Stage Management Association

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18  Sept 2019
Brexit information: free seminars and advice
SMA Prompt Desk Survey Results
More  NEW Paid SM jobs on our Website Jobs Pages, PLUS
Looking foward to Stage Management Day 10/10/2019


Stage Management Day 2019


It's coming!  Your day this year will be on Thursday 10th October 2019 : #stagemgrs19 is only 5 weeks away! SMA will be teaming up with this year to hold a social in central London (details TBC), and track our social media activity.  Watch our for more news soon, and if you would like to be involved, save the date: 10/10/2019 for our Stage Management Day Social 2019.   Reserve a place

Please help: the SMA US International Relations Committee is gathering recordings from SM Teams/Groups/Organizations from different countries/regions and putting them all together into a video to share and post on social media on October 10th. 
Here are the parameters: 
Gather a group of Stage Managers from your area or show and make a short video recording using the phrase (or some variation - important to note where you are and who you are): 
“Happy International Stage Management Day from the Stage Management team of ______ in _________” -- in the language of your locale (if possible). 
Then please send the video to Darren at with the subject heading "SM Day Video".    Deadline is September 19th 
If you have colleagues working in another country, please invite them and their teams to send a video using the parameters above - we'd like to get as many countries involved as possible for International Stage Management Day.  Darren will create a video from all the submissions he receives and share it with us to post on social media and other Stage Management sites/groups and companies /unions /organizations that work with or advocate for stage managers.


Preparing for Brexit - Theatre Industry Briefings

Free briefing sessions designed for people working in the arts and backstage communities are being held across the country and you are invited to sign up and join in 
Book your place at one of UK Theatre and SOLT’s regional Brexit briefings. These sessions are aimed at helping the theatre industry prepare for a possible No-Deal Brexit. They will cover topics such as

  • Movement of people (short term and longer term, including immigration)
  • Movement of freight (sets, equipment etc)
  • Supply Chain (FMCG goods)
  • IP (copyright and trade marks) and Data

There will also be an opportunity for a Q&A with the expert panel.

All sessions take place between now and 31 October, are free to attend and are in:

·         Birmingham

·         Bristol

·         Cardiff

·         London

·         Manchester

·         Newcastle

·         Edinburgh

For those companies whose business focus is to tour to and from the EU (both importing and exporting work and workforce) you can also book on to one of our two additional specialist sessions taking place in London. More information about these sessions will follow.

These sessions are supported by funds from the Government’s Brexit - Business Readiness Grant. UK Theatre and SOLT are using this grant to help the wider theatre sector prepare for a possible No-Deal Brexit. This funding is only available for No Deal planning.

The sessions are free to attend and open to everyone working across the theatre sector – including those who do not belong to any association or membership body.

All freelancers are welcome  Please only book one person from your organisation, company or team on to one general and one specialist (if required) to ensure that the maximum number of people can benefit.. 

These briefings are part of UK Theatre and SOLT’s wider support for the industry on Brexit. You can see more about the wider programme here.


SMA Prompt Desk Survey Results  Thank you!

513 working DSM's Showcallers and prompt desk users took part in our survey, which is a fantastic response!  Armed with the information that you have given us we are really making a splash and across the industry people are listening and taking notice.
Read all of the survey results here   (PDF Dowload)SMA logo
Read a report of the survey and results in The Stage


Is this a record? 

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We heard from a member recently who is still waiting for payment of significant fees and expenses from Panto 2018-19 (over 9 months) and we are working with them to get the money paid.  We know this is not a record, because this same member waited over a year for a payment in 2017! 
Here at SMA we always aim to pay our suppliers and contractors promptly, and we are genuinely shocked  when we hear how long some SMs wait for payment. 
We think we could maybe help by developing a standard SMA form that members could send to errant payers, reminding them (politely) of their obligations.   Please let us know if you think that this would help,  or you have waited a long time for payment.  We could also help by contacting the worst payers ourselves to pursue things further?  What do you think ?  
By the way PLEASE whenever you need to make prop and other purchases for a show ask for a FLOAT.  Make a simple cash form and every week or two (at most) reconcile the cash spent and then ask for the float to be topped up as necessary (and be sure to clear it and get everything due to you at least a full week before you finish the job). This is normal practice, and most reasonable employers will have no problem with a float of up to £100 or so if the circumstances warrant it. 


