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Mentor Spotlight: Linda Apperson

By Ginny Butsch posted 01-21-2020 11:46


Earlier this year, we launched a brand new Community program called Mentor Match. This unique online networking and career development tool is an EdTA members-only benefit that helps you find, connect, and share experiences with others. Our Mentor Match spotlight will feature some of the incredible mentors who are available to help you accomplish your professional goals.


Our current featured mentor is Linda Apperson, a stage management expert. Linda has stage managed over 3,000 performances, taught stage management at Stanford and internationally, and even wrote a book on the topic.

How long did you teach/have you been teaching? What subjects/classes?

I was the instructor for stage management in the Stanford University Department of Theater and Performance Studies for seven years (2008-2015).

Why did you sign up to be a mentor?

When I was teaching, I discovered that being a mentor to the student stage managers was of the most benefit to the students, as well as the most rewarding part for me. 

Describe yourself in three words.

Nurturing, competent, dedicated.

Do you have any special training or certification?

40 + years in the business. 

Did you ever have a mentor or role model? What did you learn from them?

I had many, starting with my 5th grade choir teacher (yay for arts in the schools!). From her, I learned self-discipline, rehearsal/performance etiquette, and the joy of sharing art with an audience and my fellow performers. 

Why do you believe theatre is important?

Theatre teaches us empathy and shows us different points of view. It expands our horizons. 

Tell us about the best day of your career.

Too many to single out just one!

What is/are the resource(s) you most recommend to others in your profession?

Finding a mentor. Or my book, Stage Managing and Theatre Etiquette 😁. 

What was the first play you ever saw? 

I think it was Carousel. I was 7 years old and the Denver Post sponsored free, fully professional musicals in the park in the summer. It was magic! 

What inspired you to pursue a career in theatre?

I LOVED it! I could not imagine doing anything else. (Full disclosure, I've had many years of "straight" jobs. None were as fulfilling as theatre.)

What was the most difficult element of a production you’ve ever had to manage?

The people. 

What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?

Teaching at the Central Academy of Dramatic Arts in Beijing. There are students from that experience who I am still in touch with. I also am always proud and thrilled when I watch my students take off.

If one of your professional goals for 2020 includes building your knowledge in the field of stage management, Linda is the perfect choice. If you’d like to request Linda as your mentor, here’s how:

  1. Enroll as a mentee.
  2. Visit Linda’s
  3. Click on the blue “Send me a Mentor Request button.”

Learn more about Mentor Match here. Feel free to contact me with any questions about this opportunity: