Guildhall School of Music and Drama Stage Management

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Guildhall School of Music and Drama Stage Management

Guildhall School of Music and Drama Stage Management

Stage Management Skills

Stage Management teams are at the core of a production, communicating, coordinating, organising and bringing together all production and creative departments.

Our one week course offers an introduction to the world of the Stage Management team and the skills required to work with a creative team.

During the week you will:

  • Develop an understanding of the different roles within stage management
  • Develop some basic prop making and prop sourcing skills
  • Learn how to manage a production process
  • Learn the art of ‘blocking’
  • Learn the art of ‘cueing’ a drama production
  • Learn the art of cueing to music
  • Learn the essential elements of stage management paperwork

Who is this course suitable for?

This course is suitable for students considering applying for Technical Theatre BA courses, keen amateurs, school staff involved in theatre productions and theatre/film practitioners looking to expand their skills.

About the course tutors

This course is taught by Gill Allen, the School’s Head of Stage Management

Gill has worked as a professional Stage Manager at theatres such as the Manchester Royal Exchange, Contact Theatre, Theatre Royal York and the Sheffield Crucible as well as touring nationally. She has extensive experience in teaching stage management and curriculum design and development.

About us

The Guildhall School of Music & Drama is one of the world’s leading conservatoires. Former Stage Management students have gone on to undertake work placements and employment at some of the main opera companies in the world, including Miss Saigon, Royal Shakespeare Company, the Globe and Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Our London Location

The Guildhall School is situated in the City of London within the Barbican Arts Centre, which houses two theatres, a concert hall, cinemas and galleries. It is also within easy reach of West End theatres, the Royal Festival Hall, the National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe on the South Bank, Sadler’s Wells Theatre and Tate Modern.


Course fee: £495

Residential Option 1 (July only): Course Fee + Bed, Breakfast and Evening meal £830

Residential Option 2 (July only): Course Fee + Bed and Breakfast £765


Monday 17 – Friday 21 July 2017, 10am – 5pm

Monday 4 – Friday 8 December 2017, 10am – 5pm

Participant requirements

Applicants must be 17 or over on the first day of the course. Applicants should ensure they have sufficient English language skills to be able to cope with the demands of this course.

Special access needs

If you have any special access needs, please contact us to discuss your requirements using the contact details below.


It is recommended that students take out insurance cover, including cover for theft and the loss of fees in the event of illness or accident. For international students needing help in finding an insurance company, you might try


Should you wish to use your participation in the summer school as credit for a university or college course you are undertaking, this would be a matter for you to agree with your current institution. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer assessments.


Email or call 0207 382 2310 for any enquiries.


Places for our Stage Management Skills course in July 2017 are now fully booked. If you would like to be added to the waiting list please contact

Apply for Stage Management Skills December

Under 18s

NB For registrants under the age of 18, please provide parent/guardian contacts (telephone number/email address). Under 18s registered without direct parental contacts (phone/email) will not be admitted on our courses.

Terms and conditions

You can read our terms and conditions, including cancellation policy.

Stage Management

Stage managers are thoroughly organised individuals who require all manner of skills and competencies, but chief among these are ‘people skills’. Only through good interaction, communication and negotiation with people will stage managers be able to understand and work with actors, directors, designers and all the technical departments in the theatre.

“My training gave me the skills I needed to network and plan my career as well as a solid knowledge of my field on which to build and learn from. I was given so many opportunities to learn and broaden my experience at Guildhall. I went to many of the concerts and music recitals, as well as assisting in a variety of technical departments, and being Vice President of the Union allowed me to get some events experience and meet new people.”

Alice Barber, Stage Management Graduate 2013 & DSM on Rigoletto at the Longborough Opera Festival 2015

This pathway is all about developing your craft to professional standards in a fully professional context. By the end of the course you will bring all your skills to bear on full-scale productions, taking lead roles in managing shows from rehearsal room to final performance.

What you will study

Year One

Along with all other students in the programme, Stage Management students take classes in a broad range of core subjects. These include: Theatre History, Period Style, Contemporary Theatre, Health & Safety and Stagecraft & Production Process. Classes are usually project based and wherever possible have a hands-on, practical approach. For example, when studying trends in contemporary theatre we’ll take you to see some shows, and when we’re looking at period styles we’ll take you to galleries and museums to look at examples.

Associated Studies

In this year you will also take a core module called Associated Studies, which allows you to take three short courses in other areas of technical theatre such as Prop Making, Lighting, Sound, Video, Scenic Art etc.

Besides the core subjects you’ll be spending time in classes and working on projects to develop your knowledge of management skills, organising rehearsals, sourcing and managing props, and cueing to music. Classes cover all areas of stage management and give a thorough grounding in preparation for the responsibilities to come.

Students will also work on three productions during their first year as crew and dressers.

Year Two

Your second year is entirely practical. You will divide your time between working as an Assistant Stage Manager on the School’s drama and opera productions. You will work with actors, directors and designers sourcing and organising the props for each production.

You will also spend a term working in two of the areas you studied in Year One Associated Studies.

Year Three

Third Year students normally spend two terms in leading production roles as Stage Managers, Deputy Stage Managers, or Production Managers. You will lead teams of second year students and take responsibility for productions from pre-production through to the final performance.

You will also undertake a six-week professional work placement and complete a Graduation Project.

Careers and secondments

See some recent secondment examples

Read about career possibilities after graduation

Stage & Costume Management blog

For a little more insight into this Pathway, visit the Stage and Costume Management blog, which offers photographs showing some of the work undertaken by Stage and Costume Management students, as well as other information on what happens behind the scenes of Guildhall School productions.

Find out more

You may wish to watch videos about the course, find out more about our facilities, or look into how to apply. You can also contact us if you have any questions.