SMA Unveils Directory for Schools to Connect with Professional Speakers

November 30, 2020

As academic programs pivot to find new ways of preparing their students for careers in the performing arts, the Stage Managers’ Association is launching a directory for schools to locate guest speakers and professionals who can advise and guide students on their productions.

The Guest Speaker/Production Guide Index is a directory available for Associate Members of the SMA to connect with professional stage managers in dance, opera, and theatre for speaking engagements and guidance. The initial round of the program is for online speaking engagements and advisory sessions, but the GS/PG Index is also searchable by city and state to find professional members in every region once it is safe to resume on-campus visits.

“Every school that produces theatrical events needs a good stage manager for their events, but not everyone has or needs a full stage management program. The GS/PG index will be a resource for those colleges and universities, giving them access to professional stage managers who are interested in enhancing the experience in collegiate settings for young and first- time stage managers.” Elynmarie Kazle, Chair of the SMA

The Stage Managers’ Association offers a job listings service for longer-term teaching and stage management positions. The GS/PG Index is designed for single-day or short-term engagements and can be searched by the type of position as well as experience various disciplines. Each listing links to the professional member’s full biography, including union affiliations. Associate members are provided contact information to discuss the project, availability, and compensation.

“The GS/PG Index is ideal for smaller academic programs that do not have stage management faculty but want to connect their students with working professionals,” explains David J. McGraw, SMA Director-at-Large. “I attended a college that didn’t offer any stage management courses and I would have loved to have a guide as I navigated my first production.”

The pandemic has only heightened the need for guest speakers as schools are forced to reduce their production opportunities. The GS/PG Index helps academic programs make professional connections for their students. The Index, with directory access and contact information for all participating stage managers, is available with Associate membership in the SMA. For schools who do not have an SMA Associate Member on their faculty and staff can find a very low cost membership option, here.

Learn more from the Stage Managers’ Association, here.