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The Stage Manager’s Checklist, Part 2: What to Carry With You

Essentials to bring with you to rehearsal and performance

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The Stage Manager’s Checklist, Part 2: What to Carry With You

The backstage world is a combination of tasks and equipment which need to come together with precision and focus, and the person pulling most of those strings is the stage manager.

© Flickr user The Shopping Sherpa

Being a stage manager is a bit like being a superhero on call (just a little). You never know when you’ll need to produce a pencil, highlighter, Band-Aid, Glue Stick, or some other essential small or helpful item.

There’s a long list of items that you’ll need to have accessible in your work, and these can be divided between stuff you’ll need to carry with you, and the things you’ll need to store on-site.

Portable (Carried) Essentials:

Ideally, you’ll want to carry the following items with you (you can use a knapsack or briefcase, but I always preferred a decent-sized toolbox):

  • Binder (with scripts, forms, schedules, and other essentials)
  • Pens (your favorite types and points – but not too expensive, as they’ll tend to walk away on a pretty constant basis)
  • Pencils (sharpened)
  • Gum Erasers
  • White Eraser
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Chalk (white and colored)
  • Sharpie pen (heavy as well as fine points)
  • Portable pack of tissues
  • Scotch Tape
  • Watch (one with stopwatch and timer functions)
  • White-Out (or similar product), for removing inked or permanent notes
  • Pens (preferably fine-point, permanent ink)
  • Post-It or similar “sticky” notes
  • Removable (or “sticky”) tabs
  • Multicolored highlighters (have at least two colors on hand —blue and yellow are my own personal preferences)
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Stapler
  • Staple remover
  • Assorted binder clips and paper clips
  • Blank ruled notebook
  • Penlights
  • Spare change (including a roll or two of dimes and quarters – and don’t forget to request reimbursement)

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