International Stage Management Day falls on the 10th October every year and was established in 2013. A day for Stage Managers everywhere to share their work and ideas. Now almost ten years later Australian Theatre makers are calling “GO” on a new Stage Managers Association.
The goal of the association is to forge a “connected, open and inclusive community of stage management practitioners”. The association will welcome active practitioners who have access to the programs and enterprises for talent development. The industry has in recent years taken even greater steps to promote and nurture initiatives that look out for the wellbeing and support, and to advocate best practice across all sectors and genres of work in Australia. This will be another opportunity to support the hard working and often times forgotten stage management teams.
The trials and tribulations of the industry due to Covid-19 cannot be overstated. As a result of the lockdowns 13 stage managers, spanning 6 Australian states and territories unified to determine the practicality of forming a national stage management association. Kate Middleton-Olliver, successfully incorporated the Stage Management Association Australia Ltd (SMA-AU).
“During the 2020 shutdown, stage management organisations overseas offered support and engaging content to their newly unemployed members. I sat wondering what we were doing here to support our community,” said Middleton-Olliver.
“This launch isn’t our opening night. It’s more like day one of a workshop. We have a great vision for what this organisation can be in the future, but we’ve got to start small. We’re ready to test some concepts, find new ideas and bring the vision to life,” she continued.
Recruitment is underway and the SMA AU aims to include members on a rolling basis in the development of support, resource and advocacy programs. The intention is to include promoting diversity and accessibility for all people interested or engaged in the practice of stage management.
The organisation is a not-for-profit and is run by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Directors are Kate Middleton-Olliver (Chair – NSW), Adam J Lowe (Secretary & Public Officer – VIC), Ingrid Rahlén (Treasurer – TAS), Erin Coubrough (WA), Will Lewis (VIC), Carly O’Neill (QLD), Melanie Selwood (SA) and Lillian Hannah U (NSW, currently overseas).
Membership applications can be made through the Stage Managers Association Australia Ltd website at stagemanagers.org.au