Stage Management, BA

Duration: 3 years full-time, October start

UCAS code: Institution code: C35; Course code: W491

Award: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Theatre Practice

BA Stage Management - Technical rehearsal for "Sleeping Cutie".


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About the course

Studying on the Stage Management specialism of the BA (Hons) Theatre Practice degree course, you will:

  • Receive a general grounding in all aspects of theatre production, specialising in stage management
  • Work with students on other theatre disciplines to develop an understanding of how each contributes to live performance
  • Obtain professional placements through a range of industry contacts

Who are Stage Managers?

Today’s Stage Manager must have excellent people skills, being responsible for communicating developments as they occur through rehearsals and negotiating solutions to the production challenges identified.

Professional theatre requires production personnel with both a general knowledge of production and specialist knowledge and skills within their area of practice. The curriculum emphasises the role of stage management as a conduit between the director and the production team throughout the rehearsal process and the management of the performance itself, including the acquisition of furniture and props.

Stage Management at Central

During your time as a student, you will develop practical management skills through working in production teams on a number of realised productions in collaboration with students on other Theatre Practice courses, with the Acting courses and with visiting professionals.

You will be introduced to a model of practice that underpins traditional British theatre as experienced in the commercial and subsidised sectors. Through realised production opportunities, you will also experience alternative methods of practice, including community, small-scale fringe, devised, physical, visual, site-responsive and immersive theatre.

Interested in studying this course in 2018?

Although the January UCAS application deadline has passed, we are still able to accept applications to the course through UCAS. If you are interested in finding out more about the course before applying, please email us. We may also be able to provide a personal tour of the campus and talk to you in person about the course.

Course Detail

YEAR 1: Developing basic stage management skills

  • Developing basic stage management skills for creating live performance, through a series of workshops and realised projects.
  • Including managing rehearsals and the performance, blocking and working with the cast and director, marking up, show calling, props sourcing and adapting, costume supervision and sewing, lighting, and sound and aspects of staging technology.
  • Workshops focus on text analysis, group dynamics, communication and current legislation, including health and safety.
  • In the final term you will undertake the role of Assistant Stage Manager on a realised production, working with students from the undergraduate Acting and other courses.

YEAR 2: Developing skills further through undertaking different roles

  • Developing skills further through undertaking different roles, including Assistant and Deputy Stage Manager on a range of realised production projects from main house proscenium theatre shows to site-responsive fringe work.
  • This is underpinned by sessions looking at more advanced aspects of stage management, including company management, score reading, pyrotechnics, firearms and stage blood effects, and event management.
  • You may work on projects outside Central, including community theatre, immersive theatre and events and may operate sound and lighting on small-scale productions.
  • You are assigned a professional mentor who will advise and guide you.

YEAR 3: Focus on professional development

  • Focus on professional development: roles are assigned individually based on strengths and interests.
  • This will include at least one with significant managerial responsibilities on one of Central’s public productions and which may also be of a larger-scale or more challenging.
  • This enables you to develop your skills further, negotiating with directors and designers, managing a team, managing a budget, and finding solutions to complex production challenges, working in a ‘real world’ context.
  • You will research and organise a suitable placement with a professional company, encouraging you to build a network of contacts whilst exploring the areas of the entertainment industry in which you aspire to work.
  • You will prepare a portfolio and career plan, including a presentation to a panel of leading industry figures, who will offer ideas, suggestions and advice to support you on your chosen path.

Download BA (Hons) Theatre Practice Programme Specification 2017-2018 (1.29 MB)

Entry Requirements and Admissions

Minimum Entry Requirements

Our standard academic entry requirements range between 120 and 64 UCAS tariff points. You can see how many tariff points your qualifications would gain on the UCAS Tariff Calculator. International qualifications and others not covered within the UCAS tariff can also be accepted. Please email us if you need further clarification.

Please note that we make lower offers (including unconditional) to exceptional candidates and those who have alternative or prior experience to offer. All candidates invited to interview are asked to bring a portfolio. Interview and portfolio are key factors in determining which applicants are accepted on to the course.

Admission with Academic Credit

For information on alternative entry requirements please see

Application Details

See How to Apply section for Undergraduate courses.

We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.


Find out more about the interview process for this course.

International Interviews

Each year Central hosts a number of interviews outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central traveling to meet applicants. The international interviews are designed to replicate the London-based interview experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site!). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming interview locations and dates.

International Students

Visit the International Students section to view details of English language requirements for Central's courses.

