Current Courses

" guys are endlessly helpful and supportive. Thank you!"

"The Orchestral Stage Management Day at the Barbican was amazing. I have always wanted to develop my knowledge of the orchestral side of the industry both personally and as a Stage Manager. I learnt so much working with the LSO staff and at the end of just one day I am confident that I could set up a full concert orchestra for any classical piece. How great is that? We also were able to look in on rehearsals as well . A day full of wonder and knowledge. I can’t recommend this course enough. Hard work but a huge new string to my bow!" (Course attendee in 2015)

SMA logoTraining Support Vouchers

These can now also cover some travel costs as well as massively reducing training rates for eligible members.- ONLY £30 for a full one day course!   Please take advantage of industry giving something back to hard working SMs, and remember no one else on the course or in the industry will know the price you paid!! 

Members who are unable to afford our upcoming Cueing to Music or Corporate Showcalling training at this time will shortly be able to apply for our fantastic Training Support Vouchers.  This scheme is generously supported by GDS and The Theatrical Guild -  and allows us to offer some training places at ONLY £30 per place on the full one day course

If you need financial assistance to attend a course which would be beneficial to your career (potentially including a contribution to travel expenses over 50 miles) and you are currently unable to work (including temporarily) please let  the SMA Office know which course you would like to take (one course per member per calendar year), We will arrange for a Training Support Booking Form  to be emailed to you in order more details to be provided.

All  applications for Training Support are then reviewed by The Theatrical Guild Committee

8th and 15th April 2019 and the lowest price Early Bird rate is still available  too!

Please don’t miss these inspiring and career-changing courses, they may not run again until next year! Request your BOOKING FORM   (or download below) and return to SMA to reserve your place now

The Albany, Deptford SE8 4AG
Course Leader Andrew Killian

SMA Early Bird ONLY £115 (SMA Members ONLYSTILL AVAILABLE)                              

SMA Members Standard £130              

Non-SMA Members £155.00           

5% - Multi Booking Discount when booking Level 1 and 2 together    If you would like to book both  Level 1 and Level 2 at the same time please scroll down 

CLICK  HERE  to email the SMA Office for Level 1 Booking form

CLICK HERE to download the Booking form ( please then email the completed booking form to the SMA Office at and you will be sent an invoice )

Cueing to Music. One-Day Course Level 1 

Albany Deptford  SE8 4AG   Monday 08 April 2019 

Course Aim:   To enable a potential DSM or Showcaller, one without musical knowledge, to Q from musical scores and thus feel confident enough to undertake such work with opera, musical and ballet companies.                                             

Course Objectives   To examine the basic elements of musical notation and the function of piano reductions in relation to the rehearsal process.   To understand how singers, as opposed to actors, impact on the role of a DSM/Showcaller    To undertake Qing exercises numerous and    complex enough to instil confidence.   To simulate a music test at opera company level

Further info on this course

Cueing to Music One Day Course LEVEL 2

Albany Deptford  SE8 4AG   Monday 15 April 2019 

SMA Early Bird £115 (SMA Members ONLY -pay before 28-03-2019)                                 

SMA Members Standard £130              

Non-SMA Members £155.00           

5% -Multi Booking Discount when booking Level 1 and 2 together - If you would like to book both please scroll down 

CLICK HERE   to email the SMA Office for Level 2 Booking form

CLICK HERE to download the Level 2  Booking form ( please then email the completed booking form  to the SMA Office at and you will be sent an invoice  )

Course Aim.       To enable a potential DSM or Showcaller, one with basic musical knowledge and understanding, to cue from complex and problematic music scores with   confidence.

Course Objectives      To reinforce understanding of musical counting and notation.
To practice cueing from music with unusual time signatures. To simulate performance issues with a mixture of Musical Qs, visual Qs and clearances.   To simulate a demanding music test at opera company level

Further info on this course

Cueing to Music One Day Courses  Level 1 (Monday 8th April 2019) and Level 2 (Monday 15 April 2019) 

Albany Deptford  SE8 4AG   

5% -Multi Booking Discount when booking Level 1 and 2 together

SMA Early Bird ONLY  £218.50 (SMA Members ONLY - STILL AVAILABLE)                     

SMA Members Standard £247.00            

Non-SMA Members £294.50          

CLICK HERE  to email the SMA Office for the form  to book   Level 1 and Level 2  Booking form together at the same time 

CLICK HERE to download the combined Level 1 and  Level 2  Booking form ( please then email the completed booking form  to the SMA Office at and you will be sent an invoice )


rc-Annie Theatrical Handguns Course

ALRA, Royal Victoria Patriotic Buildings, Wandsworth. London. SW18 3SX.

Sunday 26th May 2019 10am to 4pm

Ideal for Stage Managers and Technicians

The third workshop in the Rc-Annie Get Your Gun range!

Rc-Annie developed the UK’s premier Theatrical Gun Handing course and are proud to have had a positive influence on the industry and how we approach the best working practices in Theatre.

This workshop explores the practical elements of having to deal with 'gun shaped things' in the Theatre from sourcing to storing, operation, staging and all the paperwork procedures.

Detailed law: definitions, the VRCA, exceptions, legal considerations. The handling: cleaning, loading, the firing of blank firers, dealing with gun fails, gun anatomy and the mechanics of how they work. The buying (choice), the touring and storage. The staging: distances, the 4 rules, the dangers, the paperwork and procedures.

