1st Edition

The Dance and Opera Stage Manager's Toolkit Protocols, Practical Considerations, and Templates

By Susan Fenty Studham, Michele Kay Copyright 2025
    240 Pages 58 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 58 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Dance and Opera Stage Manager’s Toolkit details unique perspectives and approaches to support stage managers beginning to navigate the fields of dance and opera stage management in live performance.

    This book demystifies the genre-specific protocols and vocabularies for stage managers who might be unfamiliar with these fields and discusses common practices. Filled with valuable industry-tested tools, templates, and practical information, The Dance and Opera Stage Manager’s Toolkit is designed to assist stage managers interested in pursuing these performance genres. The book also includes interviews and contributions from a range of professional stage managers working in dance and opera.

    From the student stage manager studying in Theatrical Design and Production university programs to the experienced stage manager wanting to broaden their skillset, this book provides resources and advice for a successful transition into these worlds.

    The Dance and Opera Stage Manager’s Toolkit includes access to an online repository of resources and paperwork examples to help jumpstart the reader’s journey into dance and opera stage management. To access these resources, visit www.routledge.com/9780367566579.

    1. An Introduction to Dance and Opera for Stage Managers  2. Organizational Structures, Personnel, and Communication  3. Pre-production  4. Studio Rehearsals  5. Technical Rehearsals  6. Opening and Running the Show  7. Repertoire, Repertory Companies, Co-productions, and Touring  8. Specialist Shows, Unique Companies, Innovation and Changing Landscapes  9. Employment in Dance and Opera


    Dr. Susan Fenty Studham has been stage managing professionally in many genres of theatre for almost four decades. She has stage managed at major performing arts venues including on Broadway, at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. Sue began working with dance companies in New York City in 1986 and toured extensively before relocating to Australia, where she was resident stage manager with West Australian Ballet for ten years. During her four-year tenure as Head of the BFA Stage Management Program at DePaul University in Chicago, Sue created a curriculum that introduced students to the unique world of dance stage management. Sue holds a PhD from Edith Cowan University, Australia, and a BFA from Adelphi University, New York. She is a pioneer in doctoral studies in the field of stage management and a published author on topics that explore brave spaces, intimacy and violence protocols in performing arts, supporting language revitalization in performance, and stage managing intercultural theatre.

    Michele Kay has been stage managing for over thirty years across all genres, musicals, plays, opera, and dance, in a variety of environments including New York, Chicago, and regionally across the US. She spent several years stage managing opera regionally, including two and a half years as the resident production stage manager at the Virginia Opera. She is an Associate Professor of Stage Management at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she has translated her practical opera knowledge into a curriculum for BFA and MFA stage management students, many of whom have graduated to work at prestigious opera companies across the country. Michele is a member of Actors Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, Stage Managers’ Association, and USITT. Most recently, Michele authored the essay, Already Calm, I’m the Stage Manager for Off Headset: Essays on Stage Management Work, Life, and Career edited by Rafael Jean and Christopher Sadler (Routledge 2022).

    "The Dance and Opera Stage Manager’s Toolkit is a wonderful addition to any curriculum, program, and bookshelf. The stage management community has been longing for a text like this for so many years and at last it has arrived!"

    Christy Ney, Stage Manager