There’s a Stage Manager for that!

Anyone who’s worked in theater knows that stage management is a hard job. Very few people want to do it, even fewer of them do it well – and yet it’s a crucial role. Contrary to what some people believe, it’s not a job that anyone can just fill in for. It’s more work than you ever actually realize until you’re sitting on a couch the day after opening staring blankly at the wall trying to remember what having a life is like. You’re the first one to arrive, the last one to leave, and you never get the glory. In short, it’s thankless.

Those of us who love it understand all of that and do it anyway. We go into the job knowing that’s what its going to be and understanding that no one will really know how much work we’ve actually done. Which is all okay (totally not whining here), because it’s also awesome.

Quickies is a special animal in that there are 7 completely different shows to manage. That means 7 directors, 7 casts, and 7 different sets of tech needs. So going into Quickies we always try to find a really good stage manager (see note above about how hard that is). This year we couldn’t find ANYONE (and there was no way I was doing it – I needed a break!). So when director and company member Nikki suggested we ask Susan Moon, volunteer and mother of one of my favorite YTN students, WHO HAD NEVER DONE THEATER BEFORE, I almost just dismissed it outright. There was no way it would work.
But then we discussed it more, and thought about how awesome Susan was in general, and considered the fact that her daughter Rhiannon basically grew up inside the walls of a theater and was willing to help her – it suddenly started to seem not so bad. And it was getting close to rehearsals starting – so we said ok! Let’s try this out, and see how it goes.

My friends, how it went was straight to awesome-town. Susan is without a doubt one of the best stage managers I’ve ever worked with, and she’s been doing it for all of a month and a half. She has all of the qualities that a good SM needs (organization, good communication, sense of humor etc etc) but more than that, she gets it. And against all of the odds I listed above,¬†she seems to be having a really good time.

So as the music is fading at the top of the show tonight, take a moment to think about the wonderful person who’s making that happen (and her partner in crime, Alison Underdahl, who stepped in at the very last minute and is equally awesome). Really, it would not have been as good as it is without her and we are insanely lucky to have her

She and Alison are so fantastic I’d almost rather sit in the booth with them during the show… almost.
Happy Opening!