Stage Manager Resume Template & Examples (2020)

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Table of Contents

What is a stage manager? Quite frankly it is a hard title to describe.  If you have been involved in theater, music, or dance you have encountered one but many people aren’t exactly sure what they do.

To put it simply, the stage manager is the boss of the show.  They are responsible for everything that happens on and off stage once the show is in production.  

Prior to that, they work as part of the production team and actors to create a performance that will run as seamlessly as possible.  They call all the cues, they tell actors where to be, and when something goes wrong they delegate to get it corrected.  

Resume objective for a stage manager

A stage manager’s objective should point out your experience and your skills when it comes to managing people and high-stress situations.  

A LOT can go wrong backstage and it is the stage manager’s job to help ensure that the audience has no clue anything that wasn’t part of the show just happened or almost happened.

An experienced stage manager usually has more experience and skills than could possibly be listed in the objective section so it is crucial you highlight what is most likely going to get you hired for each particular job.  

If you have worked successfully on some higher budget shows then include those statistics in your objective.  It is very important to not make things up on a stage manager resume to make yourself look better.

The theater world is tight-knit and word of mouth will make those facts easily verifiable or falsified. 

Sample Objective

A professional and experienced stage manager who has worked on over 30 productions is looking for a new theatrical home to bring their technical and management skills.  Skilled at running rehearsals, leading a production team, and being part of the casting process.  Successfully managed 6 shows with budgets $20k-$25k.  

Resume skills for a stage manager 

When listing skills on a stage manager resume the list could be just about endless.  You will want to list the technical skills, soft skills, and management skills you possess. 

Organizational skills, a sharp eye for detail, and the ability to negotiate and confidence to make decisions will serve you well in this career.  

Sample Skills

Ability to work under pressure | Able to lead a diverse production team | Detail-oriented | Knowledge of soundboards and lighting boards | Able to mark blocking

Stage manager work experience

Stage managers could work for one theater for years upon years or they may jump around from production to production.  It will depend on the types of production halls, theaters, and opportunities where you live. 

When you are first starting out contact local community theaters and colleges to see if they looking for help or if you can intern there.  While many stage managers attend school just as many learn through hands-on experience.

Stage managing is definitely a career where the more and varied experience you have the more beneficial it will likely be to your success. 

Sample Work Experience

PTC Productions

Stage Manage, Main Stage Seasons 2018/19 & 2019/20

Oversaw the production team and successfully managed a dozen performances to houses of 500.  Worked with actors and lead rehearsals as needed, and collaborated with the director. Responsible for overseeing the construction of the set.

  • Conducted pre and post-production checklists
  • Maintained actor call sheet, contact information, and rehearsal schedules
  • Ability to run light and soundboards 
  • Organized and ran backstage production team meetings
  • Maintained a smooth backstage running of productions

2nd Start to the Right Theater and Performance Hall

Stage Manager, 2014-2018

Performed as stage manager for 35+ productions including musical theater, stage plays, dance, and live music performances.  Worked with the incoming production team to create the most streamlined performance for their company.

  • Maintained a smooth backstage running of productions
  • Ability to rig and hang lights
  • Experienced in Stage Combat & Acting
  • Conducted pre and post safety checks
  • Oversaw a team of 12 crew members

Stage manager education

With the arts becoming a more and more recognized field to enter into, many colleges and universities offer degrees in stage management, theatrical productions, and other areas of theater arts.

If you plan to work in this career it is recommended to study some form of theater or technical theater while attending school.  

While many stage managers can and do learn this trade by experience and formal education can provide you with the hands-on experience needed to obtain work in the real “theater” world.  

Sample Education

Columbia College Chicago

BA in Theater Technology, 2000 – 2005

  • Minor, Live and Performing Arts Management

Courses 

There are a host of courses that could help you in your career as a stage manager.  Anything related to theater, especially the technical and business side.

But if you have a strong interest in acting, stage combat or other theatrical skills the more rounded your resume will be.

Many smaller theaters and programs have people who do double duty.  One show I was in recently I was the customer and one of the leads since our customer dropped out!  In theater, stuff happens, so having many skills is a bonus.

Stage managers are often asked to run rehearsals in the director’s absence, they may need to work with actors privately if certain entrances, lighting or exits, etc. are not working.  

Sample Courses

  • Creating a Performance
  • Period Styles for Theatrical Design
  • Introduction to Audio
  • Sound Design
  • Topics in Theater Technology A & B
  • Producing & Touring Live Entertainment

Certifications 

Some universities and drama schools offer certificates in stage managing as opposed to a degree.  Of time or money is an issue that is certainly a path to consider.

