Peer Mentoring in Stage Management

Hi everyone! My name is Xiao Han. I’m majoring in Theatre Arts and Political Science with a minor in Portuguese.  I’m one of the teaching assistants for the Stage Management class of this year. My mentor is Annmarie Duggan, the Dean of the Department of Theatre Arts and professor for Stage Management and Lighting Design. 

A stage manager is the person who organizes the day to day running of a theatrical production and facilitates the communication among all the teams. My goals of the CUTF project are to guide my peers and prepare them to manage their own shows, to help them become familiar with the timing and calling of a show and how stage management could affect it, and to pass on my own experiences and lessons learned as a young stage manager. I would like to present my past paperwork to students and explain what changes I made depending on the content and the style of a show, because content and the style of your paperwork may change depending on the show. I also believe paperwork is very personal. Each stage manager may put focus on different elements in their paperwork. By explaining why I made these choices on my paperwork, I hope students can develop their own style of paperwork and organization management.  I would like to share the build-up of my stage management kit and explain what I found most useful but can be easily overlooked. I want to share the lessons that I learned while working on productions by bringing in some scenarios that I have encountered to students to further demonstrate the importance of our work. Troubleshooting and making decisions in a short amount of time happens frequently in the work of stage management, however, it is difficult to simulate in a classroom. What we can do is inform and educate students on what to prioritize and keep in mind during an emergency.

My current professional goal is to go to graduate school in entertainment management after I graduate from University of Pittsburgh. I believe the skills that I learned from the experience of stage management are highly transferable. Through CUTF, I will have a chance to improve my skills of communication. I’ll learn how to better explain the job I’m doing and why this position is important. This opportunity also allows me to look at Stage Management from a different perspective. In the future, this experience as a Teaching Assistant in Stage Management will help me to explain my stage management background better. I hope I can learn more about Stage Management and myself by mentoring other people.

I am majoring in Theatre Arts and Political Science with a minor in Portuguese. I recently discovered the similarity between stage management and being a raid leader in computer games.

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