Governance & History
of the SMA
Formed by Advocacy
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SMA
The Stage Managers’ Association formally became a 501 c 6 Business Association, the only national organization representing stage managers across the live performing arts sector in 1982. In 2022, it celebrates its’ 40th anniversary.
Our beginning: In the fall of 1981, a group of New York stage managers held a get-together with the stage managers of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Nicholas Nickleby. That get-together was the inspiration for us to start regular meetings; at first on a social basis, then as an official Business Meeting in February 1982. Common concerns raised at those first meetings included:
- Lack of representation in our unions.
- The need to meet other stage managers on a regular basis to exchange ideas, contacts, and job opportunities.
- A desire to educate others about the work we do.
Our members are united for a common cause: to continue to advocate for and recognize stage managers for the work we do in the entertainment profession. We provide resources with which our membership can create community and support.
The mission points of today’s SMA are Advocacy, Education, Recognition, Networking and Community. With national and international representation across the wider stage management community, the SMA remains an essential organization that supports all stage managers whether members of a union or not, throughout their professional careers.