How The Show Goes On: An Exploration Of Problem Solving In Stage Management
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As the saying goes, in live theatre, there is never a perfect show. Often, it falls on the stage management team to find a safe, efficient solution so that the show can continue. Theatrically, and in comparable fields, stage management is generally recognized as a leadership role involving: team supervision, show maintenance, creating systems, identifying solutions, and conflict resolution. Through this project, I plan to explore how stage managers solve problems that occur in live settings. More specifically, I will focus on how stage managers develop their approaches and leadership styles. To explore this idea I plan to: research existing literature, draw upon my lived experiences and collaborations, reflect on previous guest artist panels, reference and utilize an abundance of notes from masterclasses, and listen to podcasts that focus on interviewing stage managers and leaders in arts administration from a variety of backgrounds. Based on my personal experiences, and in observation of the professionals and mentors that I have worked closely with, I have found that in order to stage manage successfully - you must have a healthy balance of “people and paper.” In addition, stage management job descriptions often include a combination of administrative and interpersonal skill sets. This research, focusing on practitioners in a variety of settings, along with articles written by diversely skilled sources, continues to highlight the importance of leadership that is equipped to handle challenges ranging from a broken chair leg to an actor fainting backstage to identifying and improving morale.