Harry Venning's Thought for the Week

@harrymvenning  Writer/cartoonist. Clare In The Community, Hamlet, Release Your Inner Cartoonist-On Stage!!! UK Cartoon Art Trust's Strip Cartoonist Of The Year.


SMA HQ news

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Cueline Autumn Edition:         
We will shortly be preparing our Autumn Cueline and we are looking out for great articles, reviews, opinion pieces and even pictorials relating to stage management.  Our best articles are written from personal experience by members, so if you have an opinion - controversial, quirky, or just too important to keep to yourself -  get in touch with us  and share it with your colleagues and the industry.

Lily Wieland is a US based and trained SM spending time furthering her skills in the UK. She would love to spend some time with teams in the UK area for short unpaid placements. Lily helped SMA on our stand at PLASA and is very good, and a great addition to any team.  Please contact SMA if you can offer Lily a few days placement with your team in London or the South East 
Gianangelo Passano writes "I am a new Associate member writing to you from Genova, Italy.  For about two years I've been volunteering as stage manager for two local dancing companies here in Italy. We perform belly/oriental / tribal fusion/African expression shows in theatres around our area.
I'd like to learn more about stage management in UK and improve my chances of further work.
In October I'll be in London for a week and I would like an opportunity  to follow a professional stage manager behind the stage during a show."  Please can anyone assist Gianangelo?  Please contact SMA if you can help

big thank you to the many members who have had a sneak preview of our new website  and copied their September Freelist submission to our NEW BLUEFORM.  Your feedback has been really helpful and we have now produced two test Freelists from the new site which has worked really well.
For the time being we are continuing to ask members to fill in the NEW BLUEFORM as well as the current form on our old site.  Whichever site you submit a Blueform to we see the information so no one will be left off.  (You will receive an email from us containing your Blueform submission so please use exactly the same info in both blueforms).  More elements are becoming live on our new website including memberships and payments, so please  go to the site and try out and comment on the features; please use the email address you use for the old site as your username on the new site, and then click "lost password" and follow prompts to enter the password of your choice. If you follow these instructions your login will be already setup when it does (please note the login for the old site is completely separate to the new site, so you do need to setup your password in this way on the new site).  

PLASA SHOW OLYMPIA 15-17 September
Thanks very much to SMA members Jules Reid, Ali Wade, John Blunden, Di Fraser, Adam Harrison, and also to Lily Wieland and everyone who helped on the SMA stand or supported us at PLASA and our Prompt Desk Working Group Meeting, especially Adam Alex, Dan, John, and all the Stage Electrics team, and Charlotte and Richard and all colleagues at GDS, plus to Robin and ABTT.  As always thanks to PLASA for making it possible for us to take part in the show.


Welcome to all new and returning SM and Tech Theatre students

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SMA extends a warm welcome to all new SM and Tech Theatre/ Production Arts students starting vocational courses at our many partnering Schools, colleges and Unis in 2019.  You have chosen a great and challenging career in Theatre and Live Events which - with our colleagues across the creative industries - contributes over £100BN per year to the UK economy.  It's also great fun, exciting, hard work and enormously satisfying and creative !
Welcome also to 2nd and 3rd year students continuing their studies. SMA is on your side, and can support you while you learn:  join many of your fellow students and check out SMA student memberships along with our other professional memberships here 

For those moving on from college into the world of work: 

Also as the new academic year starts, this is a gentle reminder to Course Leaders and Tutors that our National Stage Management Awards 2020 will be held in June next year, and now is a great time to start thinking abut the GDS Student Award, and gathering thoughts and information for your possible candidates for the Award.  A lucky final year student will win £100 worth of Flints kit, plus free Graduate membership of SMA and a lot of attention from the industry as they start their career in June 2020 - it could be someone on your course!

                is the largest global, creative community which empowers creative professionals to find work, promote themselves and network within the arts and media industries.
ALL SMA Members get 25% discount on 


Digs List

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Show Digs
An established  service for digs seekers run by stage managers. It can help you to find reliable and good digs online and they wont charge you a membership or service charge!   (just a simple free login).  Like SMA they are on your side, and we will be working together to bring you a better digs list for the new SMA website this autumn 
If you are seeking digs in the meantime contact Show Digs online, or contact SMA HQ   - we still have  access to our website lists and should be able to offer some options too.



 PLACES ARE AVAILABLE - but hurry , they are filling up!
Our Orchestral Stage Management Course has been very successful, and at least two members now have well paid jobs/contracts working with Orchestras as a result -  with LSO and RPO.

