“This program is a superstar in undergraduate theatre education. Western Michigan University is considered an elite program, with some of the highest quality students in the nation.”
Western Michigan University’s stage management concentration is a pre-professional program designed to provide students with a general overview of all aspects of theatre production as well as advanced course work in stage management. The focus of the program is to prepare students for entry-level positions in theatre or for further education at the graduate level. Students completing the program will receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree after four years of intense study and practice of their craft.
The curriculum consists of a flexible course of study in multiple departments to provide the scope of knowledge necessary for beginning stage managers. The course of study requires all stage management students to stage manage, assistant stage manage and production assist on nine shows with progressively increasing responsibility. The intense production-oriented program provides one-on-one mentorship throughout the student’s tenure under the resident Actors’ Equity Association Stage Manager.
Focused training with faculty and master classes with nationally recognized professional guest artists give students the maximum opportunity to learn in our state-of-the-art facilities. These include three theatres with advanced lighting systems, infrared and color monitor systems, high-tech cue light systems and digital audio and projection systems. Design classes are held in the design studio with 24 CADD workstations for an individualized learning experience. Stage management students are also encouraged to use the fully equipped stage management office when they are at the theatre.
Amazing opportunities to learn are always offered to students. In the past stage management students have participated in observations of A.E.A. Stage Managers calling Jersey Boys, The Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, Cats and Rent on Broadway. They have also spent a full production day with the Blue Man Group and attended student internships at several well-known and acclaimed theatres. These include The Guthrie, Steppenwolf Theatre and the Royal Court in London, England.
Preparing for your interview
Students seeking to study stage management must complete an interview process before being admitted. Candidates will interview with the stage management faculty and give a presentation. The presentation should last no more than five minutes and is designed to allow potential students the opportunity to show their work and share any information about themselves and their interest in the theatre.
Preparing for your interview
- Sample Resume
- Applicants should bring to the interview any applicable production paperwork, prompt books, or production books if you have them. Also bring two writing samples. Writing samples can be anything you have written for school, including articles for the school newspaper, or research papers you have done for class.
- Be sure to dress professionally and comfortably. Present yourself in a way that allows you to make the best impression possible.
Alumni of the stage management program at Western Michigan University have gone on to hold stage management positions in such theatres as Lincoln Center, Norwegian Pearl and The Old Globe Theatre.
For further information on Department of Theatre majors or the minor, email Debra Gambino, academic advisor.