Stage Manager Erin Joy Swank sits near an overhead projector in front of a group of students
Creative Careers Festival (2015)

"Erin Joy Swank’s enthusiasm for stage management is infectious in the classroom. Her diverse experiences broadened my students’ awareness of the opportunities in the current field. Erin’s presentation on cueing was a great masterclass on what to expect in a professional venue. Erin presents a practical approach to whether joining the union is right for you and your stage management aspirations. She presents herself as a positive and professional role model for future stage managers. Erin was a pleasure to host and I would like her to be a regular industry liaison for my students." - Kevin Wolfgang, University of Northern Colorado

Whether it's with a group of young stage managers, other technicians or actors, or to an audience of patrons, Erin loves to to share ideas about professional stage management. There is no one way to do stage management. Bring another person into the room to discuss a variety of techniques, as a supplement to your own curriculum.

Fees are negotiable, based on your budget, and speaking engagements can range from a half hour to a full-day or longer. Contact Erin for availability. With today's technology, it can even be done over the internet via a video chat!

Central City Opera's Opera Inside Out (2015)
Central City Opera's Opera Inside Out (2015)

Topics can be tailored to your needs and include:

  • Stage managing across multiple genres - musicals, opera, dance, plays, and more
  • Setting up prompt scripts and scores for blocking notation (recording where the performers move when) and calling cues
  • Working with union performers, musicians, and crew
  • Sample cue calling, including following along one of her scripts with a video of the call
  • Prepping for the next step after college
  • Discussing the factors that go into choosing when and if one should join a union
  • The relationship of the stage manager to all others in the production
  • Soft skills for dealing with a variety of personalities
  • Working with animals onstage (particularly camels and sheep!)
  • What it's like to coordinate a scene shift - sample interactive activity has engaged past participants from kindergarten to adult
  • Translating theatre words and acronyms into laymen's terms, as well as the general process
  • Paperwork form and function
  • Question and answer, of course!

"Erin Joy Swank has held guest seminars for my stage management class on two separate occasions.  Both times she presented herself as the smart and personable stage manager I train my students to become. She is encouraging but honest, and my students come away with the sense that their hard work and experience will pay off for them as professionals. Erin's Skype visits are now a regular part of my syllabus, and she is a welcome addition to my curriculum." - Joseph Millett, University of Arkansas

Past Experience

URTA Stage Manager/Teacher (Spring & Fall 2017) with the University of Southern Indiana/New Harmony Theatre

Mentor for United States Institute for Theatre Technology’s Stage Management Mentor Project (2017) and Gateway Program diversity initiative (2014)

Mentor for the Stage Managers’ Association, and member of the Education Committee

Workshop Presenter on Stage Management and/or Technical Theatre:

  • Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region IV Festival (2017); also Stage Manager Respondent
  • Colorado Creative Careers Festival (2015, 2019)
  • Central City Opera's Opera Education & Community Engagement (various, 2006-2015)
  • United States Institute for Theatre Technology national conference session panelist (2011, 2014, 2019)
  • "Cultivating a Positive Relationship in All Productions: A Panel Discussion between Stage Managers and Actors" (2010) - presented by the Stage Managers' Association with the Denver Actors’ Equity Association Liaison Committee
  • Opera Colorado's Backstage Workshop (2008)

Skype with Kent State University (2017)

Guest Lecturer/Artist for Stage Management and/or Theatre Classes:

  • Boston University
  • Fresno State College
  • Kent State University
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Ohio University
  • Shorewood (WI) High School
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of Cincinnati – Conservatory of Music
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Indiana
  • University of Iowa – Iowa City
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Vanderbilt University
  • West Texas A & M University
  • Wright State University

Stage Management Consultant – Opera Theatre of the Rockies

"I asked Erin to speak to my Theatre Management course in order to help students understand what the job entails at the professional level. She was fantastic at answering my students’ questions and providing them with a look at her working methods!" - Phillip Franck, Vanderbilt University