Time flies when you are working on a play. One day you think you have all the time in world, and then another day you realize that next week is tech weekend. As this time crunch sets in, you can feel it throughout rehearsals. The pressure and stress levels of everyone starts to be seen. The thought starts to settle in everyone’s minds ” We have so much to do in such a little time period”. As a stage manager, this thought has been going through my mind recently. When you get back from rehearsal, you stare at the mirror in your room, thinking about the show. You start to hear these voices saying ” you are not doing your job right” or you are failing everyone around by not doing enough”. While these thoughts fill your mind, you finally say aloud to yourself, “Why am I doing this?”
The more I thought about the question, the more I looked back at last year when I became an assistant stage manager. I had never done a play before in my entire life. At the time, I was looking for some activity to get involved. I had read an email from Terry, saying that he was looking for an assistant stage manager. I thought it would be fun, and asked on of my friends in the play about it. She immediately told Terry, who sent me an email the next day. From that day on, I learned what it took to be a stage manager. Having Terry as my mentor was and still is great. He taught me everything I needed to know, and even today he still is helping me and teaching me things that will always be important to me. I am truly grateful for his invaluable lessons and advice. The most important thing I have learned so far is that you have a team supporting you no matter how stressful it gets.
This lesson has always stuck with me. “The Walls” is not any different. Even through the stress and panic, we are still a team. When I go to a production meeting and look around the table, I see part of a team with the other half including the actors and actresses and the crew. Everyone on our team has a purpose/focus that makes this play go up. Let me tell you who they are. The actors and actresses are part of the team. They all bring the character to life. I can honestly say that all of our actors and actresses on “The Walls” have been phenomenal. They all work so hard each and every day at rehearsal and outside of rehearsal working on perfecting lines. The director is a huge piece to the puzzle. Or in our case, two directors. In this play, there are two directors: our head director, Melissa Hill Grande, and our assistant director Josh Scott. Both are fantastic. Watching both of them work with our actors to bring out the character’s emotions and to figure out how the scene should flow with the blocking is truly inspiring to watch. Let’s not forget all of the fabulous designers. Here is a list of our designers: Meredith Douthett-costumes, Cody Currie-sound, Shelly Luczynski-lights and Terry Jachimiak-set design. Each designer brings what the script says and the director’s vision to light. Getting to see what they come up with is truly amazing. They are all so talented. I truly respect each and everyone of them.
Let’s not forget our Box Office Manager- Cassia Sakmar and Props Master-Josh Scott. Both have done so much work promoting the play, and getting all of the props for the play ready to go. They both are simply terrific. The tech class and the theater workers, who have been building the set, are all doing an incredible job. Paula Ferguson, who helps lead them, is such a valuable person to have on our team. Last, but not least, my assistant stage managers, Kate Stark and Sarah Gabrick, have been incredible. They stepped up when I got sick, and really have made rehearsals go really well. I am so grateful for all of the people working on this show.
That is our team. Remember my question earlier: Why am I doing this? There are two answers to this question. The first is because I love it. I never thought I could love theater as much as I do, but Terry really cultivated that when I was his assistant stage manager. That love of theater has grown and grown into the love and respect I have for it today. The second reason? All of the people that I have mentioned above. They make this experience truly amazing and all of them are my inspiration to never stop reaching for the potential of how great this show can be. So you probably are asking, now what? Well, our show goes up in two weeks. Yes, it will be stressful and full of panic moments, but no matter what as long as you have a great team behind you in no matter what, we can reach for the stars. So, as a final note, please come see the show on February 20-23 because this team is ready to show you all of the fantastic work we have done.