In addition to production assignments, students will also take classes in stage management. The first is the Assistant Stage Management course. This is a nuts and bolts class about being a stage manager and, more specifically, how to be an assistant stage manager, with a focus on paperwork and organization. The second course is called Stage Management Foundations. This is a more intensive course focusing on the role, expectations, and duties of a lead stage manager.
Next is the Stage Management Styles course, which is where advanced stage management students dive into relevant topics in management such as communication, problem solving and conflict management. In addition to these theory courses, stage managers get extensive practice stage managing four to six productions (dance, plays, opera and/or musicals) and receive credit via Production Practicum.
All lead stage managers meet weekly to discuss their productions in a forum-like setting. At this time, students are encouraged to bring specific problems and achievements to the table for discussion with their fellow stage mangers. In addition to the weekly meeting of lead stage managers, both SMs and ASMs do a presentation on their production updating their fellow stage managers on the progress of their show just prior to moving into technical rehearsals. Students are encouraged to question the reporting team to develop a problem-solving dialogue.