Posted by Cassandra Mychalowycz on Friday, February 1, 2013
This past week was the beginning of my engagement as one of Vanderbilt University Theatre’s assistant stage managers for their production of the Good Person of Setzuan. I love working with this organization, but I have never held a crew role this important. Let me tell you, during this one week of working with them, I have already learned much about how theatre operates at a college (and thereby more professional) level. One example was somewhat trivial but humorous: during the first show I was involved in freshman year (The Green Bird), I was incredibly impressed by how well the actors all knew their lines. There was no discrepancy from one performance to the next, because the memorization was flawless. Through my first week as an ASM, aka employed line-monitor, I’ve learned that the actors’ lines are perfectly memorized because it’s the ASM’s job to meticulously hound them about not missing any “of”s or changing “the” to “a”. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also great fun.
I took the position primarily to be able to observe our visiting director Wendy Knox. VUT often has artists-in-residence who visit to work on a particular show, just like in professional theatres. It’s a treat to be able to see how her style compares to that of my professors. This week we had practice every day from 7pm-10pm. The actors had it slightly easier since they were able to come and go depending on when their particular scene was called. That being said, most of the actors were there the entire time since the show has so many characters, giving each actor two or more roles. It was a bit exhausting to do that in conjunction with my schoolwork, practicum placements, and the tornado warning but I managed and I’m so glad I got engaged in this activity. The show is hilarious and as weird as any other Brecht play. I have several friends in the large cast and crew (including my roommate Savanna), and it is awesome to know that I am an integral part of bringing the show to life. Everyone on campus finds their niche, and this is definitely mine. :)
…Until next time!
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