Meet the Staff
Patron Services Manager Margie Glick
By Theresa M. MacNaughton, Community Engagement Associate
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Simsbury and worked at WTIC radio while in high school. I went to DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana for Communications and Art History and studied in Florence, Italy during my junior year. After college, I moved to New York City and worked at the HB Playwrights Foundation in New York with Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof. I fondly remember walking with them and their little dog, George Bernard Shaw, in Union Square.
After several years in New York, I moved to Los Angeles where I co-produced independent films and worked with several productions in television and theatre. I raised my children while working at the Broad Stage and Creative Artists Theatre Space in Santa Monica, where I discovered my love for front of house and expanded my experience in theatre management.
Tell us about the first time you experienced live theatre and how it impacted you.
My grandmother was the main buyer for G. Fox, a department store on Main Street in Hartford that now is home to Capital Community College. She would take me to New York when she did her fashion buying, and we always went to see lots of Broadway shows. Afterwards, we would wait at the stage door to congratulate the actors.
Once, I saw one of the actresses from a play we had just seen in our hotel lobby. I went upstairs to our room, told Grandma “don’t wait up,” and got dressed as close as I could to how the actress was dressed. I put on short shorts and a fur jacket and went back to the lobby to hang out. I followed the actress and her gang around the corner. She and her friends went to Studio 54; and so, then did I.
I found my tribe that night. Work and play, and into the night! It was magical – how much the actors, directors, producers, and theatre lovers in general – passionately squeezed everything out of one day. I liked the energy of the theatregoers, and the creativity and bravery of theatre professionals.
What most interested you in working for Hartford Stage?
After living and working in New York and Los Angeles, I missed home. I wanted my kids to be East-Coasters and grow up with my whole family around them. We moved back to Connecticut, and I applied for a front of house position at Hartford Stage. There was nowhere else I was interested in working.
Take us through a typical (or not-so-typical) work day.
A typical day involves getting all the events of the evening organized, studying the details of the show, imagining how they might play out, and communicating these scenarios to the Front of House staff and ushers. I also make sure I have everything we need food- and drink-wise, have well-stocked the bar, have the gift shop and guest services ready for business, and communicate with stage management as to what we can do to best serve the show. Then, it’s welcoming up to 500 guests and making sure each one of them has the best experience possible. I make sure they are all in their seats and ready for the excellence that Hartford Stage presents, without exception, for every show.
I do have other administrative tasks always waiting, and I’m working on exciting improvements, but I serve the show’s needs first and foremost. I love it all, especially our Hartford Stage patrons. I love when it’s all good, and I love solving problems when it isn’t. I also manage the schedules of 300-plus ushers, count money, and lock up. I enjoy those responsibilities, too.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? What is the most rewarding?
The most rewarding aspect is being in a position to maximize each and every patron’s experience at our theatre. I feel passionately that this is a magical and monumental time to be experiencing the work being done at Hartford Stage, and nothing but excellence will do for each and every person in our seats. The Hartford Stage community is unique – this is the place to be and “not just in Hartford,” and I love being able to contribute to make it feel that way.
The most difficult aspect is always remembering that this is the first and only time each patron is attending this show. Every evening is an evening at the theatre like no other, and it can be difficult to stay in the moment of the seating ritual. I have to forget that I have done it many times and stay present.
What would people be most surprised to learn about your job?
I sometimes have to deal with medical emergencies – those pesky strobe lights can jar some patrons’ preserves.
Do you have any favorite stories to share?
I love when the cast members’ parents attend the show and come into the lobby after the show, bursting with pride. Like Chris Ghaffari’s parents after Romeo and Juliet or Christy Altomare’s (Anastasia) mom. They, like all proud parents, were blown away at the genius of the whole production, and feeling blessed that their child got to be a part of it! They just had to share how happy they felt to have their kids included. It’s their pure gratitude that gets to me. I also like the humility of legends like Terrence McNally (Anastasia), who introduced himself and gushed about how lucky he was to work with our gang at Hartford Stage.
How do you successfully balance your time supervising our group of volunteers, front of house staff, patrons, etc.?
That is hard. There is a lot to do, and I need to put it away and be present for the evening’s production. I work as many shifts as I can. I feel strongly that my presence as House Manager on duty cannot be administered from behind a door. I could work lots and lots hours, but I control myself. And I try to carve out office time. I successfully balance my time at work by working smarter not harder; and, because I’m a mom, I have to balance.
Do you have other talents or passions outside of working in theatre?
I am passionate about lots of things: my kids, my super-awesome family, my farm house, cooking and drinking, good conversations and good books. I adore my creative friends, and I love to sew. I also like riding motorcycles and surfing, but alas, Connecticut isn’t California. I’m mellowing, so I think I’ll get back to skiing!
What is your personal motto in life?