Theatre Alumna Rachel Zucker Collaborates with Stage Managers Association on New Podcast Series

September 11, 2017

The Stage Managers Association of the United States (SMA) announced last month that it will collaborate with Theatre Program alumna Rachel Zucker ’17 on a new podcast series called Legacy Project: Standing in the Dark. The series comprises audio recordings and, so far, one video recording of conversations with stage managers about their work. According to the SMA the series constitutes a continuation of the SMA’s Legacy Project, which seeks to bring attention to the work and experience of stage management. It will be hosted on SMA’s website.

Before teaming up with SMA, Zucker developed “Standing the Dark” as her Stage Management thesis at Columbia. “One would think that stage managers, who are the backbone of the theatre industry, on Broadway and beyond, would have a rich written and/or oral history devoted to their work but unfortunately very little exists,” she told the SMA website.

The webite Stage Directions said of the project, “Think [StoryCorps] for stage managers or a version of Inside the Actors Studio with even better stories.”

Michael J. Passaro, an associate professor of professional practice at the School of the Arts, and Zucker’s advisor, saw the project’s potential from the beginning. He told the SMA website, “When I begin to advise my students on their thesis projects, I ask them a few questions to focus their thinking: What’s missing? What isn’t available to them, or doesn’t currently exist, in the world of stage management theory or practice? What do they wish they had in terms of a resource that will help them—and future stage managers—be better at what they do? Rachel’s proposal crossed my desk and I wrote one word on it: YES!”

SMA Chair Elynmarie Kazle added, “By working together, we can create a cohesive history for our profession. It is our hope to make this available through our network to future generations of stage managers.”