Amber Bielinski portrait
  • Assistant Professor (Clinical), Theatre Department
  • Head of BFA Stage Management Emphasis, Theatre Department
  • Production Manager, Theatre Department

Current Courses

Fall 2021

  • THEA 1160-006
    Production Run Crew I
  • THEA 1160-007
    Production Run Crew I
  • THEA 1160-008
    Production Run Crew I
  • THEA 1170-006
    Production Run Crew II
  • THEA 1170-007
    Production Run Crew II
  • THEA 1170-008
    Production Run Crew II
  • THEA 3600-002
    Beg. Stage Management
    Location: BLDG 73 242 (BLDG 73 242)
  • THEA 3900-001
    SM Seminar
    Location: CANVAS (CANVAS)
  • THEA 3912-002
    ASM Projects
    Location: TBA (TBA)
  • THEA 4912-002
    Stg Mgmt Projects
    Location: TBA (TBA)
  • THEA 4950-001
    SM Internship

Spring 2021

Professional Organizations

  • KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival), Region VIII. 02/11/2020 - present. Position : Member of Governing Board - Stage Management National Fellowship Program Coordinator.
  • KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival), Region VIII. 08/01/2018 - 05/01/2020. Position : Member of Governing Board - Circuit Respondent Coordinator.
  • Actors' Equity Association. 04/2015 - present. Position : Member.
  • American Guild of Musical Artists. 06/2014 - present. Position : Member.
  • Stage Managers' Association. 04/2011 - present. Position : Member.

Teaching Philosophy

It is my belief that stage management, like all artistic disciplines, is best taught through constant practical application. Just as a painter betters himself with every stroke of his brush, a stage manager must strive to use and improve upon their ability to gather information in droves, effectively communicate that information, and push forward the artistic process through the creation of a supportive environment.  Each rehearsal note, schedule, and email written should be given as much thought and care as the placement of a called cue during a complicated musical number.  Both nuance and a calm “effortlessness”, though seemingly gifted by nature to some stage managers, requires practice, reflection, and constant attention.

I personally find that the best way to achieve a sense of grace in my own work as a stage manager is though cross-genre and cross-cultural artistic opportunity.  For example, I have found that the patience I learned while working with opera singers directly helped me in the world of dance, theatre, and events as well.  I strive to challenge my students to seek opportunities outside of their comfort zone and to try new techniques on every production they work on. For an undergraduate student, this can be as simple as trying out uncharted technology such as a new tablet application for scene tracking or giving themselves a goal while writing a performance report of finding three acting moments that stood out to them.  I want students to understand not only the basics of stage management, but how what they learn in college will apply to them on the regional theatre level, a long-running Broadway show, and even in their everyday life – depending upon the path they choose.

For all courses, I teach using assorted methods: lecture, small group exercises and discussions, large group exercises and discussions, guest lecturers, individual practical-application projects, and multi-media presentations.  I also try to incorporate online resources, as well as responses and reflections to live events.  These methods are designed to reach a range of students, whose abilities and proclivities are varied.  This also allows for the students to develop several types of communication skills through projects and exercises that require written, oral, visual, and performed participation. 

The teaching method I am fondest of however, is direct mentorship.  I encourage my students to mentor each other on both an advanced to beginner student level (i.e. a graduate level student mentoring an undergraduate) and a peer-to-peer level.  There is nothing more important to me in creating a stage management team than breaking down the walls between stage manager and assistant stage manager, as we all have something to learn from one another.  Whenever possible, I also try to find chances to mentor my students myself – whether through regular one-on-one meetings, rehearsal and performance supervision, or in practical application with the student assisting me on a production. With the motto of “be a good person” and a program-wide safety net for controlled failure, the educational experience for a stage management student can be both academically rewarding and provide opportunity for exponential personal growth.

I endeavor to give students every environment possible in which their “inner thinkers” can emerge.  They will learn that they are more than just the paperwork doers and the schedule creators but are also thinking, learning, feeling artists and social activists with opinions and styles of their own to share with the world.  Only this type of balance can fuel the passion for the stage management craft that it takes to make a life out of what is often a thankless profession choice.  It is my strong belief that with the right regimen of care and keeping, this career choice and this life will be continually and fantastically rewarding.