The SMA is governed by a Board of Directors who are all SMA Members. Additional co-opted Directors who are not SMA Members may be invited to serve at the discretion of the SMA Board. A Director’s term of office is for three years, after which they may choose to stand again for election or retire.
The SMA’s current Board of Directors
At the 2019 SMA AGM, Amy Wildgoose, Emily Palmer, Julia Reid, Jane Williamson and Ali Wade were elected to the Board for a term of three years. The SMA welcomes them and looks forward to working together over the coming years. They join Emma Hansford, Sarah Yelland, Ruth Sidery and Sarah Jenkins, who continue their terms.
In March 2020, Owen Thomas was co-opted onto the board.
Helen Clarkson retired from the SMA Board at the 2019 AGM, after serving for a total of 6 years. The SMA thanks her for her hard work, commitment and support for members, especially in the role of Treasurer.
Remembering David Ayliff, Honorary Life President & SMA Co-founder 1916 -2016 RIP
Ali Wade, Chair
Areas of work : Commercial Theatre, West End and Live Events
In Stage Management since: 1995
Ali studied Classics at Durham University, followed by a postgraduate course in Stage Management and Technical Theatre at Guildford School of Acting, and has since enjoyed several decades worth of experience across a wide range of live entertainment from Commercial Theatre touring and West End contracts to Olympic Ceremonies and arena shows. Currently, she predominantly works as a Company Stage Manager in London-based venues.
Recent credits include Company Stage Manager on Life of Pi, The Starry Messenger and The Height of the Storm in the West End for Simon Friend Entertainment, Cats at Pattihio Theatre, Limassol, and contracts for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Rose Theatre, Kingston.
Ali rejoined the SMA Board in 2019, having previously served a full term from 2013-2016, with one of her goals being to help increase participation in all areas across the Association. She has also supported the SMA’s communications since 2012 by leading on our social media output and represents the Association at trade shows and through education visits.
Emma Hansford, Deputy Chair
Areas of work : Commercial Theatre, Repertory and Stage Management Education
In Stage Management since: 2002
Emma trained in Stage Management at Rose Bruford College and has since worked in a freelance capacity at all levels of Stage Management in regional theatre, touring, West End and events. She now works in Stage Management Education, currently teaching at LAMDA and prior to this, she taught at both ALRA and Mountview.
Emma has been a member of the SMA for several years and joined the board in 2017, as she felt it was time to make a more active contribution to the Association.
Emma has represented the SMA at trade shows and through education visits, and in 2020, will be one of our board members representing the SMA at Stage Sight meetings.
Ruth Sidery, Treasurer
Areas of work: Commercial Theatre, Repertory Theatre, Broadcasting, Film, Live Events and Stage Management Education
In Stage Management since: 1988
Ruth trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has spent the last 30 years working in Stage Management and Lighting across an enormously varied range of productions including theatre, festivals, events, television and film. She currently teaches at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School whilst still continuing her professional interests which include contracts for Bristol Old Vic as Stage Manager and as a presenter for workshops for their Engagement Department.
Ruth’s credits include Company Stage Manager for Bristol Old Vic, Event Manager for BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, Showcaller for Skyfest 3 years running, Script Supervisor for Ragdoll’s In The Night Garden and many more.
In addition to her extensive education work at BOVTS, where she was also responsible for developing the Film and Television strand for the Stage Management course, Ruth has designed and delivered short courses for Bristol University, University of Western England and Theatre Royal Bath’s Education Department.
Having joined the SMA board in 2017, Ruth has a passion for keeping the standards of professional Stage Management high and championing the work that we do in an ever changing and challenging world.
Ruth represents the SMA in the South West of England, attending PIPA Networking Meetings in the region on our behalf, and has represented us at trade shows and through education visits.
Areas of work : Commercial Theatre, Repertory
In Stage Management since: 2006
Having originally trained in Technical Theatre Skills at City Literary Institute, Sarah has enjoyed a wide variety of experience over 14 years, from repertory and site specific work to large scale arena entertainment, and predominantly works as a Deputy Stage Manager.
Recent credits include Robin Hood and In Basildon for Queens’s Theatre, Hornchurch, several Early Doors Live arena tours for Phil McIntyre Entertainments and Mother of Him tour for Oliver Mackwood Productions.
After several years of SMA membership, Sarah joined the board in 2018 to take a more active role in the Association.
