Tell us about your professional experience before joining the DePaul faculty, and what led you here.
Since graduating from the Yale School of Drama in 1995, I have been fortunate to be a stage manager or assistant stage manager on Broadway, Off-Broadway and at many regional theatres across the country. One of my most notable experiences was working as an assistant stage manager on the Broadway musical "The Lion King," beginning in 2000, for 11 years. I was also an adjunct stage management professor at the State University of New York at Purchase.
Even with these successes, I always knew that the ideal job for me and my family would be to teach full-time at a theatre conservatory, such as The Theatre School (TTS). My focus here at DePaul is stage management, and I believe that I'm now part of a conservatory that is among the best in the country.
What is Stage Management, and what is TTS's program like?
Simply, stage management is the supervision and execution of the entire production process, from the first cast meeting through the closing performance. I teach specific skills for managing theatrical shows. My students practice their craft as stage managers by applying what they've learned in the classroom to our theatrical productions. Because they have actually worked as stage managers here at TTS, they are well-prepared for the professional world.
What excites you about the new Theatre School building?
The new Theatre School building will have state-of-the-art theatres, rehearsal spaces and classrooms that it will offer; and it's much bigger than our current spaces. The new building will allow the entire faculty, staff, and student body to be together in one building, and that’s fantastic.
Describe the relationship between TTS and the city of Chicago.
The city of Chicago is really an extension of the classroom for all of us, and it's among one of the most relevant and exciting theatre cities in the world. Our students get to see countless Chicago theatre productions, as well as intern and work with the artists and collaborators who are creating work in the community.
Which classes do you teach?
I teach classes in every area of the stage management curriculum. In introductory classes, such as Stage Management I, students learn how to manage different types of rehearsals. In advanced classes, such as Stage Management II and III, we delve into topics such as working on a long-running musical, the art of calling cues, the theories behind conflict negotiation and effective communication, and how to market yourself as a stage manager.
What makes DePaul students different from students at other schools?
Students here, and especially students at TTS, are very hungry to learn and have an amazing work ethic. They have come to this demanding school because they want vigorous training and they're serious about their chosen careers.