ALRA Acting Schools in London & Manchester

Stage Management & Technical Theatre

  • Theatre Stage Manager
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Course Leader Ria Tubman
Course Location Wandsworth, London / Wigan, Greater Manchester
Study Level Foundation
Study Mode Full-Time
Course Length 2 Years
Application There is no charge for SMTT applications
  Apply Now

Available at ALRA North and South

A full-time, two year course to equip students with the necessary skills to gain employment in the theatre industry.

  • The SMTT course is so different to other drama schools, because it's run like a real production company. You get to work with industry professionals and ALRA prepares you for the industry.
    Chloe Turner Stage Management & Technical Theatre student 2014
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The course offers a thorough vocational training for those who wish to work in theatre stage management and technical theatre production with extra opportunities to work in recorded media.

Studying at ALRA on the Stage Management & Technical Theatre course equips you with the necessary skills, experience, vision and determination to gain employment within the theatre industry. The course is deliberately challenging and endeavours to emulate the procedures of the industry.

Production work takes place in ALRA’s flexible theatre space.

  • You will work with professional directors and designers
  • You will tour to external venues providing you with valuable experience of organising and managing a touring production
  • You will have the chance to work in film, TV and audio

If you are interested in applying to ALRA we suggest you to attend one of our Open Days. Information can be found on this page or contact us with any questions here.

A full-time, two year course to equip students with the necessary skills to gain employment in the theatre industry. The course is structured over two years and includes units in:

  • Stage Management
  • Production Management
  • Radio recording / making radio plays
  • Prop Making and Sourcing
  • Electrics
  • Stage Lighting
  • Theatre Sound
  • Technical Drawing/Design
  • Model Making
  • Special Effects
  • Costume Construction and Maintenance
  • Design Process
  • Health and Safety
  • Preparation for entry into the industry

Year 1

Each year ALRA SMTT students produce six productions, 3 in ALRA's theatre, two touring and one in another London venue. In the first year they develop core skills in stage management, lighting, sound, stage craft, costume maintenance, design process, AV and health and safety.They participate in small group practical classes designed to take them through a variety of occupational scenarios, from propping and prompting to mark-ups and rigging.

As well as class work students take on roles in each department throughout the first year on the production. Health and Safety is an essential part of the first year of study, this covers working with access equipment, first aid training and risk assessment training.

Year 2

Students are guided by a series of individual tutorials towards choosing two specialist pathways from a choice of seven, ranging from stage management to lighting design. Each pathway involves at least one allocated work placement with a professional theatre, production company or technical services company.

Students take on various ‘Head of Department’ roles for the public productions and have the opportunity to gain practical experience in a variety of production roles ranging from APM, DSM or technician to costume designer and sound designer. Students can expect to work on the full range of college productions, including two tours and two productions in repertoire.

In the final term there is the opportunity to work on an ALRA Film with the Acting students working on technical roles such as assistant production manager, camera operator and grip. A main part of the final year is, either as a group or individual, to produce a stage management and technical theatre showcase. This showcase is designed to show off the skills learnt to an audience of invited industry professionals and is followed by an industry networking reception.


You are taught mainly by practical methods, such as technique classes, workshops, exercises, rehearsal and informal presentations. You participate in group discussions and seminars as well as tutor feedback and review and regular tutorials. All tutors and directors involved in the delivery of the course are practising professionals.

SMTT students work on every public production ALRA produces. As well as visiting professionals, you will work closely with the Acting students, learning how to work with and effectively manage a company of actors.

ALRA requires constant attendance at all timetabled classes, seminars and other events. Days are long and commitment has to be full-time. Calls often extend late into the evening for shows and get outs. This reflects scheduling in your future career and is a valuable part of your training.

Guest Workshops

  • ABTT (The Association of British Theatre Technicians)
  • BECTU (The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union)
  • Equity
  • ETC - lighting board training
  • Flints Hire and Supply
  • Horror Makeup FX - special effects makeup raining
  • Orbital Sound
  • RC Annie - weapons and special effects training
  • Royal Opera House Broadcasting Department
  • Stage Jobs Pro
  • SMA – (The Stage Management Association)
  • White Light
  • Graduates Panel- presentation to a panel of past ALRA graduates for a career Q and A

Work Placements

Over the last 5 years students have undertaken work placements at the following institutes:

  • Battersea Arts Centre
  • Commonwealth Games
  • Donmar Warehouse
  • ITV
  • National Theatre
  • Omnibus Arts Centre
  • Pleasance Theatre London
  • Royal Opera House
  • Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Tara Arts (UK tour)
  • The Almeida Theatre
  • The Arcola Theatre
  • The Musical Theatre Academy
  • The Rose Theatre (Bankside)
  • The Tron Theatre
  • Various West End venues

  • Entry Requirements
  • Fees & Dates
  • Admission
  • Past Students

Selection is made on the basis of interview.

