The curriculum emphasises the role of stage management as a conduit between the director and the production team throughout the rehearsal process, the management of the performance itself and the acquisition of furniture and props.
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. The course aims to produce Stage Managers who are able to adapt to any production setting ranging from more traditional West End theatre to large-scale outdoor events.
You will further develop practical management skills through working in production teams on a number of realised productions with students on the other Theatre Practice strands and other courses, as well as with visiting professionals.
Students are introduced to a model of practice that underpins traditional British theatre as experienced in the commercial and subsidised sectors. However, through realised production opportunities, students also experience alternative methods of practice including community, small-scale fringe, devised, physical, visual, site-responsive and immersive theatre.
You will complete units to develop the basic skills necessary for creating a performance, through a series of workshops and realised projects. You will undertake classes and workshops, including managing rehearsals and performance, blocking and working with the cast and director, marking-up, show calling, props sourcing and adapting, costume supervision and sewing, lighting, sound and staging technology. This is further underpinned by workshops looking at text analysis, group dynamics, communication, and current legislation including health and safety. You will stage manage a realised production, working with students from BA (Hons) Acting and other courses.
You will attend taught sessions that will include score-reading, company management, pyrotechnics, firearms and blood effects and event management. Projects range from main-house, proscenium theatre shows to site-responsive, fringe work, or projects outside Central, including community theatre, immersive theatre and event management. You may also be required to operate sound and lighting on small-scale productions.
You are expected to take on at least one role with significant management responsibilities and/or a role on a larger-scale or more challenging production. You will research and organise a suitable placement in order to broaden your knowledge and understanding of the areas of work you wish to enter upon graduation.
You are actively encouraged to build on the contacts you make during the course in order to set-up professional placements for your final year. Stage Management students regularly undertake placements with a range of companies, which have included the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Donmar Warehouse, Royal Court Theatre, Chicken Shed, Bush Theatre, Complicite, Young Vic, and Hampstead Theatre.