Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s BA (Hons) Stage Management course celebrated its 10-year birthday in October 2018. The course was launched back in 2008 after a gap in the market for quality training outside of London was identified.
Stage Management Course Director
We had five students in the first cohort back in 2008, a fantastic group that had a huge impact in shaping the course into what it is today. At the time I wasn’t sure how the course was going to be received and what our graduates would go on to do, but looking at what they have achieved in their careers I could not be more proud.
With only 14 students per year, the Stage Management course has an atmosphere that is a bit like an extended family. With that said, it is still often difficult keeping track of what each graduate is doing, especially in a field where changing freelance contacts is frequent. Many of our graduates attended our 10 year birthday celebration in October, and it was great to catch up with everyone to find out what they have been doing since graduation. It was also nice for our current students to meet our graduates and see what they are doing now.
I opened the event with a welcome, talking through the course from its beginnings through to the present day. Following this, we went straight into the morning session where we discussed various current ‘hot topics’ in the industry. Led by the Course Team as well as being opened out for audience participation, the discussion topics covered were;
- #metoo and the impact this has had within Drama Schools
- Gender and equality – noticeable changes in the industry
- Emotional resilience of a Stage Manager and growing support needs of a company
After the morning session we took a lunch break, where year group photos and photos from across the years were available for guests to look at.
The afternoon session was delivered by three of our first graduates, Jordan Goff, Matt Smith and Matt Breen. Jordan has gone on to be a Stage Manager on the international tour of CATS in China, Matt Smith is Assistant Stage Manager on Bookcover on the national tour of Les Miserables, and Matt Breen is Ticketing Manager for England Netball. The three graduates spoke about;
- What they would tell their third year self
- How they got into industry
- Transferrable skills
- Answered questions from the audience
Following the afternoon session there was an opportunity for networking and a chance for everyone to catch up in much livelier circumstances than the dark backstage we are used to! In total we had around 70 people in attendance, including the Course Team (myself, Louise Turner and Helen Gibbs), the Production Department (John Bailey, Jacki Cottom, Rob Dicks, Jonathan Pearce and Leonie Hamilton), ex staff, friends, industry professionals, alumni and current students.
Happy 10th Birthday Stage Management at RBC!