Behind the Stage:
Stage Manager’s Checklist
By Nicole Walters of Atlanta Ballet
“Stage Manager’s Checklist,” authored by stage manager Nicole Walters of Atlanta Ballet, is a new resource outlining the necessary skills required for aspiring and existing stage managers. In addition to the checklist, Nicole walks us through her “Typical Day“— which, you will quickly find, is anything but typical. Nicole was also featured as a part of Global Conversations: Behind the Stage released earlier this summer– you can see our full interview with Nicole here.
This checklist acts as a useful stepping stone as dancers consider transitioning “behind the stage” and investigate career pathways beyond dancing, though the resource is not solely applicable for classical dance companies. It has been universalised to apply to all performance arts/venues.
“DDP is stepping in during these uncertain economic times to help women advance their careers and even illuminate possible pathways following a professional dance career,” DDP Communications Lead Isabelle Ramey notes. “Fostering awareness of the skills required for these challenging positions is important– these careers, while both lucrative and more secure, still provide the adrenaline and daily challenge that so many in the performing arts seek.”
Paired with a document illustrating a “Typical Day” of a stage manager, the checklist creates a thorough and clear description of possible responsibilities, as well as some helpful tips to make the role easier. “Nothing ever goes quite as planned” says Walters, who is always preparing for the unexpected; touting resourcefulness, quick thinking, and level headedness as some of a stage manager’s greatest skills. DDP Founder Liza Yntema quips that “if Nicole had been steering, the Titanic would have never gone down.”