Current Courses

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


I undertook Cueing to Music levels 1 and 2  and two days after completing Level 2, I was invited to do a music test at an Opera Company which led to me being offered a job as ASM in their Autumn season

I have also just finished a job as DSM for a small production of The Marriage of Figaro, which I couldn't have done without the skills Andrew taught me.

 I came to the course only being able to read basic notation and by the end of the day, we were all cueing from advanced scores with no problem at all. Andrew guides you through the course with a perfect balance of theory and practice. I left the course feeling confident in my new skills and it has so far proved an invaluable, and has opened up new job prospects for me.

(Course Attendee, April 2019)

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.

NB Some  applications for Training Support may be  reviewed by The Theatrical Guild Committee



Kate Salberg now offers an ONLINE COURSE:   



See below for

Cueing to Music Level 2  Course Leader Andrew Killian


RC-Annie Blank Firing Guns - November London- details soon


Kate now offers an ONLINE COURSE:   




Cueing to Music Level 2  Course Leader Andrew Killian

(for those who can read music or have some musical experience
and / or have taken Level 1 Cueing to Music course- recommended)

The Albany, Douglas Way Deptford SE8 4AG

Monday 07 October 2019  0930-1630

Members  £125.00   Members 'Early Bird' ( book before 16 September 2016) £120.00  Non Members £150.00

Book Level 1 & 2 together and receive 5% discount on both days

Course Aim:

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

           Course Objectives                  

1.         To reinforce understanding of musical counting and notation.

2.         To practice cueing from music with unusual time signatures.

3.         To simulate performance issues with a mixture of Musical Qs, visual Qs

             and clearances.

4.         To simulate a demanding music test at opera company level


09.30               Welcome. Housekeeping. Course Overview.

Session 1         Qing at a Standard

Coffee/Tea break

11.45               Session 2         Qing at speed

12.45               Session 3         Simulating a demanding opera company music test in real time

13.00               Lunch

13.30               Session 4         Where’s the Beat?

                                         Cueing from unusual and/or irregular rhythms

14.30               Session 5         Impossible Music

15.30               Coffee/Tea break

15.00               Session 6         Higher Stakes

                                                When you have to look away from the music…

15.45               Session 7         The Battle of Borodino.   

16.00               Finish

Room available till 16.30 if anyone has questions at the end



"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)


Orchestral Stage Management

- run in partnership with the renowned LSO at their London rehearsal base and concert hall .Our course is led by Alan Goode, LSO's inspiring Senior SM, and takes place at St Luke's in London   

has taken place for 2019 - you can register your interest for 2020!




On previous courses SMA attendees have enjoyed unique training in setting up, touring and stage managing a major orchestra, plus have been privileged to set up rehearsals for the full London Symphony Orchestra, and invited to be in the room with Andre Previn and John Williams conducting rehearsals for major concerts.

This course will cover all the considerations crucial when working with musicians, including orchestral layouts, requirements of particular instrumentalists and the logistics of touring an orchestra.

After the courses all of our attendees gave feedback that they felt ready to apply for orchestral SM jobs, and well prepared for interviews.   Would you like an added 'string to your bow' - enhancing your career choices, and your employment opportunities? It will give you many new skills and opportunities and be a fun day too!.  What are you waiting for?!  



NEW for Autumn:  Pyrotechnics training by Lincoln Parkhouse in Yorkshire - missed it

Excellent value course - highly recommended for all SMs and an SMA 'must have' qualification from the renowned industry leading trainer
SMA members benefit on a specially negotiated 15% discount on this course run by  training specialists Stage Electrics
at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield. 

This practical, one-day training course in Stage Pyrotechnics, taught by renowned industry practitioner, Lincoln Parkhouse, provides attendees with an overview of different pyrotechnic devices, their uses, and relevant health and safety. The course will run from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

Topics Covered: 

  • Workshop presentations
  • Live Device demonstrations
  • Videos
  • Handouts
  • An observation exercise
  • Delegates pressing buttons
  • History of pyrotechnics
  • Flame Proofing
  • Maroons & Concussion
  • Bomb Tanks
  • Flashpots
  • Jets and Gerbs
  • Series Wiring
  • Testing
  • Law
  • Storage
  • HSE Competent
  • Authority Documentation
  • Risk Assessments
  • Material Safety Data – COSHH
  • Transport Emergency Cards – TREM

After lunch, delegates are separated into small groups and provided with control systems and pyrotechnic devices and required to set up and ignite the effects in a “not too serious competitive” manner to demonstrate their ability and understanding of the safety issues referred to in the morning session. Three points being awarded for correct ignition and control of devices and 10 points for igniting something belonging to another group! We are sure you get the idea!

Towards the end of the afternoon session, we reunite the separated groups to work together to provide a small presentation using professional devices including Grid Rockets, Flames, Airbursts, Saxon Wheels, Waterfalls, Mines and Comets.

You need to be at least 18 to attend this course but no prior experience is necessary.

All lunch and refreshments will be provided. 
More information and registration can be found via this link:




with Kate Salberg

An Insight into Corporate Showcalling with discussion and practical work.

Wednesday 4th September 2019 Deptford Albany, London SE8 4AG


  • Morning  Arrivals  10.15:    Session 10.30 – 13.00


  • Roles & Responsibilities of a Showcaller
  • Why showcallers often have a theatre background
  • Working with Screens and Cameras, creating presets.
  • Explanation of how all Technical Departments work and what they expect from you along with problems of Client Management
  • Discussion of approaches to the job and how best to fulfil it


Afternoon    13.45 – 16.30

  • Marking up a showbook
  • Working with a script and music
  • Practice calling a small show to give a taste of how it feels to actually do the job

Kate Salberg

I worked in Repertory and West End for many years before corporate work, which I have been doing full time since the late nineties.

Showcalled Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Tour & Les Mis and Phantom 25th Anniversary Concerts.

Recent work includes Fifa ESports Finals, Google Cloud European workshops, Genentech meeting San Diego,  Ford Go Further Amsterdam and Pharma meetings.

Workshop Fee  £125.  15% discount for SMA Members   (£106.25)

To Book please contact Kate directly

M:   Web:   07771 667652



Kate now offers an ONLINE COURSE:   

When putting on a spectacular show, it takes an extraordinarily calm and brilliant person to make it happen.  Kate makes impossible dreams possible.”  Sir Cameron Mackintosh

SMA are always taking expressions interest for  many  possible courses (Where you aren't able to attend the current upcoming course detailed above)





Cueing to Music Level 2  - Monday 18th November 2019



 BECTU COURSES (SMA member discounts) CURRENTLY BOOKING for 2020:   Creative Industries Safety Passport

Emergency First Aid & refresher      Finance for freelancers      □

 Mental Health First Aid       

will take place  2020Orchestral 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   
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!