In what I believe is a first the Stage Management Association in the United Kingdom are going honour those that work backstage on October the 10th. It is hoped that the day will become an annual celebration. According to “The Stage” the UK major theatre news site:
For this year’s Stage Management Day, theatres are planning their own events – including inviting stage managers to join a show’s curtain call, putting slips into programmes to highlight crew working behind the scenes and allowing stage managers to take control of a show’s social media site for the day.
Cast members are also being encouraged to bake cakes for stage managers or help with the set up of a show “to get an idea of what they do”.
Also according the article in The Stage:
SMA executive director Andy Rowley explained: “We have felt for a while that there ought to be some way of recognising the work backstage people do, and particularly what stage managers do.”
He added: “We felt that at a time when the My Theatre Matters! campaign is going strong, and theatre to some extent is feeling the pinch, it was great in some way to promote everything theatres do, and in the process recognise the work that stage managers do.”
Rowley explained that October 10 had been chosen to reflect the fact the association regards stage managers as “the tops – 10 out of 10”.
From my point of view this sounds a great idea. Backstage staff are often the unsung heroes of a production. The Stage Manager is the person that keeps it all together and make sure it all runs smoothly. The audience will not notice the work of a good SM. So it is great that this is happening in the UK and I hope it will spread around the world. Several major productions in the West End are doing things to acknowledge how important the SM and their crew is for their production. so maybe we should all take a minute to think about the crew and acknowledge the work they do to present “magic” to the audience/