• Young man wearing black and a headset stands in a theatre with clipboard.
  • Students working in a technical booth of a theatre.
  • Students work behind a tech table in front of a stage.

BFA in Stage Management

Stage Management

  • Video of Western Michigan University's Department of Theatre
  • Interviews are held in person and virtually. Information and tips on how to prepare for the Stage Management interview can be found by scrolling down on this page. We look forward to meeting you!

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.

For further information on Department of Theatre majors or the minor, email Debra Gambino, academic advisor. 

Alumni

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. They stage manage on Broadway, on national tours, and for various cruise lines.

 

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Interview Info

  • Interview process

    Students seeking to study stage management must complete an interview process before being admitted. Candidates will be interviewed by the stage management faculty. The interview is designed to be a conversation and 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 they 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.
  • What happens after the interview?

    After all the interviews are completed, the faculty review the admissions files for the applicants. We practice rolling admission, which means while it is possible that an offer could be made within two weeks of your audition, it is also possible that you won't hear anything until March after the last interviews are held. It is also possible that you will be put on a waitlist.

    Please ensure that we have accurate contact information for you so that an offer will not be delayed. Please acknowledge receipt of the offer, so we know you received it. At the time we make an offer, we will tell you the acceptance deadline. Please ask questions, tour the campus and the building, talk with our students, and sit in on classes if you can. If at all possible, see a show -- call or email the box office and let them know you’ve received an offer and they will provide you with complimentary tickets. We want you to feel confident in your choice and will do our best to help you get the information you need.

  • Curriculum guide

    The curriculum for stage managers provides a strong foundation in theatre and includes flexibility with 18 credit hours in elective courses across the university.

  • Dates and locations

    Find out where and when you can interview and how to apply.

  • Questions?

    For more information on the interview process, email or call us at (269) 387-3220.