Spotlight on York Drama’s Fall Festival stage managers

When most people think of theater, they think of actors on a stage performing. And while that is very much a part of what theater is, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to get the actors to the stage. One of the most crucial parts of a show is the stage managers, and for York Drama’s first Fall Festival, we’ve got some of the best around.

Photo by Kathryn King
Close friends Olivia Ross, freshman, and Abbie Lockie, senior, together on the unfinished set of “Next to Normal”.

Stage managing for a show that’s part of a festival entails most of the same things. Senior Abbie Lockie and freshman Olivia Ross are stage managers for one of the festival’s shows, “Next to Normal”. Abbie is working on stage managing her seventh show here at York. Freshman Olivia Ross is working on her first.

“A normal day stage managing is just a lot of running music, taking notes on the script, writing down the actors’ blocking, and being on script to help the actors with missed lines,” said senior Abbie Lockie.

“My favorite part of stage managing this show has been all of the people I’ve been able to meet, especially because I’m a freshman, and I get the opportunity to talk to and get to know upperclassmen,” said freshman Olivia Ross. “My experience on this show has definitely been impacted because I’m a freshman, but in a good way.”

One can tell within minutes of sitting down with Abbie Locke and Olivia Ross how close they are, and how fast their relationship has grown.

“In the beginning of this past summer, I saw Olivia and there was something that made me want to be her friend,” Lockie said. “Soon after auditions I emailed her and asked her to stage manage with me, and here we are. I love working with her because she’s fun and bubbly.”

Junior Evie Nudera is stage managing Lillian Hellman’s “The Children’s Hour” alongside sophomore Johanna Kramer. Kramer is stage managing her second show at York, having also taken part in two of York’s previous spring musicals, “Les Miserables” and “West Side Story”. Nudera, much like Lockie, likes the leadership part of stage managing and having people listen and look up to her.

“One thing I’ve learned from stage managing is to be precise in all of the notes I take because it’s sort of like a chain effect; if I’m sloppy taking notes about just one little thing it affects more things along the way,” Nudera said. “Precision is really important.”

Photo by Kathryn King
Evie Nudera, junior, and Johanna Kramer, sophomore, together during a rehearsal for “The Children’s Hour”.

Nudera also added that stage managing is a great way to see the stage from a completely different perspective.

“Especially if you are a performer, you develop so much more respect for the stage managers after you realize how much they do to oversee the cast,” Nudera said. “Stage managers are in charge of a lot, especially when it gets closer to Tech Week, or the final week before a performance weekend. Johanna and I knew each other a little in middle school, but not much. She’s super nice and very compliant, and everyone wants a partner like that. She cares a lot about this job.”

While both shows have similar messages, the storylines are completely different.

When asked to describe “The Children’s Hour” in only five words, Nudera described it as “Interesting, different, insensitive, old, and irritating.”

When asked the same question about “Next to Normal” Lockie described it as “Loss, mental health, giving, and letting go.”

Ross described it very bluntly, describing it as a “Crazy family with mental issues.”

York Drama’s Fall Festival is Thurs, Oct. 26 through Sun, Oct. 29. “The Children’s Hour” will be performing Thursday night and Saturday night at 7:30 pm, and “Next to Normal” will be performing Fri, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Sun, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. Tickets went on sale on Oct. 15. Students can get in free to one performance of “The Children’s Hour” with their York ID, and can buy tickets to “Next to Normal” at Come out and support not only the amazing casts of both shows but the incredible stage managers!