By: Vasilios Anton
I didn’t want my college theater life to be a repeat of my high school theater life. It took me two years to immerse myself in my high school’s theater club. I touched on all aspects throughout those three years, though: sound, lighting, acting, and stage managing. When I arrived at RIT in the fall, I threw myself onto RIT Players’ tech team. On their annual trip to Darien Lake, I learned that the previous stage manager recently graduated and the club needed a new stage manager for their upcoming performance of Evil Dead: The Musical. I jumped on the opportunity. I talked to one of the directors and began attending the rehearsals.
The duties of a stage manager are varying. A stage manager takes over the production once the director is finished with everything. During the performances, a stage manager is required to call the cues for every part of tech (sound, light, scene changes, etc.). If something goes wrong, such as a prop left on stage, the stage manager must find a way to correct the error without the audience noticing the slip.
Before I knew it, Evil Dead entered Hell Week and I would soon be “taking over” the show. Although I was considered an active member according to the club’s constitution, I was still scared to run what was going to be one of the club’s largest productions of the year. Running a production always gets my adrenaline pumping, but the other, older members of RIT Players that were part of my run crew made me remember how fun the tech world is. Even though I almost blinded myself with the fake blood that was used, Evil Dead was a great way to start my RIT Players career.
I continued to stage manage with the winter show of Fuddy Meers. The experience was much more relaxed. Nevertheless, Hell Week arrives and my stress levels bumped up, my sleep levels went down, but I had an amazing time with the cast and crew. My biggest hurdle for the show was trying to move the car prop on and off the stage as quickly as possible.
For a third time this year, I will be stage managing the spring show of Rimers of Eldritch, which goes up the weekend of SpringFest. I’m exciting to be working with a large cast which is something I’m used to from high school shows of 30+ actors. I event have the opportunity of working with the club advisor and director, Jerry Argetsinger.
Tech is the crazy hectic life of theater that goes on behind all the magic on stage. No one knew that a fan stopped working during Evil Dead and the fog had to be hand blown onto the stage. No one sees the crazy costume and makeup changes that occur in less than two minutes. As a stage manager who lives backstage, I rely on my sound and lighting operators to be my eyes for the front of the stage. As stressed as I become during show week, theater is my stress relief-I know how crazy that sounds, yes. I know I will continue my tech life with RIT Players throughout my remaining three years. I always suggest people to try tech because it gives you a completely different view on a production.
Vasilios is a first year Bioinformatics major at RIT. While with the RIT Players, Vasilios jumped into the role of stage manager and participating on the marketing committee. This upcoming year, Vasilios will serve on the RIT Players Eboard as Treasurer.