest virtual production you took in from your home? There's a stage manager watching every monitor and making sure everyone's camera turns on at exactly the right moment.
A stage manager is a skilled leader who knows what to say, when to say it, and how to say it. Stage managers facilitate communication between directors, choreographers, writers, designers, actors, office staff, and other collaborators. Stage managers run rehearsals and attend meetings. Once installed in the theatre, the stage manager coordinates all production elements and calls the cues of the show for technical rehearsals, previews, and performances. After official opening, other creative collaborators will depart and the stage manager becomes responsible for maintaining the production's artistic integrity. As theatre makers continue to blaze new trails in the world of virtual performance and work toward diverse and fully equitable and accessible rehearsal and performance spaces, the leadership of a stage manager is more important than ever.
The program at the Conservatory of Theatre Arts trains the next generation of leaders in the theatre and live events sector by blending classroom training with practical work on productions. Students receive instruction and one-on-one mentorship from industry professionals with a vast range of experience, including Broadway, off-Broadway, regional, dance, corporate events, and opera. Stage management students also have the opportunity to intern and assist on productions with professional companies in St. Louis and across the country. Through study abroad programs, stage management students can build a rich global experience.
The trajectory of courses begins by building a foundation in the technical skills of stage management. These include:
- Preparing for and running a rehearsal successfully
- Creating paperwork
- Calling a show
- Taping out a set in a rehearsal room
- Running a tech rehearsal
In the second year, students explore the inter/intrapersonal aspects of a stage manager's work and focus on the relationships forged in a theatrical process. In the third and fourth years, students synthesize coursework, production assignments, and professional experience.
Students begin working on productions as assistants as early as their first semester in school and engage with industry professionals immediately. Throughout their time at Webster, they steadily build their own network and add tools to their literal and metaphorical kits, uniquely equipping the student to take on any professional endeavor.
This degree has 83 required credit hours, Applicable University Global Citizenship Program hours, Electives.
Evangeline Rose Whitlock, Stage Management