Behind the Scenes Spotlight: Chris Schweiger, Stage Manager

It’s difficult, if not downright impossible, to neatly sum up everything Chris Schweiger contributes to the shows she stage manages. As a one of the Stage Managers at Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) ) and the Stage Manager for The Sneetches The Musical, Schweiger has a myriad of responsibilities and is one of the most integral parts of the theatre team. We set out to learn more about the life of a Stage Manager, and Schweiger had a wealth of knowledge to impart from her 14 years at CTC.

CTC: Stage management seems like a huge job! What are your main responsibilities?

Chris Schweiger: My main responsibilities are to be in charge of the cast and the integrity of the show. During rehearsals, I help the director make the best use of the rehearsal day by scheduling the actors’ time. I also make sure that what we are doing in rehearsals is communicated to the design team and the shops so adjustments can be made to scenery, props, and costumes as we make discoveries in rehearsals. But an important thing I help to do is to set a good tone in the rehearsal process for fun and creativity so that the cast can play and make those discoveries that are so critical to creating the show!

CTC: That’s definitely a lot to do at once. So how do you begin the process of managing a show?

CS: Stage managers begin working exactly one week before rehearsals begin. So I have one week to read the play, learn about the show’s designs and scenery, prepare paperwork like prop lists and contact lists, call the cast, and if there are students, meet with their parents. We also get the rehearsal room ready in every detail so that on the first day, we are ready to go! We tape out the ground plan on the floor so that the cast can rehearse with the correct spacing of the set, and we make sure we have scripts and supplies ready for all.

CTC: I can tell that you really enjoy your job. What were your reasons for wanting to work in the theatre industry in the first place?

CS: I fell in love with theatre in high school because it was just so much darn fun. I acted in a few plays and assistant directed a show. I then pursued theatre and film in college, but I found that the theatre culture was a lot more in line with who I am than filmmaking was, so I stuck with that. After college, I worked and volunteered overseas for a few years, but then I returned and did various theatre acting jobs. Eventually I got hired at CTC as an Assistant Stage Manager and found I enjoyed that work and truly loved working at this institution. The culture suited me, and I love the mission. I also work at other theatres from time to time, but I love making theatre at CTC because the quality of work is so exceptional, and we are always trying to make something important with such a huge emphasis on creativity.

CTC: That’s a great way to describe what makes theatre so special. What do you love about your specific role in the theatre?

CS: I love how different and unique each show experience is. I relish the process of creating the show. I love the trial and error experimentation that the rehearsal process is. I enjoy the collaboration between the actors, the director, the design team, and our amazing shop folks. I love being right in the middle of all of the excitement and pressure, and I am drawn to the responsibility of being in the middle of it. I love taking care of sensitive and creative people and making sure our ideas come to life, and then in turn changing the way people in our audiences think.

CTC: I know it’s hard to pick just one thing, so what are a few of your favorite parts about your job?

CS: I love that every show is totally different—like a new job, really—so it doesn’t become boring or too familiar. Each show brings new challenges and totally new people to it. I just love that—it constantly challenges and pushes me. I feel like I am constantly striving to get better at what I do—and that this is not a job I can get too “comfortable” in! In addition, I simply enjoy the period of time I have off between shows (usually about a week or a few weeks)—which gives me time to not work, but reflect, play, exercise, spend time with family and friends, and travel. And that is a truly special and unique aspect of this job. It is one aspect that has really helped me continue to do the work even when it can become incredibly stressful and overwhelming. The time off lends a lot of balance to the time on.

CTC: That all sounds wonderful! But you mention the challenges you encounter at work. What kinds of difficulties do you face as a stage manager?

CS: The life of working in theatre is of course full of drama and mishaps, and yet the show always seems to come together. It pretty much amazes me every time. Over the years I have developed this incredible faith and unwavering certainty that it will come through, despite all the turmoil, impossible odds, extreme personalities, and limited budgets. The show will come through—and I will be there, riding up in front—looking forward, but trying to enjoy the view from time to time.

CTC: Is there anything about your job that you think would be surprising or unexpected to people?

