Many stage managers feel they have been overlooked in the past, and so the body that represents the profession, the Stage Management Association, is holding a day of activities to promote the sector.
Designed to raise awareness about what the job involves, the first-ever Stage Management Day – taking place on October 10 – involves staff providing updates on social media sites, recording and publishing their day-to-day tasks in video diaries and joining the cast for the curtain call.
All sounds good so far. Except Tabard couldn’t help but feel some of the suggested events slightly detract from the promotion of the job as a serious profession. For instance, one idea is to hold a tug-of-war competition between groups at two neighbouring venues. Another is to encourage drama schools to have a scene-change contest between their actors and stage management teams. There has also been a request for producers to bring in tea and cake during the matinee to get to know the team better.
Last but not least, SMA executive director Andy Rowley has said staff across the industry are encouraged to bid one another a “happy Stage Management Day” today. Sounds like an uplifting kind of day – let’s just hope some work still gets done for the sake of the poor audience.