"The Orchestral Stage Management Day at the Barbican was amazing. I have always wanted to develop my knowledge of the orchestral side of the industry both personally and as a Stage Manager. I learnt so much working with the LSO staff and at the end of just one day I am confident that I could set up a full concert orchestra for any classical piece. How great is that? We also were able to look in on rehearsals as well . A day full of wonder and knowledge. I can’t recommend this course enough. Hard work but a huge new string to my bow!" (Course attendee in 2015)

The course is scheduled for 22 October at the LSO rehearsal and concert base: St Luke's, Old Street, London EC1V 9NG

On previous courses SMA attendees have enjoyed unique training in setting up, touring and stage managing a major orchestra, plus have been privileged to set up rehearsals for the full London Symphony Orchestra, and invited to be in the room with Andre Previn and John Williams conducting rehearsals for major concerts.

This course will cover all the considerations crucial when working with musicians, including orchestral layouts, requirements of particular instrumentalists and the logistics of touring an orchestra.

After the courses all of our attendees gave feedback that they felt ready to apply for orchestral SM jobs, and well prepared for interviews.   Would you like an added 'string to your bow' - enhancing your career choices, and your employment opportunities? It will give you many new skills and opportunities and be a fun day too!  What are you waiting for?!  


22 October 2019
LSO St Luke's 161 Old Street, London EC1V 9NG

Members £125   Non Members £155


CUEING TO MUSIC Levels 1&2 with Andrew Killian

Less than two weeks left to book and places are filling -so don't delay!  BOOK NOW
These very practical hands-on courses will develop your confidence in cueing and your musical knowledge. They receive very positive feedback from members- many of whom have gone on to develop new career directions in opera , ballet and musical theatre.  Course materials are included in the price.  
Fuller details of these courses on our website 

Cueing to Music Level 1

Course Aim   To enable a potential DSM or Showcaller, one without musical knowledge, to Q from musical scores and thus feel confident enough to undertake such work with opera, musical and ballet companies.

Course Objectives
1.         To examine the basic elements of musical notation and the function of piano reductions in relation to the rehearsal process.
2.         To understand how singers, as opposed to actors, impact on the role of a  DSM/Showcaller
3.         To undertake Qing exercises numerous and complex enough to instil confidence.
4.         To simulate a music test at opera company level

Fuller details of this course on our website 

Cueing to Music Level 2
Course Aim: To enable a DSM or Showcaller, one with basic musical knowledge and understanding, to cue from complex and problematic music scores with confidence.

   Course Objectives                 
1.         To reinforce understanding of musical counting and notation.
2.         To practice cueing from music with unusual time signatures.
3.         To simulate performance issues with a mixture of Musical Qs, visual Qs  and clearances.
4.         To simulate a demanding music test at opera company level

Fuller details of this course on our website 

About Andrew Kilian

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Andrew Killian joined the Dublin Shakespeare Society at sixteen, and has spent his working life in theatre. He has stage managed plays and operas in London and throughout Britain. He has toured in the United States, Europe and India. He was stage controller of the Royal National Theatre and the UK manager of the British American Theatre Institute. As a director of Albion Theatre Company, he has presented productions in US colleges and universities. He teaches at various British drama schools and also provides speaker support at conferences and corporate events. He has recorded forty of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Andrew received the SMA's David Ayliff Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2019.

Cueing to Music Level One: Course leader Andrew Killian
The Albany, Douglas Way Deptford SE8 4AG
Monday 30 September 2019  0930-1630

Cueing to Music Level 2  Course Leader Andrew Killian
(for those who can read music or have some musical experience and / or have taken Level 1 Cueing to Music course- recommended)
The Albany, Douglas Way Deptford SE8 4AG
Monday 07 October 2019  0930-1630

Each One Day Course:
Members  £125.00   Members 'Early Bird' ( book before 16 September 2016) £120.00   Non Members £150.00

Book Level 1 & 2 together and receive 5% discount on both days


LAST CALL!!! PYROTECHNICS training by Lincoln Parkhouse in Yorkshire- Less than 1 week to book!

Excellent value course - highly recommended for all SMs and an SMA 'must have' qualification from the renowned industry leading trainer
SMA members benefit on a specially negotiated 15% discount on this course run by  training specialists Stage Electrics
September 23rd 2019 at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield. 

