Very happy news came in a couple days ago from @mltachco: The New York Innovative Theatre Awards (they that evaluate the off- off- broadway scene) is trying out an Outstanding Stage Management award this coming season.
Nice job, off- off-ers. Hey Chicago, can we make this happen already?
From their press release:
Since the very inception of the IT Awards, we have wanted to develop a means of recognizing the unique, necessary and often overlooked role of the Stage Manager. As a part of the celebration for our 5th year, we are excited to be able to present the inaugural Outstanding Stage Manager Award.
The IT Awards will be the premiere ceremony to showcase the people who are the “glue that holds the whole show together from before first rehearsal until after strike. Our work as designers, performers, and directors is NOTHING without stage managers to understand, interpret, support and execute it in a real-world context.” — In Defense of Stage Managers blog
(that’s me. hee hee!)
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After years of research and consulting hundreds of theatre practitioners and especially Stage Managers, we have developed a process similar to our honorary awards, but one as unique as the award itself. The two-part process includes both judge’s scores and an application that will be reviewed by a committee.
Beginning in January of 2009, as a part of their assignments IT Award judges were asked to evaluate how the technical elements of the production flowed together. Those scores will help inform the committee who will review applications and make the final decision. The application asks for examples of the Stage Manager’s organization and leadership. Two letters of recommendation are also required from people who worked with the Stage Manager on the production.
The OSM (Outstanding Stage Manager) Committee is made of eight individuals that include stage managers as well as directors, actors, press, producers and crew. OSM Committe Chair, Stephanie Cox-Williams said “There are awards for directors, lighting designers, sound designers, set designers, actors, etc., but without a Stage Manager to put all of the pieces in motion, correctly and on time, those elements would not make a cohesive production. The IT Awards, is taking a big step forward by recognizing the unsung heroes of the stage.”
All productions registered with the IT Awards for the 2009 season and that had opening dates after 1/1/09 are eligible to submit an application.
We believe that we are the first awards organization to recognize Stage Managers along with all of the other production elements. It is an exciting step, but an unprecedented one so feedback from the applicants, the OSM Committee and the OOB Community at-large will be an important part of this process going forward.