“The stage management program is really built to have their students dive right in. The first week of freshman year my production experience was already underway as I began rehearsal as an assistant stage manger on a new work,” says Alexis Schwartz (COPA ’12), who now stage manages productions for such off-Broadway companies as The Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop and Primary Stages. During her sophomore year she worked on a production for The REP, “an amazing experience to learn from an Equity stage manager and work with professional actors…the program really allows students to grow and stand on their own. As you receive more and more assignments, you’re challenged with new problems to solve and new issues to face. I appreciated that there isn’t a lot of hand holding along the way, which really prepares us for the real world. During the production process, you are responsible for no less than what would be expected in a professional company.
Schwatrz also credits Kim Martin, production manager at the Playhouse, and “second-mom” to the stage management students. “Not only did Kim teach us in the classroom, but consistently lead by example in every aspect of our education and production. She was a very important mentor to me during my time at Point Park, always listening when I had a problem and giving her best advice. She established a great balance of how to let us figure things out on our own, while letting us know she was always there if we needed her. Learning from her is what allowed me to become so confident in what I do. I know that she will be a lifelong mentor and friend.”
Text by Cheryl Valyo
Photo by Martha Rial
The Point is a magazine for alumni and friends of Point Park University.