Stage Manager


physical |

organised |

people orientated |

variety in work tasks |

problem solver |

irregular hours |

prefer working in a team |


intermediate |

mid level |

senior |

Business Types: 

broadcast |

film |

performing arts |

production |

What You'll Get?


Fixed term and permanent positions, and plenty of opportunities for freelance work. Freelancing can often mean gaining more varied work, and higher pay by being self-employed.


You'll be very busy while working on a production! The hours are long, and anti-social, with long stretches in rehearsals, and the Stage Manager is expected at every performance. You can also be away from home for periods of time, if accompanying a show on tour.


Pay depends on experience, and starting salaries from £18K-£22K, experienced £25K-£35K, and highly experienced £45K plus.

What Would You Do?

As a Stage Manager you will work primarily on theatrical productions, music concerts and dance performances. This role provides practical and organisational support to the technical and artistic teams during rehearsals and supervises onstage and backstage activity during performances ensuring the production runs smoothly. It is a physically demanding job, and often the Stage Manager is one of the last people to leave the venue or site on closing night.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • Create and set up rehearsal and performance schedules and communicate performer calls.

  • Planning costume fittings, set design sound, lighting, props and set dressing.

  • Collating information and liaising with departments and touring venue staff          

  • Manage furniture and props, and alterations to set and props between scenes.

  • Create a prompt script compiled with notes of actor cues and requirements for props, lighting and sound.

  • Health and safety procedures and creating risk assessments to ensure the safety of the full company.

What You'll Need?

Skills and abilities: 

  • Excellent communicator and confident dealing with a range of people. 

  • Reliable, resilient, and always maintains a calm professional attitude.

  • Highly organised and able to handle pressure and deadlines.

  • Ability to problem solve and confident making decisions efficiently.

There are no specific qualifications required for this role. It can be useful to have training in drama/ theatre studies, music, performing arts, and theatre production. There are stage and production management degree courses available too.

What Can You Achieve?

Stage Management is a flexible and fun career and could lead to showcalling the Olympic Opening Ceremony or running the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury or the next West End Musical hit. Typically, people begin out in theatre, starting in entry level positions as part of backstage crew or as an assistant stage manager, and work their way up to deputy stage manager, then onto stage manager and go on to company stage manager for larger shows. It is common for people to develop technical skills and move more into lighting, sound & production specialisms. You also find people move into related areas as TV production or the music industry. 

Where Do These Jobs Exist?

These roles can be found in most parts of the UK. It is common to move between companies in similar roles, doing contract or freelance work. Being flexible about where you live can really help your career progression. You could work for a commercial West End theatre company, regional arts venues, touring theatres, education and there are opportunities outside of traditional theatre, working at live music venues, or festivals, theme parks, or cruise liners.

How To Apply?

Networking is crucial for stage managers and most jobs are secured through contacts. Good to establish good working relationships and to remember the people you meet, so you can stay in contact between jobs.

What Else Can You Do?

Gaining hands-on experience is key, and building up work experience is a good place to learn the ropes and an understanding of what is involved on and off the stage. Amateur, community or student theatre companies can offer a good way to start or working as a casual or temporary stagehand or runner at the local theatre. Looking out for volunteering opportunities on the major music festivals is useful too when you are 18 years or over. Volunteering gives you practical experience to talk about in interviews, plus you often get a pass to the festival, camping and sometimes food on shift. 

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