My First Week at Williamstown Theatre Festival

Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) is dedicated to producing top tier productions with some of the most acclaimed theater artists in the country. WTF is also known as one of the top training and professional development programs for new generations of aspiring theater artists and administrators. One of the most incredible parts of the Williamstown mission is its commitment to creating some of the highest quality theater in the country, while making sure to help nurture the next generation of top theater artists.

This summer, I am one of 15 Stage Management Interns. As Stage Management Interns, we serve as Assistant Stage Managers on the  main season shows and as Stage Managers and Assistant Stage Managers on the late night cabarets and other events. I am currently working as an Assistant Stage Manager on Orpheus in the Berkshires, which is a new work. This show is part of a new initiative to literally bring theater to the greater community of Williamstown, MA, and will be performed in an old mill.

The production team in Greylock WORKS (our performance venue)
The production team in Greylock WORKS (our performance venue)

This show has a cast of 80, ranging in age from 7-87, and is made up of both people who live in the area and actors in attendance at the festival. This is the first year that Williamstown Theatre Festival is producing a show like this, so my work on this show is incredibly influential in the continuation of this type of production in the future. With the success of this specific production, there will hopefully be an annual occurrence. Because of the scale of this show, my work has been extensive since the sheer number of cast members makes every task more complicated, but also more rewarding. Many of these community members have never been in a show before. The pure joy on their faces when they leave rehearsal is incredibly inspiring for me to watch and shows how theater can transform peoples’ lives.

Some of my amazing cast members on the first day of rehearsal.
Some of my amazing cast members on the first day of rehearsal.

In rehearsal, I am responsible for tracking all script changes because with new plays, the playwright is often in the rehearsal room and therefore the text can shift. As an Assistant Stage Manager, I help with the organization of all show materials and the coordination of all players involved within the production.

Updating the scene breakdown, which is used to show who is onstage when.
Updating the scene breakdown, which is used to show who is onstage when.

My career goal for this summer is to confirm that I want to pursue a stage management career in high level theaters and Broadway. Stage management is different depending on the level of theater due to different rules and expectations. In order to decide where I want to apply to work next year after I graduate, I need to make sure that this is the path that I want to pursue. Also, at Brandeis, I have served as a Stage Manager more than an Assistant Stage Manager, however when I first enter the field after graduation, I will be hired as an Assistant. It is important that I have the chance to develop these skills so that I am better prepared to enter the theater industry as a professional. Additionally, this internship will allow me to continue to make connections with Broadway actors, directors, and designers. In the theater world, like many other professions, networking is incredibly important.

My personal goal through this summer internship is to continue to improve my confidence in my stage management skills. I have found that working closely with and observing professional stage managers is incredibly beneficial because it allows me to compare my ideas and instincts to someone who is successful in the field.

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