BWW Blog: My First Show as a Stage Manager
This past weekend I opened and closed the first show I was the Stage Manager for. Prior to this show I have always been the Assistant Stage Manager.
It wasn't a mainstage show. I was stage managing an original one act play for the Heck-Rabi Playwright Festival; there were two other one acts, who each had their own stage manager as well.
It wasn't as easy as one might think a one-act would be. We had less than a month to hold rehearsals, including tech, until we opened the show. We had our first official rehearsal on January 8th. We opened on February 1st. Three days a week we rehearsed. Two of those days were in the actual rehearsal room. We had to share with three other shows using the same room. With the obstacles in place for us, we knew it wouldn't be easy. The rehearsal period seemed to be more stressful than the tech process.
Tech was smooth, which usually that sentence is virtually unheard of. However, there was never a point during tech where I was terrified to call the show. I was calm, but as always, the nerves hit opening night. Being in that booth and taking control of the ship was nerve-wracking. If a cue got messed up, it was on me and yeah, I messed up a couple of cues on opening night, but it's a learning process.
Looking back, I'm glad this was my first. It was a nice stepping stone to where I wouldn't get too overwhelmed too quickly. The production from auditions to final bows had some ups and downs but it was all made possible in thanks to the people who work alongside me to get the final product. The designers, director, and the cast were a breath fresh air. Everyday working with them was a joy and they made my job much easier for how professional and on top of their game they were.
It was great sitting in that booth watching my cast bring this show to light when only a few weeks ago they were still on scripts trying to figure out objections and tactics for their characters. When only a few weeks ago, the set and costumes were just sketches on paper. Seeing this process from start to finish was an accomplishment. I have one more year left and three more productions this semester. I'm looking forward to where I go from here.