Author Topic: Undergrad schools for SM  (Read 9589 times)

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bonham0731

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Undergrad schools for SM
« on: Jan 13, 2006, 12:18 am »
Hello!
  I am currently a student at a local community college, but recently I have decided that I want to persue stage management. The community college doesn't offer a degree or even a course in SM. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for undergrad schools and/or programs that would ultimatly help me. Thanks!

hbelden

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Undergrad schools for SM
« Reply #1 on: Jan 13, 2006, 06:41 pm »
I believe there's another posting thread on this topic.  I remember recommending Syracuse University as a good undergrad school.  

Since your college doesn't have any courses on stage management, pick up "Stage Management" by Lawrence Stern, or "The Backstage Guide to Stage Management" by Thomas Kelly - both of which are excellent books for beginning SMs.

Have you done much stage management so far?
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Heath Belden

"I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right." - Sondheim
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bonham0731

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Undergrad schools for SM
« Reply #2 on: Jan 13, 2006, 07:33 pm »
I've actually only been SM for one show (last semester), and I'm going to do ASM and Prop Design for the current production at my college. I've always known I wanted to work in some aspect of the theater, I just didn't know which. I got thrown into the SM position last semester because no one else wanted to do it, and I really loved it. Now I'm just trying to get as much experience as I can in the backstage/mangement areas of theater to make sure it's really what I want to do. I'll definatly look into those books! I'm sure they will help put things in perspective for me. Thanks!

SDShelly

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« Reply #3 on: Jan 14, 2006, 05:38 am »
I went to Rutgers. I transferred there from a community college, and similar to you, I had varying theatre experience, and realized I wanted to stage manage when I was thrown into it at the community college.  It's a great program, because you end up with a BFA in Production, but if you emphasize in stage management it's basically a BFA in that.  It's almost nonstop stage management, but in addition to that you have to put in time in all the shops, and they have small classes.  I had to take everything from ligthing design with MFA designers, and costume construction, prop construction, acting...and the SM professors put as much emphasis on those courses as on the stage management assignments because they are things that would only help you in the long run as a stage manager.  Tom Kelly taught there (at the time), and after him a another top stage manager was the SM advisor, and there's tons of great people there.  You probably would realize in the first couple years if it's not for you, and the best way to find out is to go somewhere where they throw you right in.  I did, and realized it defenetly WAS for me, but I know some people who did change their minds.  And you CAN change your mind if it isn't, but at least you'll be well rounded in theatre production, and you might find your niche in the process.

wilmister

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Boston University
« Reply #4 on: Jan 15, 2006, 02:39 pm »
Look at Boston University, they have a SM program, I know several graduates from the program who are doing very well for themselves.  They become equity very quickly thanks to the Huntington.  They also have an alumni connection that any one would dream to have.  Jim Petosa is the Head of the drama program, if you can get in academically and afford it it is a good bet.

Cheers

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425.879.5903
Wilmister@Gmail.com

supershorty

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Undergrad schools for SM
« Reply #5 on: Jan 17, 2006, 02:27 pm »
Every stage manager I know has come from Webster University in St. Louis, and they're all fabulous.
-Katie Paige

HollywoodH

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« Reply #6 on: Jan 18, 2006, 02:16 am »
Where are you from? I agree with Scoot about looking for a school. Look at programs that would appeal to you. Where would you like to live? Webster is a great school but not many of your credits may transfer it may take you 4 years to complete their program (being a conservatory). It depends on your situation. I started at a community college as well and went to a state school which was a great start but I got the most from my internships. Well, hope your search is successful!

MatthewShiner

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undergrad
« Reply #7 on: Jan 18, 2006, 10:03 am »
just find a good school with a nice undergrad threate program.

become a smart, well rounded person.

you know, you may find after college you dont want to be a SM - so go get a nice well rounded education.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

Libby

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Undergrad schools for SM
« Reply #8 on: Feb 23, 2006, 09:03 pm »
I agree with the Boston University. I am just graduating this year, and I have loved it. A word of warning though, you should be sure you want to be a stage manager to go here. There really is no oppurtunity to do anything else, so if you want to work in all avenus of theatre, look elsewhere.

MeganTrigg

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Undergrad schools for SM
« Reply #9 on: Mar 02, 2006, 02:17 am »
I'll be graduating this semester from a small liberal arts college. When I started here, they'd never had anyone actually stage manage their shows - the stage manager was the person who was on book and eventually ran the lights. That's it. In my four years here, I've been a major part of helping the department grow, which I have to say has been an amazing experience. There's really not been time for anyone to sit down and formally teach me how to stage manage, so I'm forced to learn trial-and-error. I make a lot of mistakes, but I pride myself in the fact that I rarely make the same mistake twice.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend a small theater department. I know everyone in our department, and everyone knows me. And I get individualized advice - rather than general classes on how to stage manage well, I have professionals who say "instead of doing this, why don't you try that?" and are actually watching what I'm doing. I've also been able to stage manage our larger show every semester. And as of last year, I was involved in all shows during the semester. My next show will be my 9th at a college that does 2 shows a semester. Talk about practical experience.

