Good Qualities and Responsibilities of a Stage Manager

Educational Objective:

Students will be able to identify the responsibilities and qualities of a stage manager by answering questions on a worksheet.


Materials needed:

• Already made prompt-book (this can come from your own past shows, past students, or you might need to find examples online)
• Pre-Show Worksheet  Lesson 1.PreProduction Worksheet
• Stage Manager packet  ( documents/sm_book.pdf)
• Script
• Calendar


Facets of Understanding:

• Explanation
• Interpretation
• Application
• Empathy


Enduring Understandings:

• Every company needs a leader
• Theatre requires many hands to be successful


Essential Questions:

• What qualities are needed in a stage manager?
• How can we use the things learned in stage management in other areas of our lives?


Hook: (10 minutes)

Have students play the game “human knot”. At first, students cannot talk. Then all students can talk, eventually you tell students that a leader must be chosen and all the rest should follow that leader’s suggestions.


Step 1 – Discussion: (15 minutes)

Ask students what was easier; when they were silent, trying to focus on themselves, or when they had a leader? Introduce the importance of organization and communication. We had to have a single focus and voice in order to communicate clearly what to do in order to accomplish our goal. The same is true when producing a play. We all have the same goal and must work cooperatively in order to accomplish it, but there must be someone there to delicate and communicate what needs to happen.


Step 2 – Group Brainstorming: (7 minutes)

Ask students to write all of the positions in theatre on the board, and what they do (i.e. costume designer creates costumes for actors to wear, Technical Director, etc.). Ask students whose job is it to make sure that all of these people are communicating and collaborating with each other? The Stage Manager’s.


Step 3 – Sharing: (5 minutes)

Ask students to then discuss the qualities of a good stage manager. Highlight answers that students give that are particularly important. Why? Why must a stage manager have all of these qualities, and what does it do for them? Why is the stage manager the one that all communication traffic runs through?


Step 4 – Discussion and Practice: (10 minutes)

Tell students that there are four main phases of a show. Pre-Production, During Rehearsals, During Performance, and Post-Production. Briefly explain each of these phases to the students. Tell them that you will be starting on the pre-production of a hypothetical show today.
Show students the prompt book that you have brought. Explain to them what it is, and show them details.
Hand out the SM packet, the worksheet, the calendar, and the script to all students.


Step 5 – Practice: (15 minutes)

Tell students to read pages 3-6 and answer questions 1-8 on their worksheet. Then let students know that you will be working on their production calendars and contact sheets in the next class period. Students have the rest of class to work.


If time allows, explain to students the need for a stage manager to establish rules and regulations for a cast. Explain that a stage manager needs to introduce these on the first day of rehearsal and enforce these rules.


Final Assessment for Lesson 1: (10 points– worksheet)


Students are to turn in their worksheet to get credit for reading the packet.