This practical, one-day training course in Stage Pyrotechnics, taught by renowned industry practitioner, Lincoln Parkhouse, provides attendees with an overview of different pyrotechnic devices, their uses, and relevant health and safety. The course will run from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

Topics Covered: 

  • Workshop presentations
  • Live Device demonstrations
  • Videos
  • Handouts
  • An observation exercise
  • Delegates pressing buttons
  • History of pyrotechnics
  • Flame Proofing
  • Maroons & Concussion
  • Bomb Tanks
  • Flashpots
  • Jets and Gerbs
  • Series Wiring
  • Testing
  • Law
  • Storage
  • HSE Competent
  • Authority Documentation
  • Risk Assessments
  • Material Safety Data – COSHH
  • Transport Emergency Cards – TREM

After lunch, delegates are separated into small groups and provided with control systems and pyrotechnic devices and required to set up and ignite the effects in a “not too serious competitive” manner to demonstrate their ability and understanding of the safety issues referred to in the morning session. Three points being awarded for correct ignition and control of devices and 10 points for igniting something belonging to another group! We are sure you get the idea!

Towards the end of the afternoon session, we reunite the separated groups to work together to provide a small presentation using professional devices including Grid Rockets, Flames, Airbursts, Saxon Wheels, Waterfalls, Mines and Comets.

You need to be at least 18 to attend this course but no prior experience is necessary.

All lunch and refreshments will be provided. 
More information and registration can be found via this link:

Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Mon, 23 September 2019 09:30 – 17:00

One Day Course   £139.99.  
SMA Members 15% off using the code ‘SMAMembers’ .  £118.99 

Book via :


Heads Up! Rc-Annie BANG! BLANK FIRING!


Sunday 10th November. 10:00am - 5:00pm  London SW
Great for performers, stage managers and theatre technicians alike. Practical operation and understanding of purpose built Blank Firing Handguns and RIF's for theatre and film. Includes handling techniques, drills, safe staging, tactical techniques and team operations, plus, of course, blank firing practice.

Sunday 10th November. 10:00am - 5:00pm
ALRA South, London. SW18 3SX

Early Bird Offer: £120. Available until 6th October 2019.
Full Price: £170




with Kate Salberg
An Insight into Corporate Showcalling with discussion and practical work.

  • Roles & Responsibilities of a Showcaller
  • Why showcallers often have a theatre background
  • Working with Screens and Cameras, creating presets.
  • Explanation of how all Technical Departments work and what they expect from you along with problems of Client Management
  • Discussion of approaches to the job and how best to fulfil
  • Marking up a showbook
  • Working with a script and music
  • Practice calling a small show to give a taste of how it feels to actually do the job

Kate Salberg
I worked in Repertory and West End for many years before corporate work, which I have been doing full time since the late nineties.  Showcalled Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Tour & Les Mis and Phantom 25th Anniversary Concerts.  Recent work includes Fifa ESports Finals, Google Cloud European workshops, Genentech meeting San Diego,  Ford Go Further Amsterdam and Pharma meetings.

CHECK IT OUT! 40% off enrolment for SMA members until 15 October - JUST £85!!

“When putting on a spectacular show, it takes an extraordinarily calm and brilliant person to make it happen.  Kate makes impossible dreams possible.”  Sir Cameron Mackintosh

40% off enrolment for SMA members until 15 October - JUST £85!!

Further info:
M:   07771 667652


Stage Mgt Association‏ on Twitter & Instagram  @SMAssoc    Click pics to view links

Support the SMA for free!
From RC Annie and recommended by the SMA, S'Blood comes in two styles - 'Spurt' (nice and runny for a real gush!) and 'Splat' (extra visibility and adhesion). The best and cheapest in town! Buy yours here.

Paper props CDs

Paper Props CDs
Here's a great resource for any prop maker - images ready to download and reproduce to make authentic looking paper prop items. Buy yours now.

The Stage

Discount for The Stage newspaper
Enter this code for 10% discount:  SMAMEM2018   Subscribe now.


Support the SMA for free!
Shop online from over 2,700 retailers and they'll give a donation to the SMA every time you buy something, at no extra cost. Sign up now.


SMA trade events are generously supported by Stage Electrics - without their help SMA could not represent SMs at trade shows across the UK.


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Stage Management Association: supporting excellence in performance
Stage Management Association 89 Borough High Street London, England SE1 1NL United Kingdom

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