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5 Things Every Stage Manager needs in their Tool Kit

Updated: Feb 21, 2018

Every stage manager needs a tool kit! It should have everything you could possibly need from organizational items, to a first aid kit! Remember that you act like the parent of the production. Members of your production, from all departments, will come to you in times of need. Make sure your assistant stage manger and production assistants know where the kit is and how to help your actors. These 5 things are items I didn't think I would need at first, but I am so glad I had them.


I personally always carry a travel size tissue box, so I never thought to bring one for the rehearsal space, until we had a bloody nose! You never know what is going to happen in a rehearsal so being extra prepared is always necessary. I bought tissues in bulk, and just throw one box in my kit. Every rehearsal I set it by the sign in sheet. Cast and crew members know its their and never have to interrupt a rehearsal for a tissue!


It is inevitable that your lead will forget a pencil, don't leave them stranded! Having extra pencils, lead, and erasers will not only cover your actors, but it could also cover you and the production team! Also, be prepared with highlighters, and colored pencils! People are unique with how they take notes and direction cater to them!


You can never have enough tape in a tool kit. Depending on what kind of production you are stage managing will determine what tape you should have with you! As for theater you'll need duck tape, masking tape, scotch tape, double sided and regular, medical tape, gaffing tape, and loads of different colored spike tape. This may seem like a lot, but trust me you will use it all!


Actor care is one of the most important aspects of your job. Your actors need to feel like they can approach you. Being a person that your actors trust will make your job 1,000 times easier and more enjoyable. Always have pads and tampons of different sizes readily available. During rehearsals I keep them in the tool kit, and during tech and shows I place a box in the dressing rooms.


In a perfect world you would always have access to a costume designer or assistant, however most of us work in community theaters or in significantly smaller productions. This being said you get the amazing opportunity to have some overlap in your job. Having an emergency costume kit can help you in more ways than you can think! You should have needles and thread, safety pins, bobby pins, scotch tape, and duck tape. Be ready for any hair, make up, shoe, or wardrobe malfunctions because I promise it will happen!

Being a stage manager you have to be able to adapt to any situation thrown at you. Having this tool kit and these 5 key items will help!

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