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Stage Management/ Technical Theatre


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#1 Guest_Guest_Kirsty_*_*

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 01:32 PM

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i want to get into stage management and technical theatre, but there is so much competition, where on earth do i start?! i have done voulentry work for proffesional companies before but dont know how to get a permanant (paying) job in it, anyone got any ideas?!

#2 JIJane

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 01:46 PM

I would do a course at one of the renowned drama schools. Always a good start. But in the end, success is also all about who you know.

#3 shiningstars

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 08:53 PM

Have you looked at Rose Bruford? They do really good technical side of theatre courses, I have a friend there who's really happy. Try www.bruford.ac.uk biggrin.gif

#4 David

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:26 PM

It might have changed in the past year, but I was under the impression that there was a shortage of staff in technical theatre, on account of most people going into theatre 'wanna be a star, innit', and the technical side gets neglected.

I suppose it depends on what you want to do- stage management (ASMs in particular) are probably most affected by ACE cuts, but I'd have thought if you wanted a steady job in a regional theatre as an operator (Sound/LX), you wouldn't have too much difficulty (though it would probably be shift work).

You are presumably aware that unless you reach the very very top of your game (long running WE/Broadway shows etc.), even as a successful designer you'll never make more than enough to live on, and you'll probably need to supplement your income with something else. Doubly so for being an operator.

If you're looking for training, yep, Rose Brueford do stuff, as do most of the larger drama schools these days- there is a booklet published by Conservatoire which details different institutions and courses that you would probably find useful.

Otherwise, write a letter to the technical manager of your local receiving house asking if there is any work to be done- initially perhaps on a part time or trial basis.

And as JIJane suggested, have lots of friends in high places and you can't go wrong!

Good luck!

#5 Guest_Guest_ashcass_*_*

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 04:56 PM

I trained in a ND in Technical Theatre at Newcastle College then went to Edinburgh to do a further training for a year but also did alot of stuff for local drama groups in my spare time to keep the practical experience coming too. The qaulifications in this field, at least pay off but employers are also looking for a certain amount of hands on experience too so do as much of that as possible as well, even if it is for local am dram stuff! Hope that helps, good luck

#6 woodpusher

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 03:02 AM

QUOTE(David @ Feb 25 2008, 05:26 PM) View Post
It might have changed in the past year, but I was under the impression that there was a shortage of staff in technical theatre, on account of most people going into theatre 'wanna be a star, innit', and the technical side gets neglected.

You are presumably aware that unless you reach the very very top of your game (long running WE/Broadway shows etc.), even as a successful designer you'll never make more than enough to live on, and you'll probably need to supplement your income with something else. Doubly so for being an operator.

 
David is correct in that it harder to fill theatrical tech jobs these days - the distraction being not that everyone wants to be a turn but that corporate event and conference work pays more for the same skillset.  That said, there is money to be made in theatre.  West End techs are paid by the hour - if you go into overnighters because the PM has fucked up then you're quids in.  I'm not aware of shift work - the days start at the beginning and end when it's done.  That could be four hours or it could be forty-eight - i'm not joking.

#7 Guilty Pleasure

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 07:01 PM

Unfortunately in theatre, a lot of the time people are hired based on who the know and not on what they know however it is definitely worth going to a drama school or university. Drama schools tend to specialise in one area of technical theatre however, Trinity University College Carmarthen does a Theatre Design and Production course there which explores all areas (stage management, scenic construction, lighting, sound, scenic art, props, costume, theatre styles and model making). They give you the training without the fees of drama schools. I know someone who works in the wardrobe department at Oliver! and she trained at Trinity and a few members of their staff both teaching and admin trained there too. It's definitely worth looking into. There's always plenty of work experience with local companies who need volunteers and the opportunity to study in LA in your third year as well as work experience with professional companies throught the university.
I hope this helps.

#8 Guest_laura_*

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 10:47 AM

hey,

i was just wondering if anyone could tell me of any Stage Management courses (BA Hons) they know of. As i am currently in my last year at college and i am now looking at uni's and drama schools for Stage Management, have found some, but i am struggling to find anymore, can anyone help? please, thanks!!

#9 Guest_Abi_*

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:43 AM

View Postlaura, on 10 November 2010 - 10:47 AM, said:

hey,

i was just wondering if anyone could tell me of any Stage Management courses (BA Hons) they know of. As i am currently in my last year at college and i am now looking at uni's and drama schools for Stage Management, have found some, but i am struggling to find anymore, can anyone help? please, thanks!!


#10 Guest_Abi_*

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 12:03 PM

Hi Laura before you even consider what course you're doing you need to ask yourself why do you want to be a Stage Manager? What do you want to get out of the course you study? What type of theatre would you like to go into?
There are many great courses out there for Stage Managers both at drama schools and universities. Most people when they want to go into theatre instantly think of drama schools but universities offer courses some of which are just as good maybe even better so definitely shop around.  Check student reviews on universities because I know there are sites now where students can rate their place of study and their course.
There was a really good article in The Stage a few months back about young adults who go to drama schools, specialise in one area, come out and wind up doing something completely different and they credited universities who give students a broader area of study. What this means Laura is that for your first year you will study areas like Stage Management, Set construction, Lighting etc, then as your course progresses you will have the opportunity to specialise more so you get your specialised area AND a good working knowledge of other areas making you more employable. I know friends who would rather hire a stage manager who knows how lighting and sound work then a stage manager that has only studied stage management. You may also find something else you enjoy and then not only are more employable but you will have more work opportunities open to you so definitely worth thinking about.
Get work experience before and during your course. Write to any theatres you can get to and get involved with local youth theatres and dance/music societies. I'm sure they'd appreciate some free and enthusiastic help! even if the work is only for a day it's still work experience you can credit and you will be gaining contacts which trust me is invaluable in this industry! It really is more about who you know rather than what you know. My stage management lecturer has had a very long career and is still working and she has only had 3 interviews in her entire career. One of which was to lecture at the university I went to.  
When you go and start your degree, make sure you apply for student Equity which you can apply for via their website.
Good luck for whatever you decide to do.




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