Author Topic: PEOPLE: theatre romance  (Read 6211 times)

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beningini

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PEOPLE: theatre romance
« on: Jul 25, 2007, 05:33 pm »
is it "bad" for a stage manager and an actor currently working together to begin a romantic relationship?
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 12:51 am by PSMKay »
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JDL

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Re: theatre romance
« Reply #1 on: Jul 25, 2007, 05:44 pm »
No, as long as everyone is being treated fairly...I know it's hard... but it can be done... :)
AlL tHe WoRlD's A sTaGe... AnD i'M oFf BoOk!

KMC

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Re: theatre romance
« Reply #2 on: Jul 25, 2007, 06:09 pm »
This one is a very grey area!!  Beeeeeee careful.

I just wrote a post about SMs socializing with their cast (which I think is great), but this is a very grey area.  I'm not saying it shouldn't be done, but it's very easy to get yourself in hot water this way.
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

jmillbran

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Re: theatre romance
« Reply #3 on: Jul 25, 2007, 06:15 pm »
It can be bad, but it worked for me, as my wife (actress) of twenty years will attest.

Although we didn't "date" until after the show closed, but we hung out a lot after rehearsals and performances.  When we got married, I heard from many the cast of that show.  Half were totally surprised, half said they knew all along.

In general, as long as you're careful not to show favoritism, you should be fine.
Joseph Millett
Resident Stage Manager
Clarence Brown Theater

Mac Calder

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Re: theatre romance
« Reply #4 on: Jul 25, 2007, 08:45 pm »
If you can guarantee that it will in no way effect the dynamic of the show, nor cloud your judgement in any way - AND if you can guarantee that if things don't work out whilst you are still working together that you can continue working together, then fine. However, I doubt many people could guarantee that. Instead, I would ask him/her/it if you continue the show as friends, and try to progress your relationship AFTER the show closes - that whilst you believe there is chemistry between you, you do not want to be accused of favoratism etc.

I remember another really long thread about this same issue - however I cannot remember where it is.

ScooterSM

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Re: theatre romance
« Reply #5 on: Jul 26, 2007, 02:11 am »
I would have to say no, it is not ok to date anyone that you are working with currently, especially an actor.  It can cause too many problems of jealousy, favoritism, and bringing personal conflicts into the work environment.  If you have feelings for someone, wait until the show is finished and then explore it.  If it is meant to be, the feelings will still be there.

Just my humble opinion...

SSM
“I've never been paid a lot, but the theatre has kept me, and for that I shall be eternally grateful.” Tony Church

Rebbe

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Re: theatre romance
« Reply #6 on: Jul 26, 2007, 08:55 am »
is it "bad" for a stage manager and an actor currently working together to begin a romantic relationship?

I don’t think it’s a good idea.  I tend to agree with ScooterSM; if you’re having a truly meaningful love connection, you can wait a month or two to explore it fully.  If it’s just lust or a crush, definitely don’t go there at work.  One litmus test is to ask whether something would be appropriate behavior in a “normal” professional job.  If the answer is no (a supervisor dating a subordinate=lawsuit) then don’t do it unless you have an exceptionally good reason.  Yes, theater is special and different…but it is also a job, and we are paid to deal with lots of interpersonal dilemmas that require a certain level of objectivity that could easily be lost in the pleasant haze of romance.

Now, if you’re talking about dating in an educational setting, I’d see that differently.  There are still plenty of potential problems, but high school and college are good times to learn about relationships as well as job skills, so if you meet someone special, just proceed with caution.   
 
Here are some other threads that talk about relationships:
http://smnetwork.org/forum/index.php/topic,655.0.html
http://smnetwork.org/forum/index.php/topic,828.0.html
http://smnetwork.org/forum/index.php/topic,1037.0.html
"...allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."  (Philip Henslowe, Shakespeare In Love)

BalletPSM

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Re: theatre romance
« Reply #7 on: Jul 26, 2007, 09:36 am »
Quote
One litmus test is to ask whether something would be appropriate behavior in a “normal” professional job.

I disagree -- the theatre world is not a "normal" world.  We can't expect everything to run as a corporate office does -- it's just not going to.  Our community is so small and so specific -- people are bound to fall in love and form relationships and get married and have kids.  And because the world is so small, they're bound to come upon opportunities to work together again that they may not be able to turn down because they need the money/the work/whatever.   Plus (IME) people outside the business don't always get it - the late nights, crazy schedules, crazy people...it can make a non-theatre relationship difficult if this is what you do for a living.

Maybe it's because I work in a company where practically everyone is married to each other.  Currently we have two married couples within the company, another couple is getting married next summer, two other dancers are dating, one dancer is dating our lighting designer, my props mistress and my TD are married...it kind of goes on.  A couple years ago I hired the guy I was dating at the time to be my ASM because I was in a bind -- it was great!  I knew exactly how he worked and he knew how I worked and I wish I could have used him as an ASM more. 

I guess I would say its not necessarily a good idea to try to start something MID-rehearsal process or run.  But if you are already in a relationship with somebody and the opportunity comes up to work together (as long as the company doesn't have a specific policy on this) and the couple knows they can be professional about it, then why not grab the opportunity?  I've always loved the chances I had to work with my significant others on shows.   

(But that's just me...everybody's different and each relationship is different and should be taken on a case by case basis!)



Stage managing is getting to do everything your mom told you not to do - read in the dark, sit too close to the TV, and play with the light switches!

Balletdork

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Re: theatre romance
« Reply #8 on: Jul 30, 2007, 10:06 am »
Yup. I think as long as you're able to maintain a professional atmosphere while actively working - have at it!

 ;)

debos23

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Re: theatre romance
« Reply #9 on: Jul 30, 2007, 03:34 pm »
My two cents, echoing what's already been mentioned:  if it's meant to be, it can wait until after the show has closed to be explored.   I do know of two people who got together early on in a rehearsal process, and it worked out just fine because they never brought their relationship into the rehearsal room or to performances.  It stayed personal, and if you're going to do it, my advice would be to be careful to just keep it outside of work.   As for already established relationships, I totally agree with BalletPSM:  it's been fantastic to work with my guy because I trust him completely and know exactly how he works.    Can't say quite the same for working with an ex, though.  :D

thehayworth

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Re: theatre romance
« Reply #10 on: Jul 30, 2007, 03:49 pm »
Part of the problem is that rehearsals are pretty much the only place most of us CAN meet people, since it eats up our free time.
"This time for sure."

Balletdork

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Re: theatre romance
« Reply #11 on: Jul 30, 2007, 03:57 pm »
Yup.

sourc3

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Re: theatre romance
« Reply #12 on: Aug 02, 2007, 12:53 am »
My Fiancee and I are currently in the same theatre company. It's a slightly different situation because it's on a college level, but we began hanging out before I joined the company, and we actually co-ASM'd a show together. It worked out well in the sense that we knew how the other person worked, but the biggest difficulty we had was one of us always tended to be stubborn towards one thing or another, causing a disagreement with the other of us - usually not even related to anyone else in the show, it's just the way things worked out. We are able to maintain a high level of professionalism though, and it's worked out well. Since we're both heavily involved in the theatre, I doubt our relationship would work if we didn't do shows together, since we'd never see each other. ^.^
-David

McShell

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Re: theatre romance
« Reply #13 on: Aug 02, 2007, 02:33 am »
I don't date anyone I work with. 

But I have seen successful relationships, and marrriages, within the same theatre companies.  I've also seen some terrible breakups and divorces.  But that's true anywhere.

I just don't like dating people I work with, so I don't do it.  Personal preference.

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