Author Topic: PROFESSIONALISM: Stage Director AND Stage Manager?  (Read 4391 times)

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Landon D. Parks

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PROFESSIONALISM: Stage Director AND Stage Manager?
« on: Jul 22, 2008, 05:21 pm »
« Last Edit: Jul 28, 2010, 02:15 pm by Landon D. Parks »


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Re: Stage Director AND Stage Manager?
« Reply #1 on: Jul 22, 2008, 07:17 pm »
One of the problems I've seen when a director watches the show a lot once in performance (a problem with some of the directors at my company) is that they never let the rehearsal process end-- something that I as SM have to be very vigilant about. The director for my current show has had a few times where he's tried to give notes/change blocking/etc well into the run of performances... which can be very frustrating for the actors, etc, and makes it hard to keep the rhythm of the show consistant. If you can keep yourself from doing this, no problem, but I don't know very many directors who can in effect stop "improving" the show after it's up.


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Re: Stage Director AND Stage Manager?
« Reply #2 on: Jul 22, 2008, 09:44 pm »
One of the reasons to have a separate director and stage manager, even in the running of the show, is binocular vision. 

When putting a show together having a director, various designers, stage managers and actors all bring separate points of view to make the show strong coming from different points of view.

During a run, when a stage manager watches the show on a daily basis, it is actually harder to maintain a show then a director who comes and sees a show once a week. 

Look at a flip book and compare a picture on page 6 and page 7.  It's hard to notice those differences, but look at page 6 and page 13 and you should have an easier time to see what's going on.

There is also something about a show opening and leaving behind the director and the rehearsal process and moving on to a new phase.  I have found no matter how nice the rehearsal process is, most actors are thrilled to move on to performance phase, and leave behind the rehearsal phase.  I'd worry that what ever tension may exist between director and the actors during the rehearsal process would carry over into the run of the show - which could be very problematic.

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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.


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Re: Stage Director AND Stage Manager?
« Reply #3 on: Jul 24, 2008, 07:32 pm »
Sarah & Matthew make very good points about a director needing to cut the apron strings and entrust the running of the show to his staff - for everyone's sanity! I do understand the desire to maintain your creative product to your own standards, and I suppose if this is a 2 week regional tour as opposed to a 3 month coast-to-coast, it may work out fine for you to wear director and stage manager hats. IF those were the only hats you had to wear.

Landon, on your company's maiden national tour I should think that the president and executive director would want to be dealing in a very hands-on fashion with front-of-house and box office matters. You need to ask yourself if the contributions you can make to the success of the company/production (A Little Princess) as a stage manager & director outweigh the contributions you could make to the company/corporate (Broadway Entertainment Company) in your role as head of the producing company. In the end, aren't the personal connections you can make in South Bend, Peoria and beyond much more valuable than any backstage contributions you make to the performance itself? To be perfectly blunt, the choice is business vs director's ego.

Give this production to people you trust and then go fight to make sure that these clients become return clients in 2010, 2011 and 2012.