TDPS undergrad stage managers to gain professional experience this summer

April 12, 2016

Congratulations to our TDPS undergraduate stage managers who have accepted professional theatre internships this summer!

Third-year Stamps Banneker/Key Scholar Matt Balfour (’17) has accepted a stage management internship at the Public Theater in New York City, where he will be working on the summer production of Troilus and Cressida as part of the Shakespeare in the Park program. Matt will be working under the direction of some of the most well respected stage managers in the industry.

Matt will graduate in May 2017, with degrees in both Theatre and Business (with a focus in stage management). His career goal is to become a stage manager on Broadway, but he appreciates how studying business and theatre simultaneously gives him different perspectives on similar issues with regard to management.

Matt worked for Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre last summer, and the Public Theater internship will be Matt’s first time working in professional theatre.

Third-year Kyle Travers (’17) has accepted a job a CulturalDC’s Source Festival, the annual theatre festival for new works held at the black box Source Theatre. Kyle will be the rehearsal stage manager for Ballast, one of the three full length plays at this year’s festival. By the end of the rehearsal process, he will transition into the role of assistant stage manager, from May 9th until the end of the festival on July 3rd.  Kyle has previously worked as an assistant stage manager on TDPS productions Tartuffe and UMoves 2016, and he is excited to try his hand at being a stage manager during the Ballast rehearsal process this summer.

Kyle is a Theatre major who is minoring in Linguistics, and he will graduate in Spring 2017. While he is not exactly sure which specific career track he wants to pursue, he loves performing, stage managing, and playwriting, and he knows that he wants to work in the theatre business after he graduates.

Tori Ujczo (’16) will be working as the production assistant for “The Little Mermaid” at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, MD this summer. She is excited to be working with equity stage managers, including some UMD TDPS alumni, and it will be her first time working in theatre for young audiences.

Tori transferred to UMD in January 2015 from New Mexico, and she will graduate from TDPS in December 2016. She appreciates how helpful and supportive TDPS faculty and staff are here, and she sees the summer internship at Imagination Stage as a great opportunity to network with local professionals and to grow her career after graduation.

Jack Riley (’16) and Cary Gillett at the USITT 2016 conference

Senior Jack Riley (’16) will begin a stage management apprenticeship at Olney Theatre Center this summer, which will continue over the next year. He is one of 15 apprentices selected for this competitive opportunity, and they will begin their year-long intensive in early May. Jack’s first show as assistant stage manager at Olney Theatre will be Bakersfield Mist this summer. Next fall, he will also work as the production assistant for Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, which will be co-produced by Olney Theatre and Round House Theatre (and which TDPS performance faculty Mitchell Hébert will perform in).

Jack is excited about the opportunity to rack up enough equity show points to join the union after the apprenticeship is over next year. He plans on a career in stage management, and he enjoys the constant problem solving that is required of the job.

TDPS students and alumni with Cary Gillett at the 2017 USITT conference

Matt Balfour, Kyle Travers, Tori Ujczo, and Jack Riley each mentioned during their interviews for this article the support and encouragement that they have received throughout their undergraduate careers from TDPS production manager and lecturer Cary Gillett. Each of them was put into contact with their respective theatres through Cary, and they all express appreciation for her support and far-reaching connections. As Jack Riley says, students training to be stage managers at TDPS are given a lot of independence, but also a lot of guidance—“just enough rope not to hang yourself.” Now they will gain stage management experience outside of The Clarice’s walls, and continue growing their skill sets beyond their TDPS degree.

Congratulations, and good luck to all of you!

By Kate Spanos