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Stage Management - Level 1

In this level, you will explore some of the tasks stage managers complete prior to opening night. The final challenge will be to create your own stage managers kit and prepare a prompt book.

On your journey to tackle the Final Challenge and complete the Level, you will need to earn 3 Power Ups and gain 1 Experience Point along the way.



In this level, you will:

  • Power Up by exploring the role and duties of a stage manager
  • Power Up by discovering the skills that make a stage manager successful
  • Gain Experience by beginning to prepare a prompt book
  • Power Up by learning what goes into a stage manager's kit
  • Take on the Final Challenge by creating your own stage manager's kit and finishing the prompt book

This Level Up Challenge is based on a unit designed and developed by student Thespians.

POWER UP: What is a Stage Manager?


To gain your first power up, you will be discovering more about the role and duties of a stage manager. First, watch this video (source: Center Theatre Group) that will clarify the roles of the manager in the theatre and give a broad overview of the tasks involved with the specific field. This will provide you with a general idea of what will be expected of you in this Level Up Challenge, and what's especially pertinent to stage management in the world of theatre.

To dive deeper into the role of the stage manager, you can check out the article "Running the Room" by Andrea L. Shell on Dramatics.org

TO POWER UP: After exploring the resources, make a list of the three (or more) things from the video and/or from the article that you felt are the most important.

POWER UP: Explore the Stage Manager Skillset


To gain this Power Up, you will be exploring the skillset required to succeed as a stage manager. Before you go over the materials below, make a list of any of the skills you think a stage manager needs.

First, watch this video (source: Center Theatre Group) that covers some more basics about stage management and some of the skills that are needed for the job.

Next, check out this article (source: Prospects) which dives deeper into the skillset required of a stage manager.

TO POWER UP: After you go over the material, make a list of the qualities that you possess that you believe would make you a good stage manager.

GAIN EXPERIENCE: Start Your Prompt Book


To gain your experience point, you will take all the knowledge you've gained and put it towards starting your stage manager's prompt book. This is a vital step in the process as annotation is one of the more prevalent tasks that a stage manager is responsible for, so it's important to have this concept down.

Watch from 4:11-8:16 in this video (source: Anthony Stirpe) to learn more about how to put together a stage manager's prompt book.


TO GAIN EXPERIENCE: View this digital copy of a Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare (source: Folger Shakespeare Library). Print off 1-2 pages of the script (from whichever portion of the play you would like) and organize these pages as if they are your prompt book using the tips and guidelines provided in the video.

POWER UP: Learn about the Tool Kit


For this Power Up, you will be introduced to the stage manager’s tool kit. This is one of the most imperative items that a stage manager has. 

Read this article (source: The View From Prompt Side) on how to put together your kit and some of the things that belong inside of it to learn why it is important and how it is useful.

TO POWER UP:  Write down a few things that you want to be sure to include in your stage manager's tool kit.

FINAL CHALLENGE: Put it all together


During this journey, you powered up by exploring the role of a stage manager, identifying what skills make a successful stage manager, and learning about stage manager tool kits. You also gained experience by laying out the beginnings of your prompt book using your script. Now, using the power ups and experience point you gained along the way, you are ready take on the final challenge: finalizing your prompt book and creating your stage manager's tool kit.

You will need to use all of the useful skills that you learned in this level to put together arguably two of the most important tools a stage-manager has: a prompt book and a stage manager's kit. 

TO COMPLETE THE FINAL CHALLENGE: Choose one scene from a Midsummer Night's Dream to print out and put in your prompt book. Annotate this scene using the tips and guidelines provided in the video (4:11-8:16 in this video - source: Anthony Stirpe). Additionally, create a small stage manager's kit that contains a few of the items listed in the article (source: The View From Prompt Side).