BWW Interview: Hazel White of THE LITTLE MERMAID JR at Sandra Day O'Connor High School
Hazel White, a junior at Sandra Day O'Connor High School, took a "dive" into the aquatic kingdom of King Triton to stage-manage THE LITTLE MERMAID JR. this Spring. I had the privilege to ask her about her experience as a stage manager of a high school production, in hopes that maybe some of BroadwayWorld's readers will give the technical side of theatre a try! Hazel earned the opportunity to stage manage her first show when she asked Little Mermaid's Director, Miss. F, if she could help with the show. After spending her high school career "climbing the ranks" in the technical theatre department, she had just wrapped up stage managing a summer show at the school. Miss. F knew that it was Hazel's time to step up as the official stage manager, and so she accepted the position. Without further ado- here are some of Hazel's memories, responsibilities, and fun facts about her stage managing experience!
EMMA: What are some of your responsibilities as a high school stage manager?
HAZEL: I have to make lists of all the cues that are done both in the booth and on the stage. This includes lights, sound, music, and rail cues. I also have the pleasure of going to every rehearsal and working with the cast during the show to help bounce ideas and see what the show will look like. My biggest responsibility is during each performance I sit in the booth on a headset and direct all of the techies throughout the show. I call every cue and help if there are any mishaps.
It's safe to say that Hazel's experience as stage manager has been nothing short of unique- she has gone through high school with most of the cast and has been working with many of them as her own leader at one point in time. She notes that some of the actors in the show have, at one point in time, been her director or choreographer. "It's strange to know that I now get to lead them in one of their biggest projects yet" she says, "I can't wait to take this challenge and see how beautiful it will turn out".
EMMA: What do you enjoy the most about working with the cast of LM?
HAZEL: I have known and worked with most of the cast of The Little Mermaid for a couple years and have gained many friendships with the cast. I enjoy getting to know more people and growing stronger bonds with old friends. They all work so hard and have a special love for their craft it is amazing to be apart of their journey.
As for advice for aspiring stage managers, Hazel points out that time management and organization are key. "For high school students, time can run short. Keeping up with classes and rehearsal can be rough, but if you organize and time manage efficiently you can do both." I can certainly confirm this; I have had to work around several obstacles as a stage manager myself!
EMMA: Are there any special aspects of this particular show that you have to work out as the stage manager?
HAZEL: The Little Mermaid is a Disney classic and almost everyone has seen it at some point in their life. This is a very special show to put on because the characters are very well known. For the tech team creating that world, and the actors creating those characters is very special to this show.
I was very lucky to be able to speak to someone as well-spoken and humble as Hazel this Spring. I wish Hazel great luck on her stage-managing journey, and I can't wait to see what she does next, especially during her senior year. Good luck and break a leg, Hazel!