The Theatre Project veteran Connie Cameron will be returning this fall as a Co-Stage Manager for A Christmas Story: The Musical! To get to know her better we asked her a few questions. Here’s what she had to say.
What’s your history with The Theatre Project?
I have been volunteering to help with The Theatre Project for several years. My roles have included helping with costumes, dressing room supervisor, and backstage ninja.
What are the responsibilities of a Stage Manager?
The Stage Manager has a unique job because it serves a double function of assistant to the director and production staff during the rehearsal period and then becomes the person that answers all calls for help during the actual performance and insuring that the production runs smoothly. Responsibilities include making sure performers make their cues, have props set, costume changes prepared, as well as coordinating set changes and maintaining a sense of calm during the performance.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love being a part of a team that is able to successfully create an amazing and magical theater experience for performers and audience members.
What’s something most people wouldn’t know about working backstage?
Backstage is limited when it comes to space so when we have productions with very large set pieces it takes a lot of coordination and choreography just to move them around and get them into their ready positions while doing it practically silently.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever done for a past production?
During the production of Mary Poppins, there were many times that I was behind set pieces on stage during the performances to either be a spotter for dancers or to be “on ready” to move the set piece once the number was over. It was fun because the audience never knew we were back there.
How do you wrangle such large casts during rehearsals?
All the performers in the productions are so invested in the show that they are not difficult to keep under control during rehearsals. The level of excitement is pretty high for opening night so keeping them aware that they have on “hot” microphones on can be the biggest challenge, but overall it’s always a pleasure and not a problem.
Of all the shows you have worked, which on is your favorite and why?
Mary Poppins has been my favorite show to work on because there was so much going on backstage during the production between moving large set pieces, making performers fly, pulling in large backdrops and helping to pull off the many magical moments that this production required.
How are you preparing for A Christmas Story: The Musical!?
I have been told that this production may have a lot of moving parts backstage so I am looking forward to helping to coordinate and problem solve. I enjoy a production that is full of activity.
Stephen Sondheim or Andrew Lloyd Webber?
Andrew Lloyd Webber is definitely my favorite. His musicals were some of the first musicals that I experienced on Broadway as a young woman and inspired me to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting as well as costume, stage and lighting design.
What is your dream show?
The Phantom of the Opera. I would love to be a part of a team that can successfully carry out so many iconic theater moments.