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In the Shadows, 01/24/2024

By Faye Dent and Hannah Mueller, SHHS Student Journalists

The high school put on ‘The Music Man’ this year which featured lots of technical components completed by crew, some actors, and mainly, the stage managers.

This year’s stage managers were Sav Bard, 12th, as the head, and Mikayla Duncan, 11th, and Addelyn Horne, 11th, as the assistant stage managers. This was Horne’s first year stage managing.

I truly have had so much fun, and I have learned so much just from the other two stage managers. It has been such a huge learning curve for me, and I have done things I wouldn’t have done if I wasn’t a stage manager,” Horne said.

Horne painting bookshelf used in the musical

Photo Credit: D. Phan

The other two stage managers have experience stage managing for the shows at the high school. There’s a huge process that goes into stage management as a whole, especially at the high school level.

“My job has been basically the same. At the beginning, we sit and block everything that happens on the stage. We move on to lines, so when [actors] are off book and they call ‘line,’ we mark that down so they know what to go over. I have been head of the backstage for the past four shows. I make a backstage scene change list, I assign people to them, and I keep track of all set pieces,” Duncan said.

Sav Bard, head stage manager, has managed for several shows, starting with community theater. They have stage managed for several shows through Madison Avenue Performing Arts, a local community theater program in Spring Hill.

“The normal rehearsal process is first to get there, last ones to leave. We take attendance, make sure everyone’s doing okay, we take blocking notes if it’s a blocking rehearsal, we take line notes. It’s not that hard, but it does have its complications to it.”

The stage management team divides and conquers for the backstage tasks that need to be done. Sometimes, they’d even stand in for an actor or two and assist directors and actors onstage.

Tech week is the week leading up to the show days. It’s a time where all technical aspects of the show: lights, sound, set changes, costumes, makeup, and hair meet actors. Each stage manager has a different reason for getting into it.

Duncan applying eyeliner to cast member before a full run of the show

Photo Credit: A. Albright

“I had done theater back in middle school. I did four shows where I was onstage, but I had always admired the backstage part. My mom used to tell me all the things she used to do as a stage manager when she was in high school. I wanted to do that. When I got to high school, I wanted to [be a stage manager] and now I’m still here,” Duncan said.

As a whole, stage managers do a lot for shows, not just at the high school, but in other community theater programs as well. The stage manager’s job is never done, and it’s important that actors and directors don’t take advantage of them, because of how much they do for the theater.

About the Journalists

Faye Dent smilingHi! My name is Faye Dent and I’m a senior at SHHS. I am the lead copy editor on our publications staff, as well as a staff writer. I enjoy theater, I do both onstage and backstage. Alongside journalism, I enjoy writing for fun, hanging out with my friends and family and listening to music.

Hannah Mueller smilingHi, my name is Hannah Mueller and I’m a junior at SHHS. I am currently one of the copy editors on our staff as well as a staff writer. Along with journalism, I involve myself in a ton of theater and also play volleyball. In my free time, I enjoy spending as much time as I can with my friends.


To read additional articles from the most recent issue of the district magazine, please visit Spring Hill Schools Magazine Winter '24.