Thesis: The Development of Professional Stage Management in the United Kingdom
Supervisor: Prof Jim Davis
Tracy Cattell is researching the development of stage management in the United Kingdom since the emergence of the first purpose-built playhouses in the late sixteenth century. A major focus of her research is the interrogation of extant prompt copies and other ephemera such as diaries and memoranda to trace the development of stage management from the theatre of Shakespeare’s London through to the twenty-first century. She is particularly interested in the development of prompt symbols and annotations, the rise of formalised stage management training, and the effects of the widespread unionisation and professionalisation of stage management within the theatre industry which occurred during the twentieth century.
Tracy is a professional stage manager and trained at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Before commencing her research she worked predominantly in Scotland, across many genres of theatre including opera, theatre-in-education, subsidised repertory and daily repertoire as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe and International Festivals. In the year 2000, whilst working with Scottish Opera, she had the opportunity to tour with three community productions to the Millennium Dome in Greenwich and was part of the team which facilitated North Ayrshire Education Authority’s millennium project The Turn of the Tide, a collaboration with Helsinki Education Authority which involved a thousand Ayrshire and Finnish schoolchildren as well as professional opera singers and composers and which was performed at the Maritime Museum in Irving. Tracy is committed to raising the profile of stage management within the wider field of theatre studies and has lectured and supported productions in secondary schools in Perthshire and in the West Midlands.