Standby Cue 101 - screener

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Standby Cue 101

Year: 2012, 56 mins
Code: DM-Standby

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STANDBY CUE 101: An Introduction to Calling Live Performances is a first-of-its-kind training film for students and early career stage managers.  The film focuses on the role of the stage manager in technical rehearsals and performances.  This 56-minute video draws upon interviews and survey results of over 600 American stage managers.

STANDBY CUE 101 is divided into three tutorials:

  Act One: The Calling Script 
  - Cuing Techniques
  - Promptbook Formatting

  Act II: Headset Communications
  - Multi-channel Coordination
  - Cue Lights and Silent Calling Tools

  Act III: Placing Cues
  - Cue Triggers in Text and Blocking
  - Calling Music Cues without a Score

STANDBY CUE 101 contains demonstrations and practical “Tricks of the Trade” from a veteran Production Stage Manager.  Instructor notes, including sample comprehension quizzes, are included with the educational license. Contact Customer Service.


David J. McGraw is the Head of the MFA Stage Management program and the lead lecturer in the Arts Management program at the University of Iowa. Since 2003, Mr. McGraw has served as the Production Stage Manager for both the Theatre Arts Department and the Iowa Summer Rep.   In 2008, he designed the Performing Arts Entrepreneurship Certificate in partnership with the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center in the Tippie College of Business.  Mr. McGraw is the author of "The Epoch Model: An Arts Organization with an Expiration Date," which was featured in 20UNDER40: Re-inventing the Arts and Arts Education for the 21st Century.  He has also conducted three national surveys of stage managers; survey reports can be found at

A proud member of Actors' Equity Association in the United States, Mr. McGraw has stage managed for the Arizona Repertory Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, Oldcastle Theatre, Perishable Theatre, StageWorks on the Hudson, Vilar Performing Arts Center, White River Theatre Festival, and the Yale Repertory Theatre. He has also served as the Second Vice Chair of the Stage Managers Association.  Mr. McGraw is currently working on a computer simulator to train stage managers in cue calling.  For more information about the Stage Manager Simulator and other projects, please visit

Theme song “The Annual New England Xylophone Symposium” courtesy of Do Kashiteru.

A must watch for all of my interns! This gives them both the practical and psychological thought processes surrounding cue calling. It's an important subject that is, sadly, not often addressed in formal or informal training and is usually only learned through years of trial and error. Thank you for making this available for the next generation of stage managers! ~Jenny R. Friend Production Stage Manager Children's Theatre Company

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