The life of a Stage Manager

Alaina Galasso, Opinions Editor

My love for theatre has always been present, even in my younger years, but it didn’t become prominent until high school. I was thrown into the world of technical theatre when I enrolled in the class my freshman year, and from then its been a whirlwind. I started out as a spotlight operator, then moved up to a light board operator. In between main stage shows I would work as a run crew member. Then I was asked to be a stage manager.

Stage managing is a complicated job. Stage management is defined as being in charge of  coordinating and executing a production. It requires complete knowledge of what is going on at all times within the production. Each technical aspect of the show, from lighting to props, falls on the stage manager’s shoulders. They are also oversee the actors needs in collaboration with the director.

Stage managing The Greek Mythology Olympiaganza began in the last week of August with auditions. I ran the audition process by collecting and organizing all the forms, sending the candidates in and making sure the directors each had what they needed. After the show was casted we jumped straight into rehearsals, in which I documented everything that occurred in each rehearsal, sent out emails every night to remind the actors of who is called for the next day and made sure each actor has the props they needed.

Then the technical rehearsals began. Technical rehearsals are basically when all of the technical elements are integrated with the acting components of the show. In these rehearsals I collaborate both with the director, Mr. Howland, and the technical director, Mr. Stahlecker, to build the lighting cues, adjust the sound cues and run the transitions. As the show comes together, I learn the timing of each cue because when it reaches show time I am the one who determines what happens at what time.

Finally, on show nights I make sure everything is ready to be performed in front of an audience. I call each cue by giving a stand-by and then a go for lighting, spotlight, sound and run crew members, sometimes all at once. It’s a lot of responsibility, but once we hit “blackout” on closing night it’s a rewarding feeling. The whole process brings me closer to my cast, crew and directors as I learn to balance the different personalities and manage all that needs to happen to make the show incredible. These shows seem so simple and effortless in front of an audience. Its beautiful really, an art form that combines raw talent and endless determination. After months of preparation and stress, I am finally able to look back and believe that I contributed to making that art happen.