Author Topic: International Stage Management  (Read 4174 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 16
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AGMA
  • Current Gig: PSM-FGO
  • Experience: Professional
International Stage Management
« on: Feb 08, 2007, 10:49 pm »
Hello everyone,
I was wondering if anyone knew anything about stage managing in other countries such as Ireland or the UK. I'm kind of new to stage managing in a professional setting, but have heard of SMs traveling abroad to work in cities such as London or Paris.

How would one go about applying for a job in another country?

Do oversees companies frequently hire foriegn stage managers, or do they mainly try to draw from their own pool?

Does the role of a stage manager differ in anyway from country to country?

What kind of work visas/ customs requirements/ tax headaches are there associated with working abroad?

Any information anyone may have would be greatly appreciated.



  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: International Stage Management
« Reply #1 on: Feb 13, 2007, 06:35 pm »
Similarly, I'd quite like to find out if there are any opportunities for UK residents to get stage management experience in the US? Not necessarily paid, as I'm still a student.
Does anyone know anything about this?
Would be much appreciated.


  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 340
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: SMA
Re: International Stage Management
« Reply #2 on: Feb 14, 2007, 09:07 am »
Liam, regarding finding work internationally -
It is not at all common for a company to bring in a stage manager from another country, but yes, it is done. Stage managers can certainly apply and get jobs in other countries, but you will be responsible for coordinating your visa/immigration paperwork - note that it is very different for every country. (For fun, check out the requirements US citizens to work in Russia sometime. You have to have a prearranged letter from the hotel you're staying at to present to the consulate just for approval to apply for the visa.) Sometimes the company will provide your travel and/or housing, but this would usually apply to inter-European travels (not US to Europe, or US to Asia, etc). It's just so expensive, you're practically spending the SM fee all over again to bring the SM to your country. When you take gigs in a foreign country, the tax paperwork is elaborate - you should definitely use an accountant at this point. You will be subject to all foreign taxes and fees, so you had better know what they are. You can have someone in the foreign company's finance office explain it to you, of course. The most common way to go international is to get on a tour or cruise, or occasionally to pound the pavement yourself in the international theatre community (opera might offer more opportunities for foreign work in general). Really, you apply for international jobs the same way you apply for domestic jobs. Just be ready to travel (ie have a passport) and be ready to look extra diligently for jobs in a country far far away.

The role of a SM is generally the same from country to country, but backstage protocol (and terminology) are different. While you will basically be undertaking the same responsibilities, procedures will probably be different - be sure you have spoken with the PM to know exactly what is expected of you. There are a few discussions around the site about working in different countries (Italy and the UK specifically). Do I need to say it? - you must speak the language of the country you're working in. There are some great British SM books that are easily available in the US - this might give you an idea of varying job duties.

Cable, opportunities for British students would be pretty much the same as for American students in the US. You are certainly eligible for the same opportunities we discuss around this site. You'd have to secure yourself a  student visa to enter the US, and you would not be able to get paid work while visiting the country (that would require a work visa, which is different - see a quick discussion of visas here:,840.0.html, or visit A work-study program through your university's student exchange might be an ideal way for you to get this experience.


  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 405
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Experience: Professional
Re: International Stage Management
« Reply #3 on: Feb 14, 2007, 12:28 pm »
To be hired by a company in London the company has to prove to the government that there is no one else who is as qualified who is a British citizen.  I worked with a director over there at an apprenticeship, and she really wanted me on a tour that she was about to do.  We never were able to get me 'hired' perse, but we did finally managed to get it classified as an extension of my apprenticeship - but that came with the caveaot that they could only pay my tour expenses, and not give me a salary.  It was worth it for me, but I had other backing that I was living in the country on.

I know that the French aren't very found of Americans, and you'd better speak fluent french before applying.  Sometimes you can get an in into a place like that by working with a theatre in the states that's connected to a theatre over there.  I know in Minneapolis there is a theatre that has connections to a theatre in France and they used to send stuff back and forth.

There are some american groups that tour overseas which you could look into.  NETworks and Vee Corp are two that come to mind.