Theatre Geek of the Week is a new IU Theatre blog series where you can meet some of the wonderful students, faculty and supporters of IU’s Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance!
Meet Elizabeth Allen!
I am a stage manager here at Indiana University, and I honestly can’t imagine what I would be doing if I weren’t a stage manager. I have been stage managing since I was in 7th grade. Ever since I realized I could pursue this as a career, I’ve known that I wanted to stage manage professionally. Part of what I love about the program at IU is that there is no graduate stage management program, so undergraduates like me get the opportunity to work on full-scale productions from freshman year on.
2. When did first you realize you were a theatre geek?
I don’t know that I had any light-bulb moment of realizing I’m a theatre geek, but I think definitely the moment I started making puns about Shakespeare was the moment I became one of “those theatre people”. But no specific “Shakespearience” made me realize it.
3. What is your favorite thing about the theatre, and why?
I think my favorite thing about theatre is its ability to suspend your reality for two hours, where the only focus is on this insanely collaborative and dedicated group of artists pulling a story out of thin air. Our ability as artists to embody these characters and their stories and convey them in a meaningful way in such a fleeting manner is a very unique experience to the theatre. Nothing is more rewarding than pulling together a flawless show where the creatives, cast, and crew are all able to work effortlessly as a team to draw the audience into a two hour story they can never see exactly the same way ever again.
4. What is one project you’ve undertaken at IU that has taught you the most?
Last year, I worked on The Tempest with Henry Woronicz, whose incredible vision and knowledge of Shakespeare pushed our production to the next level. Our design team created a raked circular boardwalk with two large uneven sand mounds in the middle, and three aerial silks suspended above which were able to freely move stage left and stage right by our actors and fly up and down by our stage crew. Technically, this project was absolutely the most challenging show I’ve had the chance to work on, with safety being an omnipresent concern for the entirety of the production. It was also absolutely one of the most rewarding shows to present to audiences because of those challenges, and the hard work our team put into it. Seeing the final product was breathtaking, and it was such a fantastic show to work on and call.
5. When no one is watching, what song do you love to dance or sing along with?
I’ve got a really great playlist called “Classic Jams” that I swear by, and will sing along with anytime anywhere. Those songs range from “Rocket Man” to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” to “Ignition”. So if the song is a jam, I’ll always sing along.
6. Who in the theatre world inspires you, and why?
I don’t think I have one specific person in the theatre world that inspires me, but I think that the people who inspire me in this industry are the ones who are succeeding in what they are passionate about. Seeing people living their dreams because they put in the work and time is really inspiring to me, because it gives me hope that if I continue to work hard I can achieve my goals as well.
7. Do you have any words of advice for new theatre students?
My advice for new theatre students is to get involved as soon as you can. The best thing you can do is throw yourself into your craft and learn as much as you can from the people around you. The sooner you can get involved, the more people you’ll meet, the more you’ll learn from the experiences you have, and the more you can determine what you really want to do moving forward in the theatre.
8. What is one exciting project you are currently working on, or have coming up?
Currently I’m working on Peter and the Starcatcher, which opens at the end of October. I’m extremely excited for this project, it’s definitely got its unique challenges with such an imaginative and ensemble-focused script.
If YOU would like to be considered for Theatre Geek of the Week, we invite you to fill out our questionnaire (https://goo.gl/forms/bkJBWuR5KuHgV5yV2).
Come geek out with us!