Broadway Stage Management Symposium Announces Topics and Speakers

By: May. 13, 2020

Broadway Stage Management Symposium Announces Topics and Speakers

The sixth annual Broadway Stage Management Symposium (BSMS) will feature the largest group of panelists yet. Over Fourty-Two Broadway Stage Managers and Professionals will participate in the online digital experience on May 30th & 31st. This incredible array of panelists will be joined by stage managers from across the country and around the world in a new interactive platform created by The 180 Group. The new platform allows BSMS to provide this dynamic and interactive forum to engage with top professionals on numerous topics important to stage managers at all levels.

The BSMS has announced the following panel topics and speakers for 2020:

Turning Through The Years, brings together stage manages with decades of experience on Broadway with those early in their Broadway careers. Robert Bennett (M. Butterflly), Bonnie Panson (Six), and Arturo Porazzi (Come From Away), join Sarah Harris (Come From Away), Jereme Kyle Lewis (Caroline, or Change), & Cody Renard Richard (Freestyle Love Supreme) to compare and contrast the past with the future. It's the year of the stage manager, so we'll look back at the evolution of our profession and where the next generation of stage managers may be taking us.

Being a stage manager can be a very stressful job. Mental Health: For You & Your Company, brings together trained service provides and stage managers to discuss mental health issues. Lillian Gallina, a licensed clinical social worker with The Actors Fund, Taryn Elizabeth Longo, a somatic trauma therapist who works with Behind The Scenes, and Valerie Lau Kee Lia, Broadway stage manager (Spider-Man) and Producing Director at BCEFA join Beetlejuice stage managers, Matthew Dicarlo and Emily Hayes, to discuss techniques for managing our own mental health and raising awareness of mental health concerns that could arise in your company.

Technology for Stage Managers brings together the creators of popular apps and programs to explore the common themes, benefits, and challenges of computer applications for stage managers, as well as, the many ways they can to streamline our workflow and make us more efficient. Communication Tools features engineers and technicians from Clear-Com and Point Source Audio revealing the details and options in our comm systems that we don't even know exist. We are communicators and knowing a more about our communication tools will only make us better at communicating on headset.

We Wrote The Book unites the brilliant stage managers and authors of three popular books on stage management. Thomas Kelly (The Wiz) wrote "The Backstage Guide to Stage Management," Peter Lawrence (Sea Wall/A Life), author of "Production Stage Management For Broadway," and Narde E. Alcorn (Choir Boy) & Lisa Porter collaborated on "Stage Management Theory as a Guide to Practice: Cultivating a Creative Approach." Together they discuss their varied approaches to writing about stage management, as well as how that process has influenced their own work.

Intimacy Onstage started getting headlines with the Audra McDonald's performance in the revival of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. In this panel, we reunite the stage managers from that production Laurie Goldfeder, and Brian Bogin with the most prolific Broadway Intimacy Director, Claire Warden. She will be joined by Jhanaë Bonnick, PSM of Slave Play, and one of her actors Sullivan Jones, who also worked with Claire. Rounding out the group is intimacy and fight choreographer Cristina Ramos. They will discuss the need for intimacy consultants, their process, and the role stage management plays in the process and maintenance.

What does a Broadway stage manager do next? For these stage managers, it was corporate events. This lucrative and mysterious side of the show business is unknown to many. This panel will define corporate events, how they are similar and different to theatre, how the stage manager skills translate, and how they migrated from Broadway to Ballrooms! Beyond Broadway: Going Corporate brings together Hilary Austin (Radio City Christmas Spectacular), Heather Cousens (Spring Awakenings), Carolyn Kelson (Million Dollar Quartet), Mahlon Kruse (Chicago), Robert Kalfin (Victor/Victoria), Matthew Silver (A Life In The Theatre), and Alex Volckhausen (Wicked) for this very informative and revealing session.

All attendees with receive a free month subscription to BroadwayHD and are invited to watch Falsettos and have a post-show Q&A with the stage management team: Scott Rollison, Zac Chandler, & Samantha Fremer.

Other sessions include:

Show Calling Insights and Demonstrations from The Cher Show and Moulin Rouge with PSM, Michael Passaro.

Your Bosses: The General Managers brings together Tony Honoree Charlotte Wilcox, Ken Davenport, & Carl Flanigan to reveal what GMs really want and need from their stage managers and the process of working together to support each other.

The Stage Manager as Artist is about the perception from others and ourselves that stage management is not an "artistic" pursuit, and how we can change that for ourselves and others, with Narda E. Alcorn (Choir Boy), Diane DiVita (Betrayl), Frank Lombardi (Harry Potter...), and Charles Means (To Kill A Mockingbird).

Managing Kids On Broadway is a unique process involving the intersection of stage managers, child wranglers, and parents. Stage managers from Matilda, Kelly Martindale and David Lober, and School of Rock, Bonnie Becker, will be joined by child wranglers, Shanna Allison (Finding Neverland) and Lisa Schwartz (Matilda), as well as actress Ava Briglia, who stared in BOTH Matilda AND School of Rock, will discuss the process and challenges and managing these young actors.

Finally, founder and Broadway stage manager, Matthew Stern (Finding Neverland) will close the Symposium with reflections on the state of stage management, leadership, and revolution.

All sessions have Q&A time for participants to engage with the panelists. The new online digital experience will allow attendees to network with each other and panelists between sessions, as well as, visit the partners and vendors at the online expo. The interactive format maintains the relationship building opportunities that have helped alumni to build their networks and book jobs.

This educational intensive is open to the public, available anywhere on the digital experience platform, created by The 180 Group. There is no travel, social distancing or PPE to be concerned about. Attendees join from the comfort and safety of their homes to learn, grow, and connect with Broadway and other stage managers from across the country and around the world. A full replay is available for any missed sessions or to review the experience. See website for full details and special pricing. The 2020 BSMS will be held May 30 - 31, online.


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