News from KC Mehl Scholarship Fund recipients

Here is the first follow-up from the recipients of the 2007 KC Mehl Scholarship.

Jorge Delgadillo (Phoenix, Arizona)-

As I write this note, I am about to finish off my first season with the Arizona Jewish Theatre and my first season as an Equity SM. It has been a great learning experience and I’ve had the opportunity to
work with many talented directors and actors from the Valley. I am very excited to be returning in the fall as their resident SM. We will be starting with Fiddler in October and I can’t wait.

In March, I attended the USITT Conference here in town and met Robert Cohen, who currently sits on the Board of the SMA. Alfredo and I got a chance to sit down and talk with him about the SMA and stage
management in general. Also during USITT I had a chance to meet and talk to other SMs from around the country.

Currently Alfredo and I are looking to organize a Night Out in Phoenix before the end of the season, as many people migrate to nicer weather during the summer. I’ll be migrating to Durham, NC to the American Dance Festival and come back in the fall to start our 20th Anniversary Season. L’Haim!

Here is the first follow-up from the recipients of the KC Mehl Scholarship. These messages were received in June 2006.

We will be hearing from them periodically about their experiences in the SMA between April 2006 and April 2007.                         

Megan Allen (Eastern Region)

Days after the last update, the floodgates finally broke for me! I was working run crew with the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival on their production of "Midsummer Night's Dream", and a few days in, they discussed offering me the ASM position for their next show, "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)". After an absolutely amazing eight weeks, that show closed last night. Thankfully, I have a pretty good idea of where I'm headed next, which is very exciting.

During "Complete Works", I had an interview at Studio Theatre in D.C. By the end of the interview, they offered me the ASM position for two of the shows this season, "This is How it Goes" in January, and "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" in May.

Studio Theatre handles ASMs a little differently than what I've run into before, although I'm very excited to see how it changes the feel of the process. They have a full time rehearsal ASM, and during tech week, she'll pass along her duties to me as performance ASM. Then, the shows have a 6 week scheduled run with 4 additional weeks in the contract for extensions. So I'll start tech for the first show, "This is How it Goes", the last week in December. That show opens January 3rd and runs into February. The next show, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" (I'm just making my way through all the Shakespeare satires, here), picks up about two weeks after the contracted extension and takes me through June.

In the meantime, the production manager at Baltimore Shakespeare Festival passed my name along to a few places in Baltimore. Run of the Mill Theatre contacted me about their upcoming show, "Sizwe Bansi is Dead", which is part of their South African Play Festival. It doesn't pay, but I wasn't going to be doing anything in the theater between now and December anyways, and this gets to be one more thing on the resume plus means I don't have to spend a month and a half without theater. We have our first production meeting for that on Thursday, so I'll know more about it then. It opens Nov 16 and has a two week run, followed by another two weekends in Dec.

My advisor at school was definitely right, once you get started it just doesn't stop! I'm currently looking for a day job to help pay the bills until I get myself to a level where the theater work will do it alone. I discovered that I'd rather be too poor to eat than work in an office, so that lets out a lot of potential day jobs, but that does leave the more interesting work. For example, the past couple of weeks, I've been getting up at 8am to work at a petting farm, helping kids learn how to milk cows, feed goats, and chasing chickens around the pen so the kids can pet them. It's kind of crazy, but I think that's probably what makes it fun.

Anyways, I need to get started with my pre-production stuff for "Sizwe Bansi". Sorry it took so long to get the update to you, but I'm still learning how to juggle all of this. I'm really excited about it all (as I'm sure you can tell from the rambling nature of this email). Oh! I'm also trying to get in touch with SMA members in the DC area. I loved the drinks nights in Philly and I'm hoping that there's something similar around here, and if not, that something could be started.

Alfredo Macias (Western Region)

Once again, here I am excited to share with you what is getting me geeked up and working in Arizona. Since we last talked I was trying to keep myself busy and working in theatre during the summer. Now the fall season has begun and work opportunities have been available for me. I started off my season with Stray Cat Theatre as the Production Stage Manager with Falling Petals. This production was the first of our Fifth Full Season were we got published nationally in a feature for Variety Magazine. Check out the link to Variety.

This got us very excited for the publicity and notice the company was getting. Since I will be with them all season, I am now working on Fat Pig, and the rest of the season has 4.48 Psychosis and Fatal Attractions: A Greek Tragedy lined up for me. I feel very proud and glad to be affiliated with this theatre company, the work we produce, and the people I get to work for. To learn more about the company check us out.

Having secured four shows for the 2006-2007 season I would have some down time in November/December. I didn't want to slow down so soon out of school, that I emailed Erica Black, who works with Actors Theatre of Arizona and my production manager on Voices of Valor. I offered her my services during the annual Christmas Carol show that they produce in the winter. I wanted to get my name and foot in the door with them and I figured I could work on deck or spot op for that show. She soon informed me that Arizona Theatre Company was looking for a non AEA SM for their production of Fully Committed. With this, I have now found myself in conversations with their managing director and director of their show. My last meeting with the managing director makes it sound like I will be working this show with them as the SM. I am very excited to know that someone had the trust to highly recommend me to such a project and may now be given the chance to prove myself to this big company in Arizona.

This will have me working in productions until May 2007 and I am very happy to know that for at least this season, I have work in theatre. I was also offered work with Childsplay, another well known company in Tempe, unfortunately I had a weekend of conflicts with performances for other shows that wouldn't allow me to work with them. They mostly run in the morning and I hope that I can work for them in the morning next spring and then still manage with Stray Cat. For now I keep my mornings busy by serving tables at Mimi's Cafe and pay bills. This allows me to do work with community theatre like Stray Cat Theatre that pay what they can, but still can't make a living from just that.

So, as you can tell my time is limited for now, but I make sure to keep myself busy so that I can make a name for myself and known in my area. Like I mentioned in my last email, I would love to help as application administrator for this coming year.... Being an active member of the SMA is something I look forward to and playing host to the winner of my region would be a great tradition and networking approach I would be ecstatic to help begin.

Katie Seibel (Central Region)

I closed my senior year here at Indiana Univeristy by stage managing A Chorus Line to sold out houses just about every night. I was awarded the Outstanding Theatre and Drama Major Award by the Theatre Circle. I graduated in May so I officially am the first person to graduate from Indiana University with an individualized major in stage management.

I am currently a PA/ASM for BLAST 2: Mix Music in Extreme. We are leaving for tech and previews in Kentucky in a few days and then the tour will go onto Japan till October.

In August I will start a stage management internship at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. I will be there till May. After that who knows? If anyone needs an intern and/or a PA let me know!

So there's the update on me!