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Stage Management: Show Stops and Emergency Management

Show Stops
By Anna Robb

Watch TheatreArtLife’s discussion forum with Stage Managers; Anna Robb, Dean Jewel, Rebecca Rees, Madison Burkett and Nathan Grimoulas.

These Stage Managers are all former members of the same SM team who worked together in Macau, China.

Together they talk about:

  • preparing for and handling major show stops
  • how they worked as a team to communicate and facilitate show changes to technical and artistic teams
  • what drove and guided the show caller’s decisions under pressure
  • how they prepared and rehearsed for emergencies
  • the onstage and backstage processes and systems put in place to prevent accidents and injuries
  • how each stage manager prepared themselves mentally for show stops and emergency situations

Watch this forum if you wish to learn more about:

  • Handling major show stops
  • Training and preparation for emergency situations
  • Processes and systems you can put in place to prepare your team and your cast for show issues.

About the Hosts:

Dean Jewel


A London born, Australian citizen, living in Toronto Canada, Dean is currently the General Stage Manager for ‘Luzia’ by Cirque Du Soleil. Dean has nearly 30 years of experience in Live Theatre and Special Events. Career highlights include: Master Schedule Manager, Show Movement Director & Stadium Operations Show Caller for London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, Doha 2006 Asian Games, Manchester 2004 Commonwealth Games and Sydney 2000 Olympic & Paralympic Games. Stage Management for ‘The House of Dancing Water’, ‘The Lion King’, ‘Miss Saigon’, ‘Cats’, ‘The Phantom of The Opera’, ‘Billy Elliot’ along with a host of other Theatrical Productions and Live Events. Dean recently achieved a career goal by calling Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘Luzia’ into the Royal Albert Hall, a venue that Dean is the 3rd generation of his family to perform in.

Nathan Grimoulas


Nathan has worked in the entertainment industry for 10 years, traversing through many disciplines including crewing, radio production, not-for-profit fundraising, live music and art events, theatre and finally circus. Currently he is the General Stage Manager for Cirque du Soleil’s touring show Kooza.

Anna Robb​​​​​​​


Anna is an experienced Producer/Production Stage Manager. Her 20-year work history spans Asia Pacific, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. She has worked for companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Franco Dragone Entertainment Group, Christie Digital Systems and The Sydney Opera House. Anna was an integral part of the research and development, training and formation, creation and operation of the 250 million dollar aquatic show, The House of Dancing Water in Macau. She also maintained the daily operations of this complex show as the head of Stage Management for 7 years. She is passionate about her work and the evolution of the is industry.

Madison Burkett


Madison has just finished an 18-month international tour as the Deputy Stage Manager of GWB Entertainment’s production of School of Rock – The Musical. She graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 2012, with a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts (Production). She spent three and a half years in Macau working on Franco Dragone’s The House of Dancing Water at the City of Dreams Casino, starting as Assistant Stage Manager and finishing as Senior Stage Manager. One of the highlights of her time at THODW, was stage managing an episode of The Amazing Race, that was filmed in the theatre for their 27th season. After winning her US green card, she made the move to Las Vegas in May 2016, where she was a Stage Manager at Le Reve – The Dream at the Wynn Casino. Madison returned to Australia, after a five-year hiatus, and has been working on touring musical theatre shows such as Gordon Frost Organisation’s production of Rocky Horror and shake & stir’s production of Green Day’s American Idiot.

Rebecca Rees


Currently Deputy Stage Manager, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Melbourne, Australia. Previous experience includes Artistic Manager and Stage Manager of The House of Dancing Water, THODW Cast Changeover and creation, Leviathan (Circa), The Phantom of the Opera (Really Useful Group), The Importance of Being Earnest (Ridiculusmus), Oedipus, The Venetian Twins (Queensland Theatre). Other experience includes Event Manager (Orient Unlimited and Imagine Believe Hong Kong), Site Manager, The Last Supper (Melbourne International Arts Festivaol and The School of Arts Regional Tour (Queensland Theatre) and Production Mentor (Creative Industries, QUT), Tour Producer (ArTour).​​​​​​​

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