Stage Management Mentor Project

Applications for SMMP accepted through November 16, 2023

The Stage Management Mentor Project (SMMP) connects professional stage managers with mentees for a time of practical training experiences for USITT 24’s most high-profile events!

Those who are selected will be paired with a mentor and assigned the role of stage manager or assistant stage manager for up to three events at Conference. Participation in roundtable discussions about stage management and related areas and skills are also part of the agenda.

This one-of-a-kind experience is available to students who are members or will become a member and are enrolled in at least the third year of an undergraduate university program or are graduate students. If you’re a young professional, you must be in the first two years of paid employment in the performing arts field.

Hear from past SMMP participant Olivia Tighe:

"I graduated from Emerson and my advisor was, Deb Acquavella, a past mentor. Since the day I stepped into Emerson, I have heard so many things about USITT and the SMMP. I was told about the connections it brings, the roundtables and the opportunities it brings at the Conference working on events. All of that could not have prepared me for what I experienced when I was apart of the project as a senior in 2023.

The SMMP is simply unexplainable in the best way possible. I felt so much growth in my hard and soft skills in such a short period of time. I felt pride that I was among the 10 other mentees and 12 mentors. The connection I made with my mentor, Nancy Pittelman, was so amazing and I am so thankful for her. I gained so much confidence in myself as a stage manager, but also as a person.

I recommend the SMMP to any young stage manager because beyond all else it gave me so much hope for this profession and industry I am now entering into post grad. The roundtable discussions prompted a wide range of robust conversations from very serious topics such as EDIA in the rehearsal room to as small as the best fonts to use on daily calls.

In this post pandemic world that a lot of headlines title, “The Death of The American Theatre” (which who are we kidding? we’re not letting that happen!) having event stage management experience is a huge win and something I am very thankful for. The SMMP was the push I needed to graduate and pursue this passion that is now a job. I would be lying if I said I don’t think about SMMP and those people at least once a week.

It sounds silly that a week in St. Louis could change your life, but the SMMP is nothing short of life changing."