The Stage Manager’s Checklist: The Basics

The English National Ballet Perform Beyond Ballets Russes
Ian Gavan/Getty Images Entertainment

Stage managers not only have a multitude of jobs to navigate on an ongoing basis, but also have a huge amount of supplies and materials to oversee, as well. To help you manage your next production, I’ve put together a checklist of useful items for stage managers to keep on hand, in preparation for rehearsal as well as performance.

Essential Items for your Binder:

  • Playscript
  • Rehearsal/Blocking Notes
  • Rehearsal and Performance Schedules
  • Production (and Post-Production) Meeting Schedule
  • Calendars
  • Cast Phone List
  • Crew Phone List
  • Other Contacts Phone List (including rehearsal and performance space owners, primary s, janitorial staff, and more)
  • Sign-In Sheets

On Forms:

I’ve prepared some basic forms for printing and use as needed in PDF, including Rehearsal Task Checklists, Performance Task Checklists, Info Sheets, Sign-In Sheets (Rehearsal and Performance), and more, in this section of Performing Arts at

On Phone Lists:

Share your cast and crew phone lists with the cast and crew on Day One. Make sure this is comprehensive. Include everyone, from lighting, sound and costumes, to actors, crew, , and more.

On Sign-in Sheets:

Not everyone uses these, but I really recommend using them, even for smaller productions. While it may feel a bit silly or like administrative overkill, sign-in sheets provide a sense of structure, as well as a valuable reference for you as stage manager on attendance and tardiness (especially when issues arise).

In some larger productions, the Cast Manager may handle sign-ins for the cast, instead, while you as Stage Manager handle crew sign-ins separately.