Normal entry requirements also include:

  • One A level, a BTEC National Diploma or GNVA in an area Performing Arts or Technical Theatre.
  • Applicants must have at least 100 UCAS points. However, ALRA may also consider applicants with an exceptional level of practical ability or past work experience in the field.
  • You must be at least 18 years old at the start of the course and ALRA welcomes the older student, especially those who are thinking about a career change.
  • Candidates for whom English is not a first language are required to demonstrate a level of fluency appropriate to professional training.

Course Fees:

With DaDAPaying privatelyStudent loan available?
Stage Management Foundation Degree UK and EU n/a £6000.00 per year  YES
International Students n/a £7475.00 per year  YES

* Figures quoted demonstrate the full fee discount available for annual payment.

Applicants for the Stage Management & Technical Theatre course should:

To apply to the Stage Management and Technical Theatre Course please click here

Any questions regarding the interview or application for the course please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Applications are accepted from September onwards. 

Deferred Entry

Applications for deferred entry are considered at the discretion of ALRA.

International Applicants

ALRA welcomes applications from international candidates whose written and spoken English is of a level appropriate to professional training. This will be assessed at interview.

Non-EU applicants must obtain a student visa to cover the duration of their studies.


Before we can offer you a place on the Stage Management & Technical Theatre Foundation Degree, we will ask you to attend an interview in order to assess your potential to undertake professional training.

The interviews are designed to discover your knowledge and commitment, and ensure you have the personality and aptitude to successfully complete the course. Our courses are extremely demanding and call for substantial levels of talent and reserves of stamina. It is our responsibility to select students who we feel will be able to respond most effectively to these demands.

Interviews take place on weekdays throughout the academic year. We will inform you in writing within two weeks of the outcome of your interview.

Please note overseas candidates may interview by video conference but ALRA reserves the right to ask for an in person interview before any offer is made.


Due to the large numbers of candidates applying, we regret that we are unable to provide individual feedback. The decision of the school is final.

Past Students

Chloe Turner /  Graduated 2014: Freelance Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager for the Old Vic New Voices
Stage Manager at the Barbican for Play Without Words

Lauren Cameron / Graduated 2012: Freelance SM and Theatre Designer
Stage Manager at national tour of Light, including the Barbican, Bristol Old Vic
Stage Manager at national tour of Ballad of the Burning Star with the BAC, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible
Designer for Residency Project at The North Wall, Oxford

Emaleigh Pightling / Graduated 2014: Freelance Stage Manager
Stage Manager at Assembled Junk for The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
Festival Stage Manager at Music in Action for Jersey Liberation Music Festival
Stage Manager at Leeds Studio in colab with West Yorkshire Playhouse for Nine Lives UK tour

Rachel Condon / Graduated 2011: Deputy Technical Manager Beck Theatre Hayes
Production Manager at the Park Theatre for The Barrier
Company Stage Manager at Pleasance Main Stage for Women of Twilight
Stage Manager at Charing Cross Theatre for A Tale of Two Cities


Reasons to study at ALRA
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    ALRA is a leading conservatoire drama school with a reputation for training hard working, fully-rounded professional actors.
  • ALRA’s acting training includes includes specialist instruction in stage, film, TV, audio, comedy, voice and movement and is supported with contextual studies to prepare for work.
  • ALRA is a leading conservatoire drama school with a reputation for training hard working, fully-rounded professional actors.
  • ALRA has built strong relationships within the industry and our showcases and productions are directed and attended by agents, directors, casting directors, writers, producers and our own inspiring Alumni.
  • ALRA’s resident teams are dedicated, talented professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience and a passion for teaching. Our students are supported in all aspects of their studies.
  • ALRA’s reputation of securing opportunities for students grows each year and our Alumni are working in the West End, Regional and Touring Theatre Productions, as well as in Film, TV and Comedy both in the UK and beyond.
  • ALRA recruits a comparatively small number of students each year so that everybody has our full attention and feels part of the school from the moment they arrive.
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  • The amazing thing about ALRA is that you learn everything there is to know about stage management and technical theatre. You get to try out every single role, which gives you a wider perspective about how the backstage life works in theatre.
    Astrid Egeland Now on tour in Norway
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Awarding Bodies

St Mary's University |Accredited Arama Course

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