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Stage Management—Lesson 1

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Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

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Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

Much Ado About Nothing

June 21 - October 5, 2024

Randall L. Jones Theatre

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June 18 - September 6, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

Stage Management—Lesson 1


Students will gain an understanding of the responsibilities of a Stage Manager by learning some of their duties and creating a rehearsal report.


  • Theatre
    Standard L3.T.CR.2: Create and implement a major design element for a mainstage production.
    Standard L3.T.P.8: Explore various kinds of stage spaces, stage directions, areas of the stage and blocking techniques.
  • Language Arts
    Writing Standard 2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  • Life Skills
    Responsibility, collaboration, communication, organization, resilience


9th grade – 12th grade


60 minutes



Students will gain an understanding and appreciation of the role of the Stage Manager on a production and practice the role by creating and filling out a rehearsal report.

    A big part of a Stage Manager’s duties is to ensure that there is clear communication happening between the director, designers, actors, and producers.  This game helps demonstrate the need to clearly define communication or someone may end up with the wrong information.

    Telephone Charades is a game in which a person acts out a charade only for the next person in the line, who in turn acts out for the next person. The last person standing in line attempts to guess what the original clue was.  To begin you will need to come up with several ideas they can act out (ie: catching a huge fish, delivering a pizza, robbing a bank, etc.).  5-6 students line up, facing left.  The first person turns around to see the clue to be acted out.  They turn and tap the next person in line on the shoulder who turns around to face the first person.  The first will act out the clue using traditional charades rules (no talking or noises).  When the second person believes they understand, they will tap the third person’s shoulder and act it out for them.  Continue to the end of the line.  The last person must guess what is being acted out.

    A variation to the game is to have two teams line up and act out the same clue simultaneously.  The team that guesses correctly (or most correctly) wins the round.

  2. LESSON (15 minutes)
    The Stage Manager is a vital part of the production process.  They schedule when and where the actors rehearse, ensure the actors are healthy and safe, and pass communication between the director, actors, designers, and producers.  They also control every light change, every sound cue, every special effect, every set piece that comes on and off stage, and even when the show begins.  Without this person unifying every aspect of the performance it would be chaos.

    The presentation goes over some duties and qualities of a Stage Manager.  It also gives a few examples of the paperwork they create and use.  (Lesson 2 will discuss performances, the calling script, and Q2Q.)

    Stage Management Presentation

  3. ACTIVITY (35 minutes)
    Students will create their own rehearsal report to let the director, designers, and producers know what is going on in rehearsals. It is suggested that students use Google Docs to create their form.

    Rehearsal Report Assignment Instructions
    Rehearsal Notes (to be included on the report)

    Here is an example of a rehearsal report (please note that the example does not have the same information as will be required for the assignment).
    Rehearsal Report Example

    Here are some templates you can download and use.
    Rehearsal Report Template 1—This is the template the Utah Shakespeare Festival uses.
    Rehearsal Report Template 2—This is a template provided by USITT.

  4. ENRICHMENT (70 minutes)
    Stage Management Seminar—Festival Stage Manager Tanya Searle gives an in depth view of the responsibilities of a stage manager (65 minutes).

    TheatreMania Stage Management Video—What is it like to run the Cyndi Lauper-Harvey Fierstein musical backstage? Cast member Taylor Louderman lets us know how vital stage managers really are (4 minutes).


Students will create a rehearsal report demonstrating that they are able to organize the information from a rehearsal situation to share with others.

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