Places are limited            


Book BEFORE 28th Apr 2019          £120.00       

If booking after 28th April, SMA Members will be able to claim 10% off full price of £170  ; Please email the SMA Office for the Discount Code


RC Annie website for more details and to book


SMA are always taking expressions interest for  many  possible courses

(Where you aren't able to attend the current upcoming course detailed above)

                           SPRING BOOKING 8th April 2019:      Cueing to Music Level 1         

SPRING BOOKING 15th April 2019:        Cueing to Music Level 2     □

 BECTU COURSES (SMA member discounts) CURRENTLY BOOKING:   Creative Industries Safety Passport

Emergency First Aid & refresher      □
                  Finance for freelancers      □

 SMA PLANNED FOR THE FUTURE : Orchestral Stage Management with LSO     □
                   Props Sourcing & Making      □
 Corporate Showcalling with Kate Salberg        □
                              Theatre Showcalling Masterclass      □
                         Checking interest    Elements of Company Management     □
                                  Elements of Stage Management (SMs)     □

WATCH THS SPACE:   Working with QLab      
                           Stage Pyrotechnics Course for SMs   
                             Mental Health First Aid       
Make 2019 the year to upskill, and widen your SM career horizons and prospects!


Please click on this link  to complete our Training Interest Survey


Alternatively, please email the SMA Office and let us know the courses of interest  and we will notify you when your preferred courses are taking place



Our very effective and practical Cueing to Music  courses are always popular, enjoyable and sometimes career- changing!       

   5% discount for booking two courses or more, including all SMA courses, or groups on any SMA course  


‘I went on the SMA’s Score Reading Level 1 and Level 2 course in May 2014. A year later, I was offered a job as an Assistant Stage Manager at Glyndebourne Opera House. The course was an incredibly valuable experience and is clearly highly recognised.

I wouldn’t be where I am now without the SMA’s opportunities.’


Supporting Excellence in Performance

 All SMA Courses finish by 4.30 PM to allow for evening show calls.    

 Earlier times or one to one courses can sometimes be arranged

SMA Members say " discounts helped me to improve my skills and move on to better paid work"

(Don't forget you can also get SMA discounts on courses from BECTU, ABTT and others. If in doubt, ask!). 




If you would like to develop your career by pursuing an SMA training course but are prevented from doing so by financial hardship please contact The Theatrical Guild to discuss eligibility for financial assistance. Tel: 020 7240 6062 or contact SMA HQ

  • Cueing to Music - We run this course, at two levels, at least once a year, and when there is demand we are able to run it a second time. The  Level One and Two courses are usually held in the Spring and Autumn every year. When there is no course date indicated on this page, please do still express an interest as we will always attempt to organise it when there is sufficient demand. Contact us
  • Organise your finances/ assertiveness/ negotiating contracts - The majority of stage managers are self employed and dealing with the financial side of working for yourself can seem daunting. If there is enough interest, we'd like to take some of the stress away with a course which addresses all of the common, and maybe some not so common, queries and pitfalls, whilst also giving you the confidence to negotiate your contracts, something that we stage managers don't have agents to do for us! Interested? Contact us

Learn a new skill

Learn how to find courses in British Sign Language  . Courses are available from:

Frank Barnes School
Jubilee Waterside Centre, 105 Camley Street, London, N1C 4PF
18 Leather Lane, London, EC1N 7SU
Hackney Community College
Shoreditch Campus, Falkirk Street, Hackney, London, N1 6HQ
Alternatively, you may search for other accredited courses through the Signature website following this link:

How Safe is Your Theatre?
Run by respected trainer Geoff Joyce, get together with colleagues and book this course at your theatre or register interest with the SMA and with enough interest we’ll consider running one in-house.  SMA Members receive discounted rates
This course examines the health and safety regulations that specifically relate to theatre staff, stage managers, technicians, workshops and front of house staff.
Read the full course details here -  including contact details for more information.

Manual Handling Training.  Out of date training in manual handling results in strains and muscle damage due to twisting and pushing or straining- we are aware of a number of cases where members lost many days and even months of work as a result of these injuries last year. Geoff Joyce offers a complete course in all areas of manual handling, and SMA Members receive discounted rates.  Contact the SMA for more details, or consider booking a course for all of your backstage crew - especially if the risk assessment involves lifting or manoevering heavy furniture, pushing trucks or heavy and tricky scenery moves.

HM Revenue and Customs: Free short courses on tax issues
'Like many I thought I would struggle with the financial aspect of freelancing, but there's a lot of information out there. I pretty much had my hand held through my first tax return, courtesy of HM Revenues and Customs'.
They run free, short courses (an afternoon) in most areas, it's pretty easy to get, but do check it covers stage managers and UTR as well.


NEW for SMA Members:
BECTU:  SMA has negotiated special rates (close to BECTU Members rates) for SMA Members. Contact SMA first whenever you see a BECTU course of interest.
ISMSMA has also negotiated similar with The Incorporated Society of Musicians 

>ALSO always check these for the latest news on training WITH SMA DISCOUNTS:

ABTT: Association of British Theatre Technicians - a year round programme of industry leading technical training
RC-Annie: For all your violent needs
Stage Electrics: too many training courses to list, including Portable Appliance Testing, Introduction to Sound, LEDs etc.
UK THEATRE (TMA/SOLT) : similarly - many, many relevant courses
ITC: Independent Theatre Council - An extensive and excellent year round programme of very relevant courses
PLASA: PLASA have a huge database with lots of training from outside the theatre sector - nonetheless relevant - particularly if you are interested in technical aspects.
Contact SMA if you see any interesting training- we may have a special rate or be able to negotiate one!