The following post was written by Stage Management Intern Adrienne Mendoza.
9:30 a.m. – My day starts at the Rep and I change out of my rain boots into shoes that will let me quietly and quickly reset a scene during rehearsal (something that my clunky rain boots prohibit). I check in with SM (stage manager) and ASM (assistant stage manager) to make sure we’re all on the same page for the day.
9:35 a.m. – Look over new emails or email conversations that have happened in the last 90 minutes (the Rep starts its day at 8:00 a.m.). While I read, I munch on a Luna bar from my food stash I keep in my desk (a handy thing to have when there are long days and short breaks).
9:45 a.m. – I grab my keys and walk down the hall to start coffee. With three different shows in the building, I’m sure the coffee ground supply is getting low, and the extra grounds are kept (wisely) behind lock and key.
10:00 a.m. – With coffee brewing and the rest of hospitality almost done (the hot water pot filled and heating up, creamer set out, water pitchers filled), I sanitize the E-Cigarettes with rubbing alcohol while I visualize how the room needs to be set for the top of Act 3 of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? At this point in the play, that means glasses of various sizes are all over the living room, cigarettes are in certain ashtrays and the many bottles of alcohol are filled just to the right amount. I consult my notes and get to work.
10:20 a.m. – Actors are arriving, and the ASM and I are doing final checks on the preset. Brandy bottle (filled with 1” of water) for Honey offstage right? Check. Large ice cubes on top in the ice bucket (so Martha can make the ice go “clink” in her glass)? Check. Fake snapdragons (gathered in a bunch but not tied together) offstage right? Check.
10:25 a.m. – Director Braden Abraham (also the Rep’s Associate Artistic Director) arrives, having made it out of a season planning meeting just in time for rehearsal.
10:30 a.m. – Stage is set, actors are in place, and we’re off and running.
Above is just a snapshot of my morning at the Rep, and no two days have ever been alike. But rolling with the punches and making sure everything happens (and happens on time) is a large part of what stage management does.
As an intern, I do have to make coffee and do other “intern” tasks from time to time. But I’ve also gotten to run the ASM track on The Hound of the Baskervilles, perfected how things come out of Vanda’s bag of tricks in Venus in Fur, and created a tracking system for the props in Virginia Woolf. I’ve also gotten to learn from some of the best in my field as well as some of the greatest theater artists in town. And I do make a mean cup of coffee.