- Make sure the sets, equipment and props are ready for a performance
- You'll need excellent planning, organisational and leadership skills
- You could manage a theatre company, become a theatre producer
- Making sure crew and performers are in the right place at the right time
- Organising rehearsals
- Working with staff to plan wardrobe, set design, scene changes, sound and lighting
- Managing props and set dressing
- Keeping the 'prompt copy' of the script, which notes what's happening in each scene
- Liaising with theatre managers and front-of-house staff
- Supervising the 'get in' and 'get out' - the times when sets and equipment are set up and taken down
- Giving cues for the performers to go on stage
- Cuing sound and lighting effects
Hours can be long and unsocial. Meetings and rehearsals usually take place during the day, but performances are mainly in the evenings and at weekends. You'll often be the last to leave the venue late at night. You might be permanently based at one venue, or you might travel to different venues when on tour. A driving licence may be needed for some jobs.
You could work at a TV studio, at a film studio or in a theatre.
This role would be ideal for someone with excellent planning, organisational and leadership skills, confidence and decision making ability, the ability to multi-task and 'think on your feet', calmness under pressure, a high level of attention to detail, good IT and budget management skills.
There are no set requirements, but you'll usually need a diploma, foundation degree, or degree in stage management, or a related subject like performing arts production, theatre practice or technical theatre.
You could also a creative industries production management apprenticeship, for which you'll usually need experience in production management or production accounting.
You'll often need practical backstage experience to apply for a course. You can get relevant experience from student, amateur or community theatre or working as a casual stagehand in local theatre venues.
You could also do a college course like a Level 3 Diploma in Production Arts or Level 4 Professional Diploma in Technical and Production Practice. The skills you'll learn on these courses could help when you look for a trainee assistant manager job with a stage or production company.
You may be able to move into stage management after training as an actor. You could also work your way up if you have several years' experience as a backstage theatre technician.
It may be helpful to join the Stage Management Association for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
With experience, you could manage a theatre company, become a theatre producer, or move into TV production.