The theatre, the theatre, what happens in the theatre…

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on June 16, 2011

The theatre, the theatre, what happens in the theatre? Sometimes mysterious and a little ridiculous, but not as in secret ceremonies involving goats and a British man who winks and wiggles his fingers. It doesn’t have unimportant people; everyone in the theatre has a big part. The actors and directors might seem to have the biggest responsibility and granted they both have lots of rather humongous duties, but also the people who do the set design and are backstage the vast majority of the time have big roles to play.

Some people who are “in the shadows: must be prepared for the unpredictable, which is basically a condensed definition of theatre. These people must know what to do if actors don’t show up, or if the actors have forgotten their props, and they must know where set pieces go at the drop of a hat. I am one of those people.

Now, I am not saying the show could not go on without me. It probably could if worse came to worst. The main duty I am at the theatre for is assurance. If something goes wrong backstage I am the one to fix it. So I attend every rehearsal and am in the eaves every show, in case of bad stuff and for moral support for the actors. However, as I said before, the theatre is unpredictable and a usual day can be filled with rehearsals and photo calls or just one show. For instance, a typical day in the life of an ASM (assistant stage manager) might consist of several different performances and end at ten , or be one rehearsal and end at one.

Last week, we closed “Big River” and had the second performance of “Almost Heaven” as well as the cast party, photo call and matinee all on the same day. That is the rather ridiculous part. After rehearsals are done the time we stay at the theatre can vary greatly. On the day we closed “Big River,” I went to the Roxy at one and stayed until ten, where as this thursday I only have one show. There are also those times when rehearsals are cancelled and some people may not know, some people…as in the ASM…as in me. It was one time but coming in at nine instead of one when you vaguely remember being told that rehearsal was at one is not the best feeling. Usually the theatre always has something that needs to be done whether it is cleaning paintbrushes or helping repaint the stage and volunteers are welcomed even if they haven’t volunteered before.

So, a day in the life of an ASM is not very repetitive and neither is the theatre. An that is the mysterious part, but thankfully without goats.
– – Hannah Kitterman

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