Training Theatre Artists to Make a Difference
Freshman Brandon Horwin has his first debut in the CUA Drama Department as Stage Manager for The Knot. During his interview, he discusses his experience and how the experience was for him overall.
Before CUA, did you have any prior experience with stage managing? If you have, what was different about stage managing a college production? If not, what was it like stage managing for the first time?
I had some. To be specific, I obtained some of the tasks of a Stage Managing during my time in High School as I did a multitude of administrative tasks throughout my Four Years in the Theatre Department. Stage Managing in college felt professional and was a big responsibility. Every night, the cast/director relied on you to keep the rehearsal going with time and breaks, as well as blocking notes, calls/reports, and other duties. Come tech, you run the show. It is you who keeps this machine running. It was really awesome to take the steering wheel and be in contact with all the designers, the director, the Assistant Stage Manager/Crew and the Cast to make sure the show is on it’s way!
What was it like working with both a director and a playwright, since both of the shows are new plays?
It was a really cool to have both of them in the rehearsal room most days. Ideas were bounced around between the two and fresh ideas, lines and even scenes were developed in the rehearsal room throughout our process. I’ve definitely had a lot of time to soak in many aspects of theatre throughout this run, which is so valuable to me!
What has been the hardest part about stage managing?
Stage Managing is a huge commitment. From rehearsal 6 days a week to calls, reports, and communication with production team, director, cast , and crew outside of rehearsal it can sometimes be a challenge. Also, balancing time. I really wanted to focus all my energy on the show, but as I did, assignment built up. After all, we are students first, and academics are most important. So definitely time management.
What would you consider to be the most exciting part being a Stage Manager?
Come tech when the Stage Managing takes over, and makes sure the tech elements are effectively transitioned into the show in the most painless way possible. Then once all cues are in place, calling the show, and seeing your show go up successfully is really awesome! We want our cast and show to look amazing, and we will do everything in our power to make the show awesome and perfect, and that end result is pretty great!
By Liz Maestri, M.F.A. Playwriting Candidate
February 17, 21, and 23 at 7:30 p.m.
February 18 and 24 at 2 p.m.
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