What is the SMA?

The SMA is the trade association for stage managers, providing advocacy and support.

What does that mean?


The SMA speaks up on behalf of stage managers, taking stage management issues to other bodies and organisations within the industry and beyond to find solutions to issues of all kinds affecting stage management


  • to do your work to the highest possible standard: the SMA provides training, information resources, a quarterly magazine, advice and helplines, mentoring and career development
  • to you as freelancer or employee around issues such as tax, contracts etc. as well as help finding work with the SMA’s famous Freelist (updated every month since 1964), an exclusive deal with Spotlight for SMA members only, a 25% discount with Mandy.com and jobs advertised on the members’ area of this website

Can I join if I’m not a professional stage manager?

Yes you can join the SMA as these types of member:

  • as a Student member, if you’re in full-time education or an apprentice
  • as a Graduate, if you have graduated (or are about to graduate) from a technical theatre or stage management vocational course at one of these colleges
  • as an Associate, if you are an amateur stage manager or if you work in any capacity other than as a stage manager backstage
  • if you’re looking to move into professional stage management, but are not a student, join us as an Associate
  • as a Producing Theatre member, if you’re a producing theatre or theatre company
  • as a College course member if you’re a college, university, school or drama school
  • as a Friend, if your organisation would like to simply support stage managers and the SMA

Are you a union like Equity?

No we’re not, we are a trade association.

A union is quite a different legal entity. Equity is the union recognised by management associations as the one to negotiate minimum terms and conditions and salaries/fees for stage managers, but some stage managers also belong to Bectu The SMA provides different services to those of Equity & Bectu, with whom we work closely on many issues.

Professional stage managers should consider joining both organisations for the benefits they offer. Both subscriptions can be offset against tax as a business expense!

What does a Stage Manager do and how can I get into Stage Management?

Go to our page for all the details: What is Stage Management?

How is the SMA financed?

The SMA has around 750+ individual members as well as producing theatre and training course members. We are funded by their subscriptions, sales of various resources and some sponsorship.

How is the SMA run?

It is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, overseen by a Board of Directors which are elected from the membership of stage managers. More about the SMA Board of Directors.

It has 3 part-time staff and is based in an office near London Bridge. More about the SMA Staff.

We are a not for profit Company Limited by Guarantee in England and Wales, no. 03819176.