The bachelor of fine arts degree in stage management is a student-centered pre-professional program that combines hands-on experience and theory with a liberal arts education. This program is ideal for the student looking to develop as a leader and project manager in the ever-changing entertainment industry, with a well-rounded understanding of social equity and its relationship with production. Stage Managers exist in the thrilling intersection of artistic intent and logistics, and are expected to create and maintain infrastructure in order to facilitate goals they share with collaborators. Across four years of study, stage management majors focus on developing managerial and artistic instincts as well as emotional intelligence. They learn and apply common practice in theatrical production, as it exists in the commercial and non-profit sectors of the industry, and explore variations in practice across many arenas in the performing arts while sculpting a unique professional style of their own.
Stage management majors take a suite of classes focused on foundational and advanced principles of stage management and their application in practicum experiences and professional life. You will develop inclusive and antiracist practices, incorporating these principles into classes, productions, and life. You will learn to foster a physically and emotionally safe working culture, including exploration of the stage manager’s relationship with intimacy coordination in rehearsals and performances. Ithaca College is committed to environmental sustainability, which will be incorporated into your work as a stage manager. You will be encouraged to establish a balance between your academic responsibilities and personal needs, opening the door to healthy working habits in your post-graduate pursuits, and advocating for positive changes in the industry in all of these important areas.
As student stage managers, you take the reins in productions at Ithaca College, leading projects with collaborators who are peers and professionals. Process is valued and reflected upon, throughout your time here, with regular feedback, academic advising, mentorship, and guided self-evaluation. Each season offers a wide array of production opportunities including drama, musical theatre, opera, dance, and the development of new works. Degree requirements include courses in music, business, communications, and advancing cultural competency. Students are able to choose electives that support their specific interests, such as event producing, foreign languages, or managing dance performance. Because we believe theatre artists should study theatre from a multitude of perspectives, all our programs offer courses in history, literature, performance, and production. Additionally, students have the option to spend a semester at the Ithaca College London Center in their junior year while continuing to make progress towards their degree requirements.
We believe that undergraduates benefit from a broad liberal arts education as well as conservatory-style training in theatrical production. Our integrative core curriculum challenges you to consider complex problems from multiple perspectives, encouraging you to think differently and help you build valuable analytical and problem-solving skills that are critical to your future success, whether as a professional stage manager or a myriad of related fields where those skills are transferable.
Students are given support in applying for internships and professional experiences in stage management while enrolled at Ithaca College, and in considering graduate study and other opportunities in related fields. Upon the completion of the BFA, you will join the ranks of our successful alumni whose work can be seen on Broadway and in major regional theaters, on tours and in academic institutions, in allied fields such as large-scale events, film, television, as well as adjacent industries for which the stage management skill set is easily adapted and applied.