When you witness a well put together production, everything you see go right on the stage (and more importantly everything that doesn’t go wrong) is more often than not the responsibility of the stage manager. Having just wrapped up a 2-day tech marathon, I know how important the role of a stage manager can be.
Forgot a line? Sprained an ankle? Need huge amounts of glowtape backstage? Can’t remember where to place a prop? Want everything to run on schedule? Go to your Stage Manager.
The Stage Manager (or SM as we know and love them) serves as business liaison, cattle wrangler, multi-tasker extraordinaire, script supervisor, and more. Take every individual crew job on a movie set and give them to one person and you have a SM. Their service to theatre is invaluable and often overlooked since they are the ones backstage, out of sight from the audience, making everything click. If you’ve had the pleasure of viewing any show running in Omaha right now, you’ve seen it first hand. Psycho Ex-Girlfriend director Beth Thompson couldn’t imagine her show without SM Kate Bacome.
“Kate was with us from the very beginning so she was in on all of the talks about concept, design and the general direction of the show,” Thompson said. “The show honestly would not be as tight and put together without her....she literally takes care of everything....the props, costumes, the actors....all of it! She has an amazing ability to keep everything together and be nurturing as well as commanding of the actors and crew....it is a gift.”
Recommended Reading for Girls director Amy Lane expressed her undying gratitude toward SM Rachael Miller.
“A great SM, like Rachael, understands timing, pace and the artistry of theatre,” said Lane, “but is also comfortable being in charge, and able to handle any situation that may arise. They are amazing and unique theatre artists who don’t get nearly enough credit for the work they do. My job as director would be pretty impossible without their partnership both in the rehearsal room and especially during the run of the show. A director hands over the artistic integrity of the show to the SM. I have been lucky that all of my shows in Omaha have been in very capable hands. I am so deeply grateful for the wonderful SMs I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years.”
Next time you see a show in Omaha, don’t forget about the glue called a Stage Manager that holds everything together. And if you’d like (shameless plug coming) check out The 39 Steps this weekend at the Blue Barn Theatre and witness my SM hero Erin Burns seamlessly call over 300 light and sound cues.
Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to firstname.lastname@example.org