In their first year, students begin a suite of classes built specifically for the study of stage management. The foundations class incorporates aspects of inclusivity and environmentalism from day one. Students are immediately welcomed into our fully-realized productions as members of a stage management team, under advisement from faculty, yet truly at the helm. At Ithaca College, stage managers have access to an education in all areas of the performing arts as early as their first year, including acting and technical theatre. In their liberal arts studies, which includes the Ithaca College Integrated Core Curriculum (ICC), students are able to explore complex questions about humanity through multiple perspectives. Additionally, students are able to begin their individualized supplementary classes in music, business leadership, communications, and cultural competency.
In their second year, students further develop their skills in common theatrical stage management practice, with three courses specific to their major and increasing responsibilities serving on stage management teams. Design, production, directing, and theatre history courses allow students to explore the finer points of the production process with rigorous study alongside adjacent majors; stage managers are invited to gain greater fluency in the language of their colleagues through their studies and collaboration. In the second semester, students are introduced to variations of practice and progressive management theory.
In the third year, students take on increasingly advanced studies in theatre and rising leadership roles in our engaging season of plays, musicals, opera, and devised pieces. This is typically the year in which students, should they choose to do so, study abroad. Students might choose to spend a semester at the Ithaca College London Center, where they will continue their major and have access to the intensive play-viewing courses offered. Faculty stay current with the latest innovation in technology, so students can learn the software that’s used in the profession, explore it, and put it to use under the guidance of faculty. Majors are advised in self-marketing skills and networking techniques in order to begin planning for their transition into the ever-evolving entertainment industry.
In their final year, students complete their design and production classes, in addition to their individualized pathways of their supplementary interdepartmental studies. The liberal arts requirements continue in this year, suited to the curiosities of the individual. Students will gain knowledge of the producing end of the performing arts in addition to spending a week in New York City where they will engage with professionals in the field, and learn more about related fields and how their skills as stage managers transfer effectively. Their work in production leads to a capstone stage management opportunity in the season, bringing together four years of training. Students develop who they are as their professional selves, while developing boundaries to protect a healthy, unique personal identity.