Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Stage Manager: Celia



Celia began her adventures with The Shakespeare Club when she was in third grade. Inside Celia's head, she was a star. As Celia saw herself, she was a big-voiced, center stage-stealing headliner. At a mere eight years old, Celia found me and said, "I don't want to be an ocean maker."

In our production of "Twelfth Night," six girls were required to wave long swatches of gauzy fabric in waves. These roles were not actual parts. They were not star-making parts and clearly not in Celia's game plan.

I understood ocean maker was not Celia's idea of acting, but we had voice work to do before she could take on a role like Viola.

Over our three years together, Celia and I worked on her small voice as her elegant body grew taller into what could be mistaken for a runway model's physique.

Celia, two years ago.


By her second year in the club, Celia recalibrated her goals and became the club's stage manager. She settled into the role, was good at it, and appeared to enjoy it. Stage managers must have good voices and Celia continued to find hers. It was Celia's job to call lighting and sound cues, and to give the actors notes after run-throughs.

Celia drew her spine upright as she shared measured thoughts to the group. The cast also sat up straight to receive Celia's help. No one dared mock Celia. No one questioned her opinions. Everyone waited, still and quiet, as Celia spoke.

These are a sample of Celia's notes:
When Helena and Hemeria have their little chat in the beginning every time one of them talk it should be louder than the other

Bailey use the other hand so the audience can see you

Bailey that was perfect when you woke up from your dream

Donkey don't cover Peter

Phoebe don't face your back against the audience

Kamili when Sam comes in you were very good because you spoke loud and clear

Sam and Peter good acting for bieng an actor for the performance

Carina don't get yourself dizzy

Broadway stage managers, take note of these notes. Fair and balanced. Encouraging and correcting. Delivered in a small but clear voice from a tall and caring leader.

Celia is off to middle school next year, and it's an adieu I do not want to make.



CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
My goal for shakespeare club is and was to speak a little higher. I kind of did but I still could speak up.

What I learned was that you don't just have to be important when you are an actor but the whole point you are supposed to be on stage.

What I loved were the plays.

I will miss you Miss Ryan
—Celia, 5th grade

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