Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Stage Managers Rule. . .

Every actor who has performed on stage knows the importance of the Stage Manager. Generally, once a show opens the Director hands over the reins to the Stage Manager who makes sure that each performance goes on as scheduled and serves as a super problem solver. It requires someone who is an expert in everything from technical theatre to psychology.

I have been lucky over the past 12 years to work with some truly outstanding stage managers but the one who is the crème de la crème is Suze Campagna who currently is keeping us in line for both Much Ado About Nothing and King Midas (where she was a last minute volunteer to help). Suze always seem to have a smile on her face as she wrangles actors, makes sure the set is in place and deals with all the little problems that always seem to come up. She has the ability to be firm and pleasant at the same time. (Below are pictures of Suze at rehearsals of Much Ado About Nothing in Culver City, one at the Vet and the other at Carlson Park.)

I first met Suze when I began performing with Culver City Public Theatre (CCPT). I'm not sure but I think she has stage-managed 5 plays in which I have appeared. And there is one special characteristic of Suze that makes life a lot easier for both Suze and the cast members. It is what she calls her red box (which I believe has grown to 2 tool boxes) which contains everything that she might need to repair a set, fix set pieces and props, hold costumes together and help actors deal with headaches. I'm sure that many stage managers have an equivalent to Suze's red box. But how many of them also include a couple of pairs of men's black socks; there is always someone who forgets to bring theirs.

Suze has become a dear friend as well as a favorite stage manager. I am sure I speak for all actors who have worked with her when I say THANK YOU!

See you in the park on Saturday Suze. And I will be on time or I know my cell phone will be ringing. You are the best!!!

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