How Support Personnel Shape Artworks: the case of stage managers


  • Gregory T. Kordsmeier Indiana University Southeast


Theater, stage manager, production of culture


It is commonly accepted in the sociology of art that artworks are created in collaboration. In an attempt to take artworks seriously from a sociological perspective, this paper explores how the collaboration of all the members of an art world affect the artwork that is created. By employing in-depth interviewing, participant observation, and qualitative content analysis, I focus on one kind of support personnel in the theater art world - stage managers. I find two distinct ways in which stage managers affect the artistic outcomes of plays: making artistic choices and affecting the work that others do through non-artistic inputs.

Author Biography

Gregory T. Kordsmeier, Indiana University Southeast

Gregory T. Kordsmeier is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Indiana University Southeast. His research focuses on social interaction in culture industries. He utilizes qualitative methods in that research, focusing on in-depth interviewing, participant observation, and qualitative content analysis of documents. In particular, he is interested in understanding the social psychological and micro sociological forces that affect work processes in arts organizations, and the effects this has on artists and the art that they make.