Industry Links & Placements

The course enables you to build on the professional contacts you make throughout and to set up professional placements for the final year.

Recent placements have included:

  • Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
  • Disney’s Aladdin
  • at the National Theatre
  • Don Quixote and Doctor Faustus with the Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Welcome Home Captain Fox! at the Donmar Warehouse
  • the Tricycle Theatre/Theatre Royal Bath’s production of The Mother
  • the Royal Opera House
  • Opera Holland Park
  • Gandini Juggling
  • Birmingham Royal Ballet
  • Wellfit Media, Hong Kong.

Industry Links

The course has extensive links with the live performance industry on all scales in London and beyond, including:

  • Border Crossings
  • English National Opera (via an annual graduate internship)
  • Donmar Warehouse
  • Tricycle Theatre
  • the Royal Court Theatre.

Other opportunities

Through project work, formal visits to theatres and regular close contact with professionals, including recent graduates, you will be well prepared to enter the live performance industry. You will work with professional Stage Managers either undertaking their role within Central, or as project supervisors and team mentors.

There are potential opportunities for students to work with companies such as Parrot {in the} Tank, Shunt and Nutkhut on more unconventional immersive work and in non-traditional theatre making areas, such as street arts and outdoor theatre. This can include festivals such as London Mela, and companies Walk the Plank, The World Famous, Emergency Exit Arts and Kinetika.

What our students said

Sebastian Cannings
Sebastian Cannings

Graduated 2016, recent credits as Assistant Production Manager include La Strada UK tour, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, Palace Theatre and In With A Bang, Hull City of Culture, as Production Manager at the Tricycle Theatre on The Mother and as Assistant Production Manager on Ben Hur.

Central gave me the knowledge and skill base that allowed me to start a career in Production Management. By experiencing all the Theatre Practice strands of the course in my first year, I gained a well-rounded knowledge and appreciation of how the theatrical industry works. The contacts I met, both tutors and fellow students, helped me to gain work both whilst at Central and as soon as I graduated. It was through a placement that I gained my first professional West End job on Harry Potter And The Cursed Child.

Recent Visiting Professionals

Stage Management: Sophie Acreman, Marion Colwell, Jo Miles, Hannah Roy, Adam Tripp, Andy Shewan, Charlotte Padgham, Natasha Dubowski, George Cook.

Production Management: Dennis Charles, John Riddell, Tom Lee, Kaley Freeman.

Technical Management: Jon Hare, Aidan Lesser. Sound, Jamie Flockton, Pete Eltringham.

Lighting: Josh Gadsby.

Directors: Dominic Rouse, Debbie Seymour.

Prop Making: John Blunden.

Working at height: Mark Mumford.

Event Management: Simon Byford.

Score Reading: Lisa Westerhout.

Adobe Photoshop: Cate Blanchard.

Pyrotechnics: Just FX.

Firearms and stage blood: Rc-Annie.

Graduate Employment

Graduate employment and career pathways include:

Company Manager, Salisbury Playhouse; Disney’s Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre.

Assistant Company Manager, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Stage Manager, Guys And Dolls, Phoenix Theatre; Disney’s Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre; Elizabeth, Royal Ballet; The Last Tango, UK tour; Liberian Girl, Royal Court Theatre; Complicite’s The Master And Margarita; Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana, Radio City Music Hall, New York; Secret Cinema presents: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Deputy Stage Manager, Yerma, Young Vic; Pericles, The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s Globe; Bugsy Malone, Curve Theatre, Leicester; Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Donmar Warehouse; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, ENO; The Schoolmistress, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough; Maometto Secondo, Garsington Opera; The Monster In The Maze, LSO, Barbican; Jack And The Beanstalk, Watford Palace Theatre.

Assistant Stage Manager, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, Palace Theatre; Plays At The Garrick Season, Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company; Another World: Losing Our Children To Islamic State and Project Octagon, National Theatre; The Girls, UK tour; Toast, UK tour; When We Were Women, Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond; The Vote, Donmar Warehouse; Yerma, Young Vic; The Nutcracker, English National Ballet; Sunset Boulevard, ENO; Don Carlos, Grange Park Opera.

Props Buyer, Happy Days, Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hamburg.

Award Events Producer, BAFTA.

Production Manager, Imagination.

Production Assistant, Square Deals Productions.

Assistant Project Manager, Don’t Believe In Style, Hong Kong.

Notable Graduates

Matt Watkins (2006) Stage Manager on the musical Once. Senior Stage Manager on the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics.

Current Students

Class of 2017

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