Stage managers keep things running smoothly throughout the production process. Once a show opens, they make sure that scene transitions are smooth, swift and safe; that lighting and sound elements come into play at precisely the right time; and that the director’s vision is being brought to life as intended.
“You’re kind of the liaison between the actors in the actual performance and everybody else involved with a performance,” said Angie Hernandez, 28, who has worked on shows at Magik Theatre, the Sheldon Vexler Theatre and the Overtime Theater. “The job will change depending on the show and depending on the director and the design team.”
In other words, the responsibilities are as varied as the shows they work on, calling on a wide range of skill sets. When problems crop up, big or small, stage managers have to have a fix or know where and how to get one. They also have to appear to be calm and in control, no matter what’s going on.
“You are responsible for being the eye of the hurricane, always,” said Alyson Ramos Miller, 40, who has worked at both community theaters across town and at the Majestic Theatre and the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre.
The stage manager’s realm is out of the spotlight — “If they notice you, you’re doing it wrong,” Miller said. But sometimes those responsibilities become a tiny bit more public, noted Rebecca J. Simons, 29, production stage manager for The Playhouse San Antonio.
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Main photo credit: Edward A. Ornelas