This program - established in 1981 - is the SMA’s signature, free, industry-wide program where members may observe other stage managers at work. SMA members have hosted and observed fellow stage managers’ work in theatre, dance, and opera in New York City, on tour, and in regional theatres.
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1. Please DO NOT pass observation opportunities to others. These are for SMA members ONLY.
2. Follow the instructions of the application process. Do not over communicate.
3. Note this is not a job interview and not the time to talk about how to get a job there. If the host has not seen your resume – perhaps include it in your thank you note to them after the fact.
4. Once scheduled, be on time.
5. Dress code: Make sure to ask what the backstage dress code is for this show.
6. Make sure you understand where you are observing from. Backstage can be tight and you may have to move mid show – know your cue.
7. Note you are there to observe the stage manager – do not take photos of the show or the cast without permission.
8. Do not interrupt the daily flow of the show. Do not pull actors or others aside that you do not know and introduce yourself.
9. If you have the privilege of being on headset, be respectful – only speak if spoken to.
10. Find out prior to the show starting if there is a point in the show you can ask the Stage Manager questions – otherwise wait till the end.
11. At the end of the show- do not hang around unless invited to do so – the Stage Manager still has work to do.
12. MAKE SURE TO SAY THANK YOU and then follow up with a thank you note.
13. Future observation opportunities depend on your professional behavior and the adherence to these guidelines.