At UNCSA, students in the stage management program are immersed in a comprehensive curriculum of study and practical experiences which encompass every type of theatrical production, including dramas, musicals, dance and opera. Students also explore and develop their leadership abilities, communication skills, problem-solving techniques, and an appreciation for the role of the director and choreographer. With two full-time faculty and limited class sizes, students receive personalized, focused attention throughout the four year program.
Beginning in their freshmen year, our students are exposed to the full range of disciplines in theatre production. Through a series of lectures, labs and hands-on production work in our shops and theatres, stage management students gain practical knowledge and experience in the technical and construction elements of scenery, lighting, costumes, sound, and hair & make-up. We also include instruction in color and design, drawing, and basic drafting techniques. This foundation not only provides our students with a working knowledge of the technical aspects of theatre, but it also develops their ability to communicate and collaborate with designers and technicians.
From their sophomore year onward, stage management students begin to assume production assignments as assistant stage managers, and eventually production stage managers for our 20 – 25 fully staged, student-driven productions each year. Students master all the mechanics necessary for a successful career as a professional stage manager, including scheduling, creating effective paperwork and cue sheets, running rehearsals both in the studio and on the stage, in addition to musical score reading and training in special events. We also encourage all our students to seek summer employment in the field in order to apply their education and training to real-world experiences.
In the fourth and final year of the program, attention is focused on job-hunting skills, interviewing techniques and resume creation, which support the students’ preparation to successfully enter the job market. Additionally, some students elect to accept internships away from campus for one or part of a semester in order to test their abilities and gain further invaluable training in the professional world. Each year, our annual Job Fair brings together potential employers and graduating seniors in a weekend of portfolio sharing and networking that often leads to immediate employment and professional connections.
Our goal - achieved through intimate classes and seminars, specialized labs, and full-scale productions - is to educate and train young stage managers in their role as artist, leader and collaborator. Past graduates from UNCSA’s stage management program have found satisfying and successful careers in such places as Broadway, Cirque du Soleil, the Metropolitan Opera, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Blue Man Group, regional theatres, national touring companies and cruise lines, to name just a few.
Frank Lombardi - Director of the Stage Management Program; Stage Management Faculty
Jamie Call Blankinship - Stage Management Faculty Bio e-mail