Meet Stage Manager Samantha Olsen!
What inspired you to become a theater maker and stage manager?
I actually have been doing backstage work since I was in middle school. I instantly fell in love with it. I have always been a creative person, so when I found my way into theatre, it just felt right. I have incredibly supportive parents, and when I went to tour the university I attended, we went into the theatre building and according to my mom, my entire face was glowing. It was at that moment that I decided to make theatre production my major. However, it wasn’t until I was at the end of my freshman year that I decided to go to the Stage Management track. I originally was studying scenic design but I ended up being an ASM for a show spring of my freshman year and there was no turning back.
What kind of education prepared you for this career?
I got my BA in Theatre Production and Design with a focus in Stage Management from Salisbury University. Most of my stage management training however, was mainly taught by doing and the help of one of my professors because we didn’t have a specific stage management course. But I worked my tail off and studied as much as I could and learned by doing.
What school subjects that our students may be studying do you use everyday?
I feel as if I use a lot more math than one would tend to think. Being prepared for how large scenic pieces and stage space are for rehearsal purposes is very important!
What is one of the most exciting moments for you as the stage manager during this production and why?
I have the amazing opportunity to be working with so many people that I have worked with in the past 4 years and it feels like a family reunion. I feel so honored to be working with this group of people. Getting to see the growth of so many people is truly an amazing experience.
What is your favorite part about being a stage manager?
I have always loved being a part of the whole production from pre-rehearsal to closing. The process from research drawings to final pieces built, the first read through to closing night performance, I love that I get to be a part of seeing everything through from start to finish!
What are some tips or advice you would give someone wanting to become a stage manager?
You have to love what you do and be prepared for anything. Also, it is very important to make time for yourself everyday and never be afraid to ask for help or ask for someone to repeat / confirm something.
What are three words you would use to describe this production?
Love. Fun. Forgiveness.
Sam has been with the REP since August 2018, when she was the Stage Management Intern for the 2018-2019 season. Over the years she has had an amazing experience here and has grown so much since joining the REP family. Applying for that internship was a spur of the moment, not thinking she would get it kind of thing and that one decision changed her life. Sam has met so many incredible people at her time working here. She is forever grateful for the REP and the opportunities she has had to grow and do what she loves the most!
Get your tickets for Disney’s Freaky Friday the Musical here!