The SMA Board of Directors

The SMA is governed by a Board of elected Directors who are all SMA Members. As a group the board are responsible for policy and the overall strategy of SMA, delegating management and running the SMA to staff who also advise the board. SMA Board directors are volunteers and actions that the board wish to take are decided by the board as a whole at regular meetings. Additional co-opted Directors with skills that the board feel will be useful to governance (and may not be SMA Members) may be invited to serve at the discretion of the SMA Board until the next AGM. A Director’s term of office is for three years, after which they may choose to stand again for election or retire.

Members who have questions or require information on strategy, Association policies and aims, and the overall direction of the SMA can address emails to the board at :

The SMA’s current Board of Directors

At the 2020 SMA AGM, existing board members Emma Hansford and Ruth Sidery were re-elected to the Board for a second term, Owen Thomas, previously co-opted earlier in the year, was formally elected for a full term.

Remembering David Ayliff, Honorary Life President & SMA Co-founder 1916 – 2016 RIP

Emma Hansford, Deputy Chair

Areas of work : Commercial Theatre, Repertory and Stage Management Education
In Stage Management since: 2002                  (2019)

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 is 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                        (2020)

Ruth trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has spent the last 30 years working in Stage Management, Production Management and across an enormously varied range of productions in theatre, festivals, corporate events, trade shows, television and film. She currently teaches Stage Management at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School whilst still continuing her professional interests.

Ruth’s credits include Company Stage Manager for Bristol Old Vic under Tom Morris’ tenure, Event Manager for BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, Showcaller for Rouge Events, Location Manager for BBC Productions and 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 SM courses for Bristol University, University of the West of England, NODA 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, at PIPA networking  meetings and also sits on the AAPTLE committee.

Amy Wildgoose
Area of work: Commercial, Repertory and Touring                       (2019)
In Stage Management since: 2011

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.

Representing the SMA 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 Meetings. 

Julia Reid
Area of work: Repertory, Commercial and Touring                 (2019)
In Stage Management since: 1995

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. She has also represented SMA at trade shows and through education visits.

Owen Thomas, 

Areas of work : Repertory
In Stage Management since: 2012                                               (2020)

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 was keen to help develop the association’s presence in Scotland. Co-opted to the board in March 2020 to serve as our representative in Scotland, he has set up a regular diary of online networking events for Stage Managers north of the border and is now a fully elected board member. Owen is also an SMA representative on the AAPTLE Committee.


Frances Howell                  


Terry Lee Dickson         

Area of work: Drama, Ballet, Opera and Musical Theatre.  In Stage Management since: 1968               (2021)

Terry trained in Stage Management at Central School of Speech and Drama. Repertory in Scotland and England led on to West End shows, then via opera to many years of Ballet in the UK and overseas.    A seven year stint as Production SM in Canada was followed by ten years running a Scenery company in London.

TLD tried retirement but people kept phoning to ask him to take shows out on the road!

Principle interests are safety and respect in the workplace. In connection with that he has written Guidance Notes for the ABTT and the SMA, co-authored Reset Better Principles and Charter and Theatre Green Book’s Stage Management section.

Terry works as PM and CSM autumn to spring and as a commercial yachtmaster in the summer.


Vicky Chandler

Vikki has been an SMA Member since 2019.
I love the opportunity to be on the SMA board of directors primarily to be a part of change, to advocate for my fellow stage managers when needed and to be a part of an organisation that provides both wellbeing and professional support to those who want to step into this exciting industry.’