Program Information

Stage managers are leaders, creative collaborators, and primary strategists of the theatrical process. They translate, integrate, interpret, and negotiate multiple visions into a cohesive whole, in service of a live performative piece. Throughout each phase of a production process, stage managers serve as artistic partners to every member of a collaborative team and possess a deep understanding of all theatrical disciplines.

Rebekah Heusel ('17) and Paula Clarkson ('17). Yale School of Drama. Photo by Mary Hunter, 2016.

The Stage Management program aims to be intentionally anti-racist in its curriculum and in its pedagogy, providing practical and theoretical knowledge of stage management and the other theatrical disciplines. Anti-racist tools and strategies are learned and examined during the course of study and integrated into the practice of stage management. The Stage Management curriculum embraces the dynamic intersection of theory and practice, and recognizes that theory can be an essential guide to how stage managers fulfill their jobs and cultivate style.

The rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum consists of required courses and electives that provide a wide range of knowledge and training essential for today’s professional. In addition to the classroom requirements, students are assigned stage management positions for productions at David Geffen School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre. Stage managers are introduced to mentoring best practices, and they are regularly given opportunities to mentor classmates throughout their production assignments. The curricular and production components are structured to prepare the student for work in the commercial, regional, and nontraditional arenas. Many graduates combine their professional practice with formal educational positions such as lecturer and professor. The program of study is devoted to dismantling historic stage management practices that have upheld systems of oppression. Students are encouraged to integrate anti-racism into their daily practice and foster a culture of inclusion where change, flexibility, and adaptability are an ever-present part of the production process.

Yale Repertory Theatre is especially potent because it serves as an advanced training center for the program. During the first or second year, the student may have the opportunity to work at Yale Rep in a production capacity. As part of the second or third year of study, the student may be assigned as an assistant stage manager on a production. In the third and/or fourth year, provided the standards and qualifications set forth by the program are met, the student may be assigned as the stage manager for a Yale Rep production. This assignment fulfills requirements related to the student’s thesis and provides an opportunity to attain membership in Actors’ Equity Association, the union for actors and stage managers. Extracurricular participation in the Yale Cabaret is also encouraged, subject to prior approval by the program chair.