BWW Interviews: Assistant Stage Manager Opens Up About National Tour of GHOST
I recently had the opportunity to talk with the Assistant Stage Manager of the National touring cast of Ghost, Andrew D. Bacigalupo. We talked a lot about his experience in theater and with Ghost but also discussed what it is like to be part of a touring cast.
What is your background in theater?
I am originally from the Cincinnati/Newport Area. I attended Northern Kentucky University for light design and stage management. In 2009, I started touring with my first professional show as a Light Director throughout the US, Japan and Korea. The following year I worked on my second touring show as a Light Director which took me all over the US. My third show working as a Light Director took me over to Europe and I did a tour there for 4 months. In 2011 that show took me to the West End where I connected with a contact that led to me moving over to the stage management team for the original Italian production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. I was in Milan for 3 months and at that time the US touring company of Priscilla visited the show and that is where I met Randy Buck who is the CEO of Troika. And Troika is producing this touring production of Ghost. They say this industry is all about connections and that is 100% true because everything I have done, from day one, has connected me to my next project one way or another.
Explain what it is like being a Light Director?
The Light Director is the person who take's the Light Designer's vision and brings it to life by going into the theater where the show is going to take place and figures out how to make the Designer's plan physically happen and keep the quality of the show where it is suppose to be.
And now you are an Assistant Stage Manager for Ghost, what has your experience been like?
As ASM I was with the show in New York for 4 weeks where the original design team has come back to put on this production. We worked with them there and then moved on to Schenectady, NY where we had 2 weeks of tech. And now we are in the process of going to 30 different cities in the US.
What is the time commitment for a show that visits that many cities?
The time commitment can depend on the show because contracts can range from 6 months, 8 months or 1 year. This particular show is scheduled through August but it could possibly extend for another year. But for right now it is a 1 year commitment.
What is it like behind the scene moving from city to city?
The schedule is: After the last show we load everything in trucks. When we arrive in the new city we unload most of the trucks the day before the show opens and then finish unloading the morning of the show opening.
Is Assistant Stage Managing for a show like Ghost, with some many different technical elements different than other shows?
Yes, we had an illusionist and he was the same illusionist they used for the original production. He was with us in New York and all through tech. There are so many illusions in the show, the biggest being when Sam walks through a door and that was such a big moment in the movie so we had to recreate it on the stage. We are using tricks via lighting and things like that to make the audience see such things but they are all happening live on stage. This is something that has not happened in modern theater.
You mentioned a big moment in the movie, does your production feel any type of pressure putting on a musical based on such a popular movie?
People obviously have heard of the movie and are expecting to see certain things. We have the same screenwriter who wrote the original movie as our playwright. There are a lot of things that are similar and some of the lines are word for word from the movie. I actually saw the musical first and then watched the movie and I realized some of the lines from the musical or lyrics for the songs were the exact same from the movie. There are definitely similarities but of course we are adding in the score, singing, dancing and so much more we are adding in as an entertainment factor.