Just because I don't get stage management classes doesn't mean I don't still learn things that help me stage manage, either. I love sitting in classes that are totally unrelated to theater and figuring out how what I'm learning directly relates to the shows I'm working on.

Plus, I'm a pretty lazy person by nature. Not having a whole department to support a formalized way of learning means I *have* to do it on my own. Good lord, if I ever had to sit back and take notes on what a stage manager does, I don't think I'd ever learn anything!

(Apologies for any incoherence. I really shouldn't be writing things when I'm up late after opening night.)

hilary25

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Undergrad schools for SM
« Reply #10 on: Mar 02, 2006, 03:31 pm »
I'm a city girl so the schools that I just applied to are all in the New York City area. However, all of them have different style theatre programs, and all have specific stage management tracks

`SUNY Purchase
`NYU
`Marymount Manhattan
`Pace

You really have to think about what kind of program are you looking for, but also about things like location, size of campus/classes. MMM has classes with maybe 10 people in them whereas other schools you may be dealing with more. SUNY is a conservatory style program which some people don't like because it is too specific. NYU, MMM, Pace are all in the city, which makes them more appealing to me since I want to live in a city environment.

There are plenty of other programs out there, many with great reputations but it really comes down to the other things that effect a decision, finances, location, class size, proram style, etc..

good luck with your decision!

jazminhupp

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SUNY Purchase
« Reply #11 on: Mar 17, 2006, 12:05 am »
My personal advice is NOT to pursue a BFA program.  About half of the students change their major halfway through and you have to start college all over again because you'll have missed all of the general education requirements.  You'll learn theatre everyday if you work, you've only got 4 years of college to think about something else.  Learn how to think!  If you can afford it, (I couldn't) NYU's SMs seem to work a lot.

I went to SUNY Purchase and at first thought I had found the holy grail of theatre but unfortunately it didn't work out.  If you are considering Purchase, feel free to e-mail me and I'll answer any questions you have (jazhup@mac.com).

A couple of things...
1. They only graduate about a third of their theatre students.  The school is not interested in teaching you, they are interested in upkeeping their reputationd.  So they kick out or pressure out anyone who they think isn't molded in their image.  You won't really get what I'm talking about until orientation where they tell you to look to your right and look to your left and at least one of the those students won't graduate.

2. The campus is super inconvient.  They advertise it like it's a quick trip into the city, it's not.  You can't walk to anything off campus.  I've never been to a college that didn't even have a liqour store within walking distance.  Get a car or make friends!

3.  Only go there if you have in-state tuition.  My friends who paid out of state will NEVER be able to pay off their student debt until they're Equity.

4.  It is a good place to make connections, if you can graduate you will most likely work.  My room mates graduated as LDs and they work consistantely, I even still SM because of Purchase kids.

5.  The department head can be abusive, in fact I've known kids that thought about sueing for harrasment.  They play favorites, they're unfair, they're mean, they think it's all for your own good.  Who knows?

centaura

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state school
« Reply #12 on: Mar 17, 2006, 12:53 pm »
I went to a state university and I think I did pretty well.  They had a very good theatre program, and while they didn't have any stage management classes, I got the experience of stage managing good sized shows.  One of the things that I will never regret from my years in college is the other classes that I took.  I never declared a minor - I considered myself minoring in 'life'.  I even got a BS instead of a BA 'cause it let me have more options in the gen ed classes that I took.  I took everything from First Aid, to Self Defense for Women, to an intro to car mechanics class (where we did shop work on our own cars), to a Bussiness management class (to see a different side of management than the theatre side)  These all counted to my degree and I can say that I use a lot of what I learned in them in very practical ways.  And while I've never used my self-defense for defense, it has come in useful for some stage combat situations.

Though, I think I'm the only person who I know who can say that they have a Bachelor of Science in Theatre instead of saying that they have a Bachelor of Arts.  At the end of the day - it really boils down to you get what you put into it.  The quality of the program does have some affect, but you can still get a quality education without killing yourself with expensive conservatory student loans.

-Centaura

teddiekeet

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« Reply #13 on: Apr 02, 2006, 03:48 am »
Quote from: "Libby"
I agree with the Boston University. I am just graduating this year, and I have loved it. A word of warning though, you should be sure you want to be a stage manager to go here. There really is no oppurtunity to do anything else, so if you want to work in all avenus of theatre, look elsewhere.


Libby!?

Yeah, she's right. I'm in my second year at BU. It's great if you know this is what you want to do.

ESM_John

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Undergrad schools for SM
« Reply #14 on: Apr 04, 2006, 07:44 am »
The stage manager at my high school applied/was accepted to   NYU, Emerson, Boston University and SUNY Purchase. They are all great colleges for Theatre Tech.

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