As we approach opening night, join us every Thursday for our special TRIBE MEMBER THURSDAY feature! Each week, obviously on Thursday, you can join us for a little Q&A with some of the cast!
In today’s TRIBE MEMBER THURSDAY, we hear more from stage manager extraordinaire, Danna Sheridan!
Q: Tell me about one of your favorite rehearsal moments so far!
Earlier this week, we ran the end of the show for the first time. I won’t give spoilers(!) except to say that it is very powerful and moving. As the cast started singing the final song, almost all of us, one by one, started crying. The finished the song, and there were just tears streaming down my face. It was an intensely introspective moment – I can’t really put my finger on what happened to each of us – but I hope the audience walks away with that same sudden shock of emotion.
Q: Since this is your first show with BOBDIREX, tell me about your experiences working with Bob Harbin.
Bob spends a lot of time getting to know his actors, and getting to know me. Before we started rehearsals, he and I sat down for a couple of hours and learned about each other’s lives. He’s a very open person, and I think that allows the cast be more vulnerable around him. He uses these personal relationships with the cast to help them find their characters. It’s very cool to see how he encourages us to put our real selves into the show.
Q: Who do you think should come out to see HAIR?
I think people whose parents were alive during the Vietnam War (like, people my age – in their late 20s and 30s) should come see the show and try to understand what it was like for their parents to go through these kinds of situations. Watching this show got me to ask my parents about that period for the first time ever. I never knew my dad had gotten a draft number; I never knew what it was like for him to see his brother get drafted. I had never talked to my parents about their fears and concerns and how they felt about the government. When they opened up to me, it was really interesting to hear them voice some of the same things we still hear today. It was a wonderful first-person history lesson for me – there’s more substance to this show than just happy hippies.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about stage managing in general?
I think I’m stealing the language from a friend of mine, who is also a stage manager, but for me, the thrill lies in the execution of many creative people’s visions. The director, the choreographer, the music director, the lighting designer – they all have a specific vision and message for the show – and I’m the one who gets to pull it together at the very end. I’ve always been more of a “facilitator” than an artist, and stage managing allows me to play on my strengths to bring these beautiful shows to an audience. I love that!
Q: What brought you into the theatre/performing arts scene here in Indianapolis?
I moved to Indianapolis after college, and I auditioned for a show about a year after I moved here. I wasn’t cast, but the Joanne Johnson, the stage manager, called me and asked me to work backstage. (I think I’d written on my audition form that I stage managed in college, and she wouldn’t hang up the phone until I agreed to work crew!) I worked that show, and then the next season, I assistant stage managed “West Side Story” for Joanne. I’ve been working backstage in Indianpolis ever since.
Q: You’ve done a lot of theatre all over town – how is this show different from shows/ you’ve worked on in the past?
What I think is cool about this cast is that they – we – have truly become a tribe. We’ve been rehearsing all over town (thank you to the organizations who’ve let us use their spaces!), and that’s given our tribe this very nomadic sense of loyalty and trust, which is awesome. And I think the characters in this show are so loosely written that the actors are able to bring a huge piece of themselves to their role. You can see all of that on stage. It makes the show feel honest and real.
Tickets available online and by phone (317-280-0825) for HAIR!
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