AFTT - 5 Skills Needed to Become a Successful Stage Manager

10 Jun 2016

5 Key skills needed to become a successful Stage Manager

Live Production management coordinates all of the technical and artistic elements of a production, ensuring the successful delivery of the production or events.


To become a successful Stage Manager, there are some key skills that will help you along the way. We have outlined some of the most important skills you will need, all of which can be learned or improved upon throughout our Live Production and Management Service course here at AFTT. 


Being able to coordinate all of the elements of a production means that you have to be organised from the start to avoid last minute panics and errors. We aren’t saying being organised will completely stop things from going wrong but it will certainly minimise them! Plan, Plan, Plan. 


There are so many people involved in bringing a production together that you have to learn to be patient working with such a varied group of people. You have to oversee not only the technical staff such as the lighting and sound engineers, but help manage actors and work closely with directors and producers. Learn to be patient, kind and learn to COMMUNICATE. 

A keen eye

Creativity problem solving is a must when it comes to stage management. Learning how to find the problem and solving it efficiently is vital part of a Stage Managers job, whether it be in lightning or props. 
[the stage by looking at a set and figuring out what is missing to make it perfect, whether it be lighting or props is a vital part of a Stage Managers job.] 
Attention to detail is the difference between a good stage manager and a great stage manager. 

Multi Tasking

A great stage manager oversees countless tasks, including planning productions, managing the cast and crew, running rehearsals, supporting actors, coordinating sound, light and visual cues, sourcing props and showcalling performances. To be able to multi task efficiently not only saves time, but is a necessity when coordinating all the technical and artistic elements of a show. 

Problem Solver

‘It will be alright on the night’. A common phrase often heard by actors, but what they may not realise is what makes it ‘alright on the night’ is the Stage Managers. If something is going wrong, it is your job to find a solution and fix it. Even if just a temporary fix to make sure the night runs smoothly, stage managers need to be able to think on their feet and not crack under the pressure. 

So diverse are the professional concepts and skills taught in this course, they can be applied to running any production, from an on-stage theatre show to a live arena spectacular or outdoor festival. AFTT’s stage management course will prepare you for a spectrum of roles from production manager to stage manager, and everything in between. 

To find out more about studying Live Production, click here.

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