2019 Fall Play Stage Manager Interview
On October 30th-November 2nd, Apex High School theater department performed the 2019 school play, That’s the Spirit. I interviewed the stage manager, Nikki Westlake, to find out what being a stage manager was all about.
- What was the fall play this year? What was it about?
- The fall play this year was That’s the Spirit. It was about a group of psychics who were trying to figure out who murdered Jenny Davenport.
- Have you ever been stage manager before?
- I was the assistant stage manager for the play last year, Twelfth Night, and the musical, Children of Eden. I was also co-stage manager for Peter Pan, the theater III/IV show, but this year was the first time I’ve been stage manager by myself.
- In your experience, what was it like to be stage manager?
- Being stage manager was a really cool experience because I got to see multiple aspects of theater. I had the chance to see backstage as well as on stage, and I got to know all of the people involved in the play, which was a lot of fun.
- Would you do it again? Why or why not?
- Yes, I would be stage manager again. I like putting a lot of hard work into it and seeing the final product come together in the end.
- What kind of time commitment is being stage manager?
- Being stage manager is a huge time commitment, and I would not recommend it to anyone who is not dedicated to it. I am required to be present for crew interviews, auditions, and call backs. We have rehearsal almost everyday after school until 4:30pm, and the closer we get to the show, the longer the rehearsals get. We also have a tech Saturday the weekend before the show. This lasts almost all day.
- Do you get to interact with the cast a lot?
- Yes, I know all of their names. A lot of them are called everyday, and I have a good relationship with most of them. It’s nice to be able to make friends along the way. You see them all the time which gives you the opportunity to get to know a lot about them.
- What exactly does it mean to be a stage manager?
- As stage manager, I am in charge of my assistant stage managers, I take attendance for every rehearsal, and I take notes for Ms. Levine. During the show I call all the light and sound cues, as well as make sure everyone is in line.
- What are the requirements to be stage manager?
- I don’t think there are any requirements to be stage manager. You just have to be willing to put in the work and enjoy what you are doing.
- Would you say this was a good or bad experience for you? Why?
- I would say this was a good experience for me because I learned more about the visual aspect of theater as well as behind the scenes. I also got to meet new people and make lots of memories along the way.
- Is being the stage manager for the play and musical different? If so, how?
- Yes, being stage manager for the play and musical is very different. Last year, the musical was extremely different from the play because there were a lot more sound and light cues. This made the show much more stressful since there was so much going on. However, there were more people in the musical which allowed me to meet more people, but I find the play to be a lot more personal.
I would like to thank Nikki for doing this interview with me, and teaching me more about what it means to be a stage manager. Although I am disappointed that I was not able to see the fall play, I look forward to attending the spring musical and seeing all of the hard work that the staff and students put into it. If you did not see the fall play, or even if you did, you should go see the spring musical The Drowsy Chaperone on March 4th-7th!