Stage managers work in a variety of theaters in various locations. These venues might include summer stock, regional theaters, off-Broadway, and off-off Broadway. Prospects become more difficult for individuals when they aspire to work as stage managers in Broadway productions. While New York city is the major theatrical capital, there is so much competition that many stage managers find work in other culturally active cities.
Stage managers without a great deal of experience often get their start by working at summer stock and dinner theaters around the country. There are also opportunities in casinos and hotels which host stage productions. They also get a foot in the door through internships and assistant stage manager positions. Ask your school's career services office for assistance in locating opportunities in theater.
Advancement prospects are good for stage managers who are proficient at their jobs. Individuals may take a number of paths to advancement. Stage managers who want to stay in their profession may obtain similar jobs with more prestigious productions. They may also find a steady stream of employment possibilities resulting in higher annual earnings. Stage managers who prefer a career change may become a director. Some stage managers obtain as much experience as possible then go on to become producers.
Tips for Entry
Learn as much as you can about all aspects of theater. Read industry publications such as Backstage (https://www.backstage.com) to keep with industry news and job openings.
Look for internships and apprenticeships to obtain on-the-job training. These can often be found at community and regional theaters.
Try to locate any type of job in summer stock. The experience will help you learn as well as provide an opportunity to make important contacts that can be helpful in your career.
Volunteer at your local community theater. This is another way to learn more about the theater industry.