Andrew, age 23, acted as the stage manager for a production of Rejected: The Inside Story, and he’s been so kind as to share some thoughts about his experience. I hope you enjoy this “backstage” perspective that Andrew offers!
What were your main responsibilities as stage manager, and how did you go about them? My responsibilities ranged from simple things such as relaying information from the director to certain cast member(s) to big things (or problems) such as how to inform necessary people that an important prop is missing and quickly decide how to solve the problem. I was in charge of coordinating and organising props; making sure the correct props got on stage on time and at the correct scenes; but also insuring that props were returned to their proper location for use during next performances (or even at a different scene). To do this I made spreadsheets and charts for fellow stagehands and cast members.
What was the biggest challenge for you? Scene changes! We had some pretty elaborate scene changes and some of the props required very specific carrying methods/assembly. It was fun regardless.
What did you most enjoy about your job? I really enjoyed the busy flurry the nights of the play, particularly the craziness and race against the clock to get the next scene up as fast as possible. But I also enjoyed the satisfaction in doing small things that in turn would remove stress from the director’s back.
About the play as a whole? Rejected was definitely a favourite! I love the unique and fresh take of the Christmas Story. The plot and characters are very enjoyable and not soon forgotten. It has everything a good drama needs — humour, seriousness, and a good punch.
What is something you learned from your experience with the play? As Stage Manager I learned much. There was much I did not realise from being an actor in previous productions. But, one of the biggest lessons I learned was to never underestimate the power of little things (especially coffee). What may seem little to one may actually be big to another. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the Premiere of this play as Stage Manager!