This is definitely something I have thought about for a long time. There are so many awards for so many facets of the theater production, but nothing for a Stage Manager. A lot of people said that it is impossible and here are a few reasons why:
1. A Stage Manager does more than write stage directions, organize the show and call time prior to curtain. Yes, someone at one point told me that was all a Stage Manager did. Oh, and sometimes run board and lights or "Call the Show" - which means calling cues out to the board ops and sometimes to the actors, etc backstage. Here is a small list of all that a stage manager can be and more than likely is during an independent theatre piece: an Administrative Assistant, a Project Manager, a Personal Assistant to the Director, an Organizer, a Craftsman, a Referee, a Partner, a Producer, a Facilitator, a Parental Figure, a "MacGuyver", a Costume Designer, a Seamstress, a Props Designer, a Janitor, a Laundry Service, a Publicity Person, a Board Op, a Computer Programer, a Multi-disiciplinary Artist, a Box Office Manager, etc., I could just keep going.
2. A Stage Manager is like a ninja - they keep the show moving and make sure that everything works, without any one person knowing exactly what they did. Cause, if everyone knew what they did, then they would also know of all the things that weren't working and one of the main jobs of the Stage Manager is to keep everyone working at the top of their game with as little stress as possible.
3. A Stage Manager doesn't always get the credit for all they do. Because they are like ninjas.
So, right there are at least 3 reasons why this is a really hard category to judge. It all comes down to, how do you judge a ninja? OK, I'm just kidding. But, seriously - how do you judge this type of work?
Well, I am proud to report that the New York Innovative Theatre Awards (the IT Awards) is going to do just that. And, with me working along side them. Can we just say - Yikes!
I do admit, it is going to be a challenge, but I am so excited and so honored to be a part of what is probably, the first Stage Management Award ever given.
I hope over the next few weeks to give updates about how the process is going and what is happening. We have a committee of very talented theatre professionals, the Outstanding Stage Management Award page is up on the NY IT Award site, applications are coming in. So, far, so good.
Here are some links for you to check out. Oh and if you can believe this, on the week that the IT Awards announced the award, this article came out. It is as if the fates are smiling on us...and probably saying, about damn time.
Here is more information: