By Corinne Florentino
Every production needs a stage manager, but no production appreciates it more than a workshop. During a workshop, new scenes may be added at any time or entire songs may be cut, all depending on the will of the writers. To manage this hectic process, IU Summer Theatre has brought in resident house manager and new work stage manager extraordinaire, Trish Hausmann. Between organizing new pages of the script and running rehearsals, Trish found a spare moment to discuss new works and her latest project, The King’s Critique.
“[The] first new play that I ever stage managed was in college and after that I decided, ‘Oh this is really fun!’ And I kept doing it,” Hausmann recalls. She prefers to help produce new work, and has done so almost exclusively since college. “I find it energizing. I like being part of the process of molding this new thing.” Some people might shy away from the fast paced schedule of putting a show together in two weeks, but this is the reason that Hausmann loves it so much.
Hausmann is not only a veteran with new productions, but she has been the stage manager for the Premiere Musical program at IU since its inception in 2012. “It’s summer, you do something fun and light. We try to encourage IU alumni with the shows that they’re working on. We’ve got Nat [Zegree] and we’ve got Eric [Holmes].” The Premiere Musical gives Hausmann a chance to step away from house managing and jump back into stage managing, one of her true passions.
This June, IU Summer Theatre’s Premiere Musical presents The King’s Critique written by Holmes and Zegree. In this farcical fairy tale, King Leopold has decreed that women shall not be allowed on the stage.The show’s strong female lead, Josephine, sets out to prove the kingdom’s sole theatre critic wrong. Josephine and the notorious womanizer, Sebastian, join forces in an unlikely partnership, though the pair run into some unexpected trouble on their quest for theatrical equality. “It’s a take off of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes.’ It’s got this wonderful message about the power of theatre.”
“All of the music is so upbeat and so fun to listen to,” says Hausmann, “it gets stuck in your head. It’s great.” Hausmann encourages audiences to listen for the recurring musical motifs that Zegree has created that allow the audience to get to know each character. This musical comedy is equipped with inside theatre jokes, elbow innuendos, and men in dresses. “I think it’s really going to be a crowd pleaser, I really do.”
Audiences don’t always give new shows a chance, but Hausmann urges audiences to try something different and see this new production that is blazing trails, breaking piano strings, and bound to last. The King’s Critique has a limited run of 4 showings on June 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th at 7:30pm in the Wells-Metz Theatre. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students. 812.855.1103 or theatre.indiana.edu. For group discounts contact Paige Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org).