Eastern Stage Manager

jakob w. plummer

New York, NY

Production, SM, LORT


In the Spring of 2018, I was a new(ish) member of AEA looking to get involved, specifically to address members working as Production Assistants without contracts – something personal to my experience.

I extensively researched three Broadway seasons and found the majority of shows benefitting from Union labor employing members as PAs instead of stage managers. I rallied members with similar concerns and presented this at a general membership meeting. In front of AEA’s leadership, I was personally invited by our Executive Director to begin a thorough dialogue about addressing an issue that for many years had been ignored in the wealthiest theatre market. While there’s further to go, I felt so empowered to accomplish change within the Union, and I’m proud this work led directly to the negotiated addition of a stage manager on many Broadway shows to come.

Having worked along the East Coast, from cities to suburbs (to villages without reception!), on contracts ranging from SPT to Cabaret to Off-Broadway, I’ve had the opportunity not only to see structures vary from one theatre to the next but also from one member to the next. Engaging members across the country to champion themselves is a priority for me: strong members make a strong union. And as we head into the landscape of theatre post-COVID-19, I want to represent the members by finding the most respectful balance, allowing theatres to land on their feet while leading Equity’s members to thrive financially and spiritually.

Personal Statement

Hiya! My name is Jakob (yup! With a ‘K’!), and I’m a fairly recent Equity member. I earned my card in 2017 working on the Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George, which was an amazing gift of collaborators and art making. Since, I have found myself working around the country not just in theatre but also in opera, corporate work, and event management. 

At the end of the day, I find what I do to be only an extension of my principles as a human. I love theatre. What I love about it is the uniqueness of each challenge and opportunity. I seek adventure, and I seek enlightenment in all I do, which is what connected me with Fair Wage. They gave me an opportunity to make substantive differences in theatre. I believe there is an equitable and fair way to create, produce, and share theatre that works really well for everyone. I don’t think we have found that yet, but I know it’s a possibility, which is why I’m running for council.

Theatre is a business! Show business. I’ve always believed that – to be formidable in our business and management acumen – is to make the art easier and more enjoyable. I’m a pragmatist who’s happy to be convinced but doesn’t accept any truth blindly. The best idea should always win. 

A bit on my background – I was born and raised in Galion, Ohio, which is between a couple cornfields and a couple beanfields. I have a large family (7 of us in total!) and was classically trained on piano for 13 years. I have a Great Pyrenees dog named Lucy (she can be found modeling on IG: @Lucytheogp. Disclaimer: my partner runs this account, and I have complicated feelings about pets with IG accounts). I love coffee and red wine (dry, please!). And, I’ve been told that my handwriting is 1) Amazing 2) Unique 3) Impossible to read.

OH – and I almost forgot – I’m a HUGEEEEEE Cate Blanchett Fan. You can find some pretty fun content on Twitter with the hashtag #BlanchettADay