Areas of work : Touring, Regional and West End Theatre
In Stage Management since: 1992
Having originally trained in Performance Technology, Sarah has been working in Stage Management for well over two decades. She has enjoyed contracts for leading UK commercial theatre producers and producing houses, in venues ranging from site specific locations and repertory theatres to the West End and arenas. Nowadays she works predominantly as a Company Stage Manager, Tour Manager and Stage Manager.
Recent credits include Stage Manager and Company Stage Manager for A Museum in Baghdad, for Royal Shakespeare Company and Kiln Theatre, Tour Manager for numerous Anton and Erin tours, for Raymond Gubbay Ltd, and Stage Manager for Early Doors Live arena tour, for Phil McIntyre Entertainments.
Having joined the SMA board in 2013, Sarah has served several terms of office consecutively, including taking on the role of Chair for a period of time. She has also contributed administrative support from time to time.
Jane studied drama at Hull University and now works primarily as a freelance Deputy Stage Manager based in the North of England but also works further afield and on touring productions.
Recent credits include Peter Pan at Hull Truck, Driving Miss Daisy at York Theatre Royal and Princess and The Hustler for Eclipse Theatre.
Having been an SMA member for several years, Jane is keen to help develop the Association’s presence in the North of England, where she has recently represented us at PIPA networking meetings, and to help support opportunities for networking and training.
Amy studied Drama and Theatre Arts at Goldsmiths College, University of London and then completed an MA in Stage Management at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She has since worked as a freelance Stage Manager for 9 years and has enjoyed a varied career.
Recent credits include Company & Stage Manager for The Watermill Ensemble’s productions of A Midsummer night’s Dream and Macbeth (touring and Wilton’s Music Hall), Company and Stage Manager for National Theatre Wales’ Mission Control (Principality Stadium, Cardiff) and Deputy Stage Manager for Addams Family – The Musical (UK, Ireland and International Tour). She also regularly lectures and supervises at Royal Welsh College and Drama.
As a Stage Manager living in Wales, Amy feels that she can contribute to the SMA with their outreach to the rest of the UK and was part of the team which organised the recent Wales Stage Management Networking Meeting.
Julia trained in Stage Management at Central School of Speech and Drama and has since enjoyed several decades of experience across the fields of repertory, touring and commercial theatre, now working predominantly as a Company and Stage Manager.
Recent credits include Stage Manager for Light Falls for Royal Exchange Theatre, Bollywood Jane and The Color Purple for Curve Theatre, and Barber Shop Chronicles for National Theatre and Fuel.
Having joined the board in 2019, Julia represents the SMA on the International Relations Committee, recently set up by our friends in the USA based Stage Managers Association, and in 2020, will be one of our board members representing the SMA at Stage Sight meetings. She has also represented SMA at trade shows and through education visits.
Emily Louise Palmer
In Stage Management since: 2009
Emily originally studied English Literature and Theatre Studies at University of Central Lancashire and then trained in Stage Management and Technical Theatre at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since then she has enjoyed over a decade’s worth of varied experience across Commercial and Repertory contracts in roles at all levels of Stage Management.
Recent credits include Matilda, International Tour for GWB Entertainment (UK) Ltd, 2018/2019 Season at Hampstead Theatre, and La Boheme for The Royal Opera.
Having joined the SMA board in 2019, as she felt she’d like to give more back to the Association than simply seeing membership as a fee for use of the Freelist, Emily is a strong advocate for the professional support that the SMA offers to all members.
Emily represents the SMA on the International Relations Committee, recently set up by our friends in the USA based Stage Managers Association, a perfect fit for her current Stage Management role in International Touring.
Areas of work : Repertory
In Stage Management since: 2012
After completing a degree in Ecology at Durham University, Owen attended Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s two year Professional Stage Management training. Since then he has worked predominantly in the Repertory sector, in which he has covered the wide breadth that this field entails from musicals to community tours. His career has also included ballet and small scale touring. He is based in Edinburgh and works with most of the producing houses in Scotland, with occasional forays down south.
Recent credits include Deputy Stage Manager for the 2019 Summer Season at Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Company Stage Manager on Book for Touching the Void, a co-production between Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre (Edinburgh), Royal & Derngate & Fuel Theatre.
Having joined the Stage Management Association shortly after entering the profession, Owen is keen to help develop the association’s presence in Scotland.