Author Topic: Community Theater along the California Coast  (Read 654 times)

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Community Theater along the California Coast
« on: Oct 13, 2014, 02:45 am »
Thanks for being here. I've already gotten my money's worth. And someday, I hope to add to the knowledge base.

In June, I was at a community potluck when I mentioned I was interested in helping backstage on the next stage production to someone I knew helped out on many of the shows. [cue the spooky music.] The response, "we're looking for a stage manager." I was reluctant as I haven't been on or behind a stage since elementary school. And I know almost zero about any of the jobs/skills/tech required to put on a production. To my credit, I've been a good audience member for a couple of theaters for many years.

I ended up going to the first cast meeting which happened to be later that evening. Before committing to being the stage manager, I went home and searched online what I would be responsible for doing. My research seemed to indicate: organize and manage everything (without directing or acting). Despite some attempts at convincing me I would be great and people would help me learn everything, I offered that at most I was willing to assist whoever they convinced to be the stage manager.

Fast forward to today! I just finished my first week of rehearsals for Jekyll and Hyde at the Gualala Art Center for a mid-November opening. In addition to learning the script, taking notes on props and placement, tracking blocking changes, figuring out up stage from down stage and my left from my right, I've been a placeholder on the stage when someone on the cast has been unavailable (2 of 5 nights so far). After the first night I made it clear I'm happy to take good notes, pass them along to the actor, and even walk through for the rehearsal, but I definitely cannot sing, dance, act, speak in front of an audience, nor pretend to sing. Really. I suspect my organization skills and ability to make diagrams of the stage will make me more valuable behind the scenes than in the spotlight.

So far, it has been amazing and interesting, even though I know that chaos is so close. The cast is great. The director is very supportive. The production team has been very encouraging. The rest of the crew has been, ... , ok ... is still coming together. Anyone want to volunteer?

I already have a much deeper appreciation for what I've seen on the stage at previous performances. And I expect I'll gain the same heightened respect for all the technical aspects as they start being added to the production.

I have a lot to learn, and SMNetwork has helped a couple of times already. I'm definitely hoping no one actually breaks a leg.


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Re: Community Theater along the California Coast
« Reply #1 on: Oct 13, 2014, 11:30 am »
Welcome, and what a story! Between you and me, on some shows I still cross my fingers that no one actually breaks any legs.