Stage Managers of the future to be educated in festival city of Edinburgh

By Press Office

Scotland’s festival city, with all its arts and cultural events, will be the location for a new postgraduate course which is set to attract the stage managers of the future.

Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh and The Edinburgh Stage Management School have joined forces to offer a Masters of Arts (MA) in Stage Management, which is the only postgraduate course of its kind in Scotland.

Sarah Paulley, Lecturer in Scenography from Queen Margaret University, explained: “The entertainment and live events industries are growing rapidly and the need for skilled Stage Managers has never been greater. Our rapidly changing domestic and international environment has resulted in a demand for high quality ambitious projects which have the capacity to engage and influence both local communities and global audiences. The work of stage managers has therefore become increasingly complex and technically challenging.

“Live entertainment in the form of all kinds of large scale events can be beamed into everyone’s living rooms worldwide. In the same way, high quality plays or operas that once offered intimate entertainment to small theatre audiences, can be streamed onto huge screens across capital cities: in our modern technological age, the capturing of live events online means demand for perfection in live presentation is constantly increasing. The role of the stage manager is central to achieving these demanding goals.”

QMU’s partnership with The Edinburgh Stage Management School ensures this course offers students a high level of engagement with the working industry. Key professional practitioners will deliver master classes and practical workshops and will mentor students as they undertake professional practice projects. At the same time, studying this expanding discipline at Master’s level will ensure a high level of academic rigour.

The course will balance blocks of intensive workshops in key technical production skills with classes and seminars in the theory and practice of the equally vital art and science of communication and people management. Students will also have the opportunity to put knowledge into practice by stage managing real productions both within Queen Margaret University and the wider industry.

With the course delivered in the festival city, students on this new course will benefit from

QMU’s and the TESMS’s local networks across theatres, workshops, events and festivals, as well as their national cultural contacts.

George Tarbuck, Director of The Edinburgh Stage Management School, said: “In our sophisticated global marketplace, good stage managers are now highly sought after and career opportunities are excellent. Stage managers have to have outstanding organisational and people management skills. They sit at the centre of the planning and preproduction process and they are essentially the captain of the ship once the show starts.

“Graduates from the Edinburgh Stage Management School have gone on to work in theatres, performing arts organisations and festivals, corporate events and ceremonies. We have an 98% employment rate and our graduates are working worldwide.”

It is estimated that demand for this course will be highly competitive as there will only be eight student places in the first year of the new Masters. Candidates will have a UK honours degree of equivalent or significant work experience in live entertainment/events. Potential further career paths following successful completion of this MA could include producing, fundraising, marketing, programming, or audience development, as well as many other roles across the cultural industries and all professions requiring skills in effective management.

Find more information on the (MA) Stage Management at QMU.

Notes to Editor

For further course information on the MA Stage Management contact: Admissions, T: 0131 474 0000 E: or Sarah Paulley T: +44 (0)131 474 0000 E:

Visit The Edinburgh Stage Management School website for more information about what they do.

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Marketing Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E:  T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239 and Jon Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: T: 0131 474 0000.

Media Enquiries

For media enquiries or to access one of our experts.

Show Contacts