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Stage manager for True West has great learning experience

As stage manager for the UCC-BSS co-production of Sam Shephard’s True West, Nov. 17 to 19 in the lecture theatre, I was in a position that required particular attention to detail and various responsibilities. I helped read lines during rehearsals, but more importantly I helped collect props and put together the set. During the show I queued actors on when they were supposed to enter the stage and helped move props into position during the stage transitions.

The biggest learning outcome from this experience was to effectively communicate with people, in this case with regard to our goals for the production. I learned how to communicate with others in an environment that was foreign to me, and it allowed me to have a further understanding on how to effectively take instruction.

One of the challenges for me was befriending fellow crewmates as well as the cast, which was important as stage manager. Many different age groups participated. This was something I was unfamiliar with, as team-sport athlete. Most of our time was spent together during rehearsal, where we couldn’t get to know each other as well. It was challenging at first, but after learning how to communicate effectively as time progressed, I felt as if I got to know everyone fairly well. This experience gave me the opportunity to make friends with people I likely would never have met. In hindsight, I’m extremely happy with my decision to join the ranks of the crew and cast for True West.

Thomas Hickman