Jeeves & Wooster in “Perfect Nonsense”
Mar. 21 – Apr. 20
A New Play from the Works of P.G. Wodehouse
By the Goodale Brothers
Directed by Sean Foley
- Detroit ’67
- The Engagement Party
- A Christmas Carol
- Henry V
- Make Believe
- A Lesson from Aloes
- The Age of Innocence
- Murder on the Orient Express
- Feeding the Dragon
- A Christmas Carol (2017)
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- Our Great Tchaikovsky
- Heartbreak House
- The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey
- Cloud 9
- The Comedy of Errors
- A Christmas Carol
- The Piano Lesson
- Queens for a Year
- Having Our Say
- Romeo & Juliet
- The Body of an American
- A Christmas Carol (2015)
- Rear Window
- An Opening in Time
- Kiss Me, Kate
- The Pianist of Willesden Lane
- Private Lives
- A Christmas Carol (2014)
- Ether Dome
Meet the Stage Manager: An Interview with Lori Lundquist, Stage Manager for Jeeves & Wooster in “Perfect Nonsense”
By Yan Chen, Artistic Apprentice
Welcome back to Hartford Stage, Lori! Prior to Jeeves & Wooster, you steered The Age of Innocence, Ether Dome, Somewhere, and To Kill a Mockingbird through their runs here, and we’re so glad to have you back with us. What first brought you to theatre and stage management?
I got involved with the theatre department in my junior year of college, taking some classes and running shows, and I sort of felt like I’d found my niche. In my senior year, my professors asked me to stage manage the spring show. I had other commitments and wasn’t available until technical rehearsals, but they told me that it didn’t matter and that they thought I would make a good stage manager, which set me on my stage management path.
What have been some important steps in your professional journey?
After I graduated college, I decided to explore theatre a bit more and got hired as an intern at Maine State Music Theatre for their Summer Stock season. (Back then it was still called Brunswick Music Theatre.) I helped build the sets, hang the lights, and ran shows in various capacities. It was a great next step, and I was still learning what part of working in theatre I liked best. People I worked with kept saying my next step should be to move to New York City. So I decided to take a five-month stage management internship at Ensemble Studio Theater. I never intended to stay in New York City past those five months, but I kept getting offered work – until the next thing I know, I’ve been based there for 33 years.
In those 33 years, you’ve stage-managed multiple shows on Broadway (Fosse, The Best Man, Holiday, and many others), Off-Broadway (where you worked with Phylicia Rashad and Julie Taymor, among others), in national tours, at resident theatres around the country, and even on the world premiere of Sousatzka the Musical in Toronto. Could you share one or two favorite experiences from your career thus far?
There are so many… I got to work with Gwen Verdon and watch her get up and show the “kids” how to dance “Crunchy Granola” the correct way. She was amazing. I also once had a lighting designer tell me he had planned to “soften” the cues once we got through tech, but the way I called the show, he didn’t have to. That designer won a Tony for that show.
The Stage Management team makes sure rehearsals run smoothly; and after a show has officially opened, the stage management team is the one maintaining the show through its run after the creatives and designers leave. Could you take us through the main responsibilities of you and your team on a typical rehearsal or performance day?
During rehearsals we deal with scheduling rehearsal calls and fittings, keeping in mind any union rules. We keep track of script changes and of the blocking, put together any paperwork that will be needed for running the show, and coordinate the needs of the director, actors, and production with those of the designers and staff.
During performances we make sure the crew has done their presets and prepared the stage, props, and costumes for the performance. We make sure everyone is safe at all times. I call the “cues” to the crew, so if lights, sound, or set moves don’t happen at the right time, it is usually because I have not said “Go” when I was supposed to.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I usually enjoy the Technical Rehearsals, which take place after rehearsals and before performances. During tech, we get onstage and put all the elements together.
What are some of the challenges of being a Stage Manager? How have you overcome them?
That’s a tough one…There can be personalities that create challenges. There can be situations where there is not enough staff or crew for what needs to be done, so you don’t have enough support to accomplish your tasks or the resources to support your director and actors. All you can do is try to keep a level head and try to find a solution that works for everyone.
Could you share a surprising fact about stage management that someone not in the profession might not know?
We are part of the same union as the actors, Actors Equity Association.