1st Edition

Stage Management Theory as a Guide to Practice Cultivating a Creative Approach

By Lisa Porter, Narda E. Alcorn Copyright 2020
    148 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    148 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Stage Management Theory as a Guide to Practice offers theory and methodology for developing a unique stage management style, preparing stage managers to develop an adaptive approach for the vast and varied scope of the production process, forge their own path, and respond to the present moment with care and creativity.

    This book provides tactile adaptive strategies, enabling stage managers to navigate diverse populations, venues, and projects. Experiential stories based on extensive experience with world-renowned artists exemplify the practices and provide frameworks for self-reflection, synthesis, and engagement with theory-guided practice. This book empowers stage managers to include the ‘How You’ with ‘How To’ by flexing collaborative muscles and engaging tools to guide any collaborative project to fruition with creativity, curiosity, and the drive to build connections.

    Exploring topics such as group dynamics, ethics, culture, conflict resolution, and strategic communication, Stage Management Theory as a Guide to Practice: Cultivating a Creative Approach is an essential tool for advanced stage management students, educators, and professionals.

    1. Theory  2. Practice  3. Environment  4. Communication  5. Orchestration  6. Culture  7. Ethics  8. Purpose


    Lisa Porter is a professor of theatre and dance at the University of California, San Diego, where she has taught since 2005. She is the head of the MFA in stage management, and teaches graduate and undergraduate stage management. She has also developed courses related to creativity, neuroscience, disability, and performance. Lisa has taught in the MFA Stage Management program at Yale School of Drama, and has led international classes in Singapore, Taiwan, and China.

    Working in diverse venues on six continents, Lisa’s career has included international projects with Laurie Anderson, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Anne Bogart, Hal Hartley, Yo-Yo Ma, Silkroad Ensemble, White Oak Dance Project, and Robert Wilson. She has collaborated extensively on multiple intercultural productions with Singaporean director Ong Keng Sen and TheatreWorks Singapore. Her New York and regional credits include productions with Christopher Ashley, Charles Busch, Jonathan Demme, Richard Foreman, Doug Hughes, Tina Landau, Kenny Leon, Suzan-Lori Parks, Darko Tresnjak, and Mark Wing-Davey. She has also produced and stage managed non-profit and corporate events since 1996.


    Narda E. Alcorn is a professor and stage manager who has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, and internationally. In 2019, Narda was appointed chair of the stage management department at Yale School of Drama. She has been head of stage management for New York University, DePaul University, and State University of New York at Purchase. She received DePaul’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015 and The Robert Christen Award for Excellence in Technical Collaboration in 2017.

    On Broadway, Narda has had collaborations with the Tony-winning directors Kenny Leon, Bartlett Sher, and George C. Wolfe. She premiered four of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson’s century cycle plays, and stage managed two Broadway revivals of his work. Her New York and regional credits include productions with Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Billy Crystal, Kevin Kline, Annette Bening, Phylicia Rashad, David Schwimmer, and Richard Foreman. Narda was a longtime stage manager on the Broadway production of The Lion King, and she has collaborated with the celebrated MacArthur Fellows composer George E. Lewis and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney.