And the Lord sayeth unto them, “Let’s take it from the top!”

Has a stage manager ever commanded you to do something via the God Mic? Tell us here!

Behold: The God Mic — the nickname for the microphone used mostly by the stage manager or director to make announcements during rehearsals. The voice comes seemingly from nowhere (and everywhere) through the theatre’s PA system. Really though, the location of the God Mic is somewhere toward the back of the house. From there, the speaker can see all, just like God.

The need for a God Mic has been around since before modern-day amplification made it possible. Think of an old Hollywood film shoot with the director using a megaphone to yell, “Quiet on the set!” Thankfully, we now have the God Mic to accomplish the same thing.

The God Mic is especially important during tech week, when the production moves from the rehearsal room to the actual theatre. During this time, the stage manager organizes all the moving parts before opening night. This means making sure the design team and actors are all working together. What better way to lead a room full of designers, design assistants, technicians, and actors than with a louder-than-human voice booming through speakers?

Because many theatres vary in size, the God Mic is extremely useful during the rehearsal of large-scale shows in Broadway-style houses. Without it, stage managers would lose their voices after one day of screaming directions from the back of the house. The God Mic also feels especially omnipresent to those who are backstage, as it also thunders in the green room and dressing rooms.

Of the many commandments heard from the God Mic, the general favorite is: “Thou shalt take your dinner break.” Even as it’s all-powerful, the God Mic can also be merciful.

— Kelly Kerwin

  • This video was created by TDF and Lesser America.
  • Directed by Mark Blankenship
  • Shot and edited by Nicholas Guldner
  • Starring: Laura Ramadei, Claire Siebers, and Nate Miller