Other certifications that may come in handy are safety related ones and CPR/First Aid.  Theater is considered one of the most dangerous careers because so much can happen and there are a lot of moving parts. 

One false placement of a set piece could break someone’s toe or make them trip.   A sampling of safety certifications shows not only are you dedicated to the field but that you take your and everyone else’s safety seriously. 

Sample Certifications

  • CPR/First Aid
  • ETCP Certified Technician in Rigging
  • Health and Safety Professional – General Industry

Complete stage manager resume sample

Now that we have gone through what should be included on a stage manager resume, let’s take a look at a job example.  Following the job example will be a full sample resume to help guide you.

The first thing that pops out is the bolded section on physical demands.  Working in theater requires a lot of stamina both on stage and off.  

Second I notice that this position also deals with outside events, so highlighting any experience you may have working those types of gigs would be beneficial to mention.

Stage Manager

Objective

Professional, skilled and hard-working stage manager with experience in various venues, including outdoor work seeks a position to utilize their unique skill set.  Experience stage managing shows in large venues with budgets over $50K.  Excellent production team management skills and works well with directors and actors.  

Skills

Rigging | Set construction | Able to use light and sound boards | stage combat experience | Detailed oriented | Strong leadership skills

Work Experience

Signature Theater

Stage Manager, 2010-2020

Oversaw the management and running of 60+ professional productions with 20+ team members and budgets of $30-$50k.  Worked as an integral part of the production team collaborating with the director, producer, and heads of teams.

  • Ran rehearsals as needed
  • Responsible for communicating actor schedules and maintaining call sheets
  • Trained in-coming stage crew
  • Mentored highschool students interested in stage work through local program
  • Preload in and load-out checklists for touring productions
  • Maintained the Prompt Book

Little Theatre of Alexandria

Stage Manager, 2004-2010 Season Productions

Oversaw the running and management of 24 productions with budgets averaging $10-$12k. Work as part of the production team and collaborated with directors, light and sound technicians, customers and actors as needed. 

  • Responsible for communicating actor schedules and maintaining call sheets
  • Conducted pre and post safety checks of stage and backstage areas
  • Assembled and maintained the prompt books
  • Ran rehearsals as needed
  • Choreographed 15+ stage fights in various productions
  • Assisted in the rigging of lights

Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center

Assistant Stage Manager, 2000 – 2004

Responsible for assisting the stage manager and working with other assistant managers to facilitate the smooth running of each production.  Worked in outdoor conditions from extreme heat to rain for long periods at a time. 

  • Rigging and setting of lights
  • Operation of sound and light board
  • Prop construction and repairs
  • Actor call sheets
  • Preload in and load-out checklists for touring productions

Certifications 

  • SAFD – Actor Combatant Certification
  • CPR/First Aid
  • OSHA Specialization in Safety & Health

Education

Virginia Commonwealth University

BFA in Theater, 2004-2008

Concentration, Stage Management

Tidewater Community College

Career Studies Certificate – Theater Arts, 2002-2003

Courses 

  • Structural Design for the Stage
  • Introduction to Stage Combat
  • Audi Design for Theater
  • Advanced Stage Management
  • Practicum in Theater Technology
  • Rehearsal & Performance I & II

Key Takeaways

A career in stage management can open doorways to exciting opportunities and places.  It is a career where the more you know and the more versatile your skills the more value you can provide to theater companies big and small.

Do not underestimate positions with a community theater, many community theaters, especially those in large metropolitan areas produce shows at the professional level.  

Even if it is a non paying gig, the more experienced gained the better.  Remember, theater work is often a word of mouth industry.  Making good impressions on directors and producers can benefit at times. 

  • Learn – either by volunteer work at the local level or by going to school
  • Stage managing is a physically demanding role
  • Soft Skills are just as important as technical skills

Tips from Experts

“There is a kind of classlessness in the theater. The rehearsal pianist, the head carpenter, the stage manager, the star of the show-all are family.” – John Kander, Broadway Composer

“Listen to the stage manager and get on stage when they tell you to. None of the techs backstage care if you’re David Bowie or the milkman… They were there hours before you building the stage, and they will be there hours after you leave tearing it down. They should get your salary, and you should get theirs.” – Henry Rollins, Comedian, Musician, Actor, Songwriter

Conclusion

As Shakespeare said, All the World’s a Stage, and the theater community needs good and knowledgeable stage managers.  

Any respectable actor, director and producer acknowledges the value of a strong and skilled stage manager. 

Sources

Methodology

In addition to our own expertise as professional resume consultants, for every resume guide we write, we curate dozens of recent job postings and resumes to make sure all our recommendations align with current trends for each specific industry and career path. Learn more about our methodology here. 

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