Author Topic: Stage Manager Books/Manuals  (Read 16156 times)

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BWEEVEED

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Stage Manager Books/Manuals
« on: Jun 26, 2007, 11:53 pm »
I'm in need of a REALLY good or semi-good or kind of good stage manager manual/book. Something that can give me a broader overview of different things stage managers need to do, skills they need to learn, different techniques, etc.

Or overall technical theatre books? Any recommendations? THANKS IN ADVANCE.
« Last Edit: Jan 01, 2008, 06:15 pm by Mac Calder »
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lauria

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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuels
« Reply #1 on: Jun 27, 2007, 01:25 am »
I think that there are some threads on this previously. You might try searching.

But Lawrence Sterns' book "Stage Management" is a great resource, although greatly outdated. That's the book I started with and definitely go back and read from time to time (at least sections of it, although sometimes the whole book -- it gets me excited to stage manage).

Also "The Backstage Guide to Stage Management" (Thomas Kelly) is a staple in any stage management library.

Both those books kind of have the educational stage manager in mind.

The PSM at my alma mater really recommends "Stage Manager: The Professional Experience" by Larry Fazio. She said that it was the only stage management book really written for the professional world and that any of us (taking her SM class) looking to SM professionally should  read it. I've been meaning to, but haven't found it at my library yet.

Other reading she suggested was:
"The Art and Craft of Stage Management" by Dorris Schneider
"A Sense of Direction" by William Ball (this is geared towards directors, but knowing what's going on inside a director's head is really important to the SM. I haven't read all of this book, but enjoyed what I had read.)
"Stage Management Forms and Formats" by Barbara Dilker (but I wouldn't buy this. Not with all the free stuff in Uploaded Forms!)


You can't go wrong with "The Backstage Handbook." It's any techie's bible.

McShell

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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuels
« Reply #2 on: Jun 27, 2007, 04:54 am »
I second Tom Kelley's book. He was one of my advisors in school, and yes, we had to read his book, but I look back at it all the time.  There's samples of paperwork, etc. in there and he gives you guidelines with enough room to be able to come up with your own style.

I just have to put this in, because these books that aren't "stage management" but if you come across them, I wouldn't pass them by:
Design and Stage Lighting, by Parker Wolf
Lighting Design by Richard Pilbrow

fritz

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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuels
« Reply #3 on: Jun 27, 2007, 01:54 pm »
I've been writing one for high school stage management over the past year, and I'm trying to get it published this summer. If it does, I'll let you know.

Rhynn

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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuels
« Reply #4 on: Nov 11, 2007, 11:27 pm »
For a beginning stage manager, I really like The Stage Management Handbook by Ionazzi.
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Cherie B. Tay

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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuels
« Reply #5 on: Nov 13, 2007, 09:16 am »
Kelly, Stern, Ionazzi, Fazio

Kary

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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuels
« Reply #6 on: Nov 17, 2007, 12:00 pm »
Stage Manager : the professional experience by Larry Fazio

StageMgr2Stars

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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuels
« Reply #7 on: Nov 17, 2007, 12:42 pm »
Stage Manager : the professional experience by Larry Fazio
Seconded. It's my favorite.
-C-

Midnight Blue

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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuels
« Reply #8 on: Nov 18, 2007, 12:17 pm »
If you read Fazio all the way through and still want to be a stage manager, congratulations, you are woven of the cloth.

As well as having lots of info on the educational basics, his book deals with the gritty stuff more than the other textbooks. Seperates the men/women from the boys/girls.

In the order I think they should be read: Ionazzi, Kelly, Stern, Fazio.

The one I return to most regularly for general reference is Kelly.

Baz

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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuels
« Reply #9 on: Jan 01, 2008, 05:09 pm »
Just to throw in an unusual (for the US brethren) offering -

Stage Managing the Arts in Canada by Winston Morgan (an active Equity SM)

Published as a companion to an annual workshop series done here called SMArts -

http://www.caea.com/Equityweb/Regions/StageManagement/SMArts.aspx

It assumes you already have the background in SM'ing and then supplies essays, guidance and checklists for the process. It also has a supplementary reading guide and Equity contact lists. Its available via the Toronto Equity office and TheatreBooks -

http://www.theatrebooks.com/   

« Last Edit: Jan 02, 2008, 12:08 pm by Baz »
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Baz

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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuals
« Reply #10 on: Jan 02, 2008, 12:20 pm »
No books on SM'ing in the UK pop immediately to mind (and boy, it can be different from what you may have come to expect in North America) but you may wish to contact the good folks at Samuel French in London -

http://www.samuelfrench-london.co.uk/

to see if they have anything recent.

Better yet perhaps, is to contact the SMA in London -

www.stagemanagementassociation.co.uk

and see what they have to suggest.

Incidentally, the SMA has posted a little Career Guide online which certainly gives one a feel for some of the differences -

www.stagemanagementassociation.co.uk/pdf/smcareerguide.pdf

Read at your peril!

 ;)
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LCSM

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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuals
« Reply #11 on: Jan 03, 2008, 01:38 pm »
Definately Thomas Kelly! I picked up his book at a second hand store without knowing who he was and I thought it was GREAT! Also while we're on the subject of online guides, the first thing I read when I started was "SMs Do Make Coffee" by Carissa Dollar.

Just to throw in an unusual (for the US brethren) offering -

Stage Managing the Arts in Canada by Winston Morgan (an active Equity SM)



I'll have to check that out, it's the first book I've heard of for Canadian SMs.

bethanyb5

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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuals
« Reply #12 on: Jun 28, 2009, 01:26 pm »
I'm glad I found this thread there are several books here I haven't read yet.
My recommendations from the books I have read are.
of course Kelly and Ionazzi

A Phaldon Theatre Manual Stage Management and Theatre Administration (it was written in the UK and I've found some things that they do that we don't do over here but it's good to know)

Stage Managing and Theatre Etiquette A Basic Guide by Linda Apperson (its a good place to start. It's very basic but easy to read so anyone just starting out should read this first as some other books get really in depth and can be over whelming)

hbelden

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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuals
« Reply #13 on: Jun 28, 2009, 02:01 pm »
I started out on-the-job training, and reading Kelly and Stern; both of which I did find immensely helpful during my first ten or so shows.  However, no textbook can cover every situation.  I feel Stern is geared towards the neophyte working up from community theatre; Kelly starts from Broadway and expands down.  In the middle is a big grey mass of "this is how we have always done it here" at each theatre.

Ultimately, each individual stage manager will find her or his own process.  Those of us who have been working steadily for about five years could probably write our own textbooks, with all of the knowledge and process we've gained. 

Finally, this very network is the place I go to most often for answers.  A community of working stage managers is really the best place to learn, and to find yourself within the community.  Textbooks are overrated, once you've done enough shows that you don't have to refer to them every production.
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Re: Stage Manager Books/Manuals
« Reply #14 on: Jun 28, 2009, 02:24 pm »
It's interesting, I think any stage management book is sort of training wheels for anyone developing their own style.  Yes, there are basic things we need to do as stage manager, but they aren't extremely difficult to do.  What makes us good at our job is our ability to manage creative, artistic people in stressful situations.  I haven't picked up a SM book in years, but I am pretty sure those lessons are not taught in a book - and if they were, their method may not work for everyone else.
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