CS: A lot of people are surprised to learn that stage managers not only run every performance, but that we also give the actors notes to make sure the show stays on track and maintains the original intentions, which is what the director does until opening night. Most people don’t know that the director leaves after the show opens! It’s our job to keep things going smoothly after that. Another thing people find surprising is that stage managers make coffee every day for the company! This sounds funny, but it is one of those important small things that add up to making the rehearsal process the best that it can be. We also sweep and mop the rehearsal space, and that’s just another one of those important details in an art form that is all about every little detail!

CTC: Thanks so much for giving us such great insight into what it’s like to be a Stage Manager at CTC! Is there anything else you’d like to share or that you think is important for people to know?

CS: Well, I think I’d sum up by saying that stage managing is a fun and continuously challenging job, and it’s not for everyone. But those who get into it can get some surprising rewards. No other person in the process sees every single show and watches with such scrutiny as the stage manager. That experience has taught me so much about what really makes a good theater performer, what really makes a strong and consistent script, and what doesn’t work and what really does tickle audiences. It’s an incredible experience and it’s given me a truly versatile and healthy set of skills. Also, having a positive attitude and tireless ability to problem-solve has lent itself to every aspect of my life, and I feel very proud of that. It’s the nature of the job to bring a high work ethic and to stay sharp and strong. And that has lent itself into many other aspects of my own life—including my relationships with my family and friends, and my health, and I will always be grateful to this work for that!

News Archive

Privacy Policy

Thank you for reviewing the privacy policy and disclaimer.

Children’s Theatre Company (“CTC”) is committed to providing a safe online experience. We collect no personally identifying information, unless you choose to provide us with that information. This statement of Privacy applies to the CTC website and governs data collection and usage. By using the CTC website, you consent to the data practices described in this statement.

If you visit our site to browse, read, watch videos or download, we automatically collect and store only the following information about you:
  • The IP address from which you access our Web site (an IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing.)
  • The type of browser and operating system used to access our site
  • The date and time you access our site
  • The pages you visit
  • and The Internet address of the Web site from which you accessed our site

This information is used to improve the functionality of the website—to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors use. We do not track or record information about individuals and their visits. We may compile and report aggregate statistics about our users — numbers, traffic patterns, and related site information — but these statistics will include no personally identifying information. CTC is not responsible for privacy statements or other content on websites outside of CTC, including those linked from CTC’s website.


If you identify yourself by submitting mailing list, donor or ticket request forms contained in the site, we use that information only to respond to your message and to help us provide you with the material you have requested or to send you a written acknowledgment of your donation as required by law, or to verify and/or mail purchases and/or to process your ticket order.

You have the option to contact us by phone or by email ([email protected]) to request that we remove your name from our mailing and/or calling and/or trade list. If you opt to be taken off our mailing list, you will receive no mail from us, including publications or special notices. If you opt to be removed from our calling list, you will receive no calls from us except when a performance is canceled. We will not sell, trade or share a donor’s personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations. If you are not a donor and you opt to be removed from our trade list, we will not provide your name to other arts organizations that might be making special offers or anyone else.


CTC’s website uses "cookies" to help you personalize your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a web page server. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.

The purpose of a cookie is to tell the web server that you have returned to a specific page. We and our advertising partners, including advertising networks, use information gathered through cookies and other similar technologies, as well as other information we or they may have, to help tailor the ads you see on our sites and to help make decisions about the ads you see on other sites. To opt-out of targeted adversity from many ad networks visit:

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies. Please be aware that some web pages may not work correctly if cookies are disabled. More information is available here:


All credit card transactions including ticket purchases and donations is processed on a secure server. Credit card information is protected by encryption technology, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol. This helps to assure information is protected from unauthorized access.


CTC may occasionally update our Statement of Privacy to reflect customer feedback or changing technologies. CTC encourages you to review this statement periodically.


CTC welcomes comments and questions about or Statement of Privacy. If you believe CTC has not adheared to this statement, please contact us at [email protected].


Under no circumstances shall CTC, its employees or contractors be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, punitive or consequential damages that may result in any way from your use or inability to use the information provided on this or any other web site supported or maintained by CTC or from your reliance on or use of information, services or merchandise provided on or through the web site or that result from mistakes, errors, omissions, interruptions, defects, deletion of files, delays in operation or transmission or any failure of performance. If you are dissatisfied with the information provided on this web site, or with any of the practices of the CTC in the operation of this web site, your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue using the web site.