Current Courses

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

"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)


Cueing to Music Level 1 and Level 2 Courses, both  superbly run by Andrew Killian which took place in April 2018 at The Albany were a great success  


Thank you to all who took part  !


  BECTU Training Courses with SMA rates

Creative Industries Safety Passport.  Wednesday 23 May 2018
The Creative Industries Safety Passport is a one day health & safety course designed specifically for workers, employed or freelance, working in film, TV, theatre and live events. It promotes a safety culture based on personal responsibility for safety. This means that it encourages delegates to be pro-active in their own safety and the safety of others. The course is approved by the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH) under their Passport scheme which is a nationally recognised scheme and follows The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) syllabus guidelines as well Creative Skillset’s National Occupational  Standards in Health & Safety X2, X3 and X3.5 and the BECTU/TMA Code of Conduct for Get-in/ Get-outs. It is a level 2 qualification that is valid for 3 years and comes with a workbook and a robust credit card size ID card with a HoloKote finish which is tamper proof. All Safety Passport holders are registered on the IOSH central database so verification is an easy process. 
Use the BECTU Associate rate to book here

All Courses held at BECTU Sector Office. 373-377 Clapham Road  
London SW9 9BT

Creative Industries Safety Passport
Wednesday 23 May 2018
Cost: BECTU members £90; Associate (SMA Member) £102

Book now for Finance for Freelancers

Book Now for Lazarus First Aid

Book now for Creative Industries Safety Passport


RC-Annie Hand Guns Course - Always popular!

NOT FOR GUN SLINGERS! This course is for those ensuring the gunslingers can do their job! THEATRICAL HANDGUNS FOR THEATRE.

Recommended by the SMA Dealing with 'gun shaped things' in the Theatre. 10am to 4pm. The Practicalities and safe working practices of using Theatrical Handguns on stage including Blank Firing Handguns and UK gun law. Ideal for Stage Managers and Technicians.

Places are limited- this fun and very practical and informative course always sells out!

@BADC_UK @rcannie 


ALRA, Royal Victoria Patriotic Buildings, Wandsworth. London. SW18 3SX
12th of August 10am to 4pm.
Early Bird Rate £99 pay before 22 July. (SMA Members rates)

Please refer to the latest Agenda Email for information 


NEW: Pyrotechnics Safety Awareness Course by ABTT

What is the Pyrotechnics Safety Awareness Course?
The ABTT Pyrotechnic Safety Awareness Course is a theatrical based, workshop style, training day. The course provides operational safety information from industry experienced tutors via ‘hands-on’ exercises and ‘live firing’ demonstrations. The course focuses on the safety implications associated with the use of popular, publicly available, Stage Pyrotechnic devices.

Who can do the course?

These Individual Certificated Courses are ideal for stage managers, lighting/sound professionals, community theatre technicians, students, venue managers, insurers, fire/security officers, indeed, anyone in the entertainment industry who has an interest or finds themselves associated with Stage Pyrotechnics.

What does the course cover?

  • Workshop presentations and live device demonstrations
  • Videos and observation exercises
  • Delegates operation devices and pressing buttons
  • History and Accidents
  • Flame Proofing and Fire implications
  • Maroons, Flash Reports & Concussions and Noise implications
  • Fragmentation Tanks (Bomb tanks)
  • Flashpots, Jets, Gerbs, Robotics, Comets, Mines
  • Wiring Conventions (Series/Parallel) and Electrical Testing
  • Risk Assessments and Record Keeping
  • Law, HSE, Storage and Transport Guidance

What will I be able to do at the end of the course?
The course will provide candidates with an opportunity to keep ‘up to date’ with ‘considered best practice’ and familiarise themselves more readily with new and current regulations, alongside forthcoming UK/EU legislation. The course will also serve as an ideal refresher for Technicians who have to produce certificates of awareness, to keep themselves ‘In date’.

The candidates will also receive a comprehensive set of notes and subject to satisfactory completion of the course, will receive a certificate, signed by the tutor, and automatic enrolment with the Association of Stage Pyrotechnicians registers.


30th June Old Rep Birmingham

ABTT (&SMA)  Members 100+VAT (£120)


For further information 


Please refer to the latest SMA Agenda Email 


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 1     □
Cueing to Music Level 2     □
Emergency First Aid & refresher      □

Finance for freelancers      □
Orchestral Stage Management with LSO     □
Props Sourcing & Making      □
                          Corporate Showcalling with Kate Salberg        □
                                Theatre Showcalling Masterclass      □
                             Elements of Company Management     □
                                  Elements of Stage Management (SMs)     □
                                  Working with QLab      
                             Stage Pyrotechnics Course for SMs   
Make 2018 the year to upskill, and widen your SM career horizons and prospects!



Please email the SMA Office and we will notify you when your preferred courses are taking place


Alternatively please click on this link and complete the Training Interest Survey

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!). 



TTG logo High Res

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 were held in Spring 2018. 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!