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MICHELLE ROBERSON

SLO Little Theater stage manager

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NEW TIMES How long have you been stage manager at the Little Theatre?

ROBERSON I did my first show there, M. Butterfly, in 2008. Gosh, it’s been a while!

 

NEW TIMES How long have you been into theater?

ROBERSON I danced for 10 years, until my sophomore year in high school, when I got hip surgery. Because I couldn’t dance anymore, I jumped right into theater. It was kind of a blessing in disguise.

 

NEW TIMES What are a stage manager’s duties?

ROBERSON I tend to be a jack of all trades. Stage managing essentially means once a show opens, it becomes yours. You’re in charge of making sure it stays consistent, that it isn’t morphing. A show morphing can be a beautiful process, but that isn’t what we’re selling. It can be anything from adjusting an actor’s costume to getting a circuit of light fixtures to work. It’s making sure we can pull off any disaster artistically. That’s the beauty of theater.

 

NEW TIMES What was the worst emergency/catastrophe you’ve had to deal with?

ROBERSON I was assistant director for Oklahoma. One of the lead dancers was injured and called me an hour before the show to say he couldn’t perform in the ballet sequence. We had no understudy, so we had to rework something we had practiced for two months in 6 1/2 minutes.

 

NEW TIMES Do you have a hero in theater you look up to?

ROBERSON I don’t know if I could pick one. I’m incredibly blessed to work with the people I work with. Little Theatre is an important part of the community. It’s having its 65th season this year. I’ve never been the person who really liked one band or one thing. I’m totally all over the place. I like to think I can find artistic value in anything. I don’t like to define it.

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