Before you read anymore, stop: have you taken a look at the original quiz and left your own answers in the comments? If so, proceed.
By Bathsheba Doran and Deb Styer
Playwright Bathsheba Doran wrote a quiz posted last week for students at Adelphi University to help structure a discussion about life as a stage manager in the American theatre. NOW read as Deb Styer, resident stage manager at Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago, responds to the quiz with answers and comments.
First let me say that these are great “for instances.” And that there is no true definitive answer to any of them—every stage manager will have a different one for you. Much depends on the personalities involved, the level of the production, how much coffee has been consumed, etc. So here goes—comments and all:
1) There are some things that can be close to “out of your hands.” In this instance, I would choose A, hoping that the director would push and get the situation resolved correctly. (If the answer still came back no, I would probably make a phone call to AEA, thus moving toward choice D.)
2) D. Seriously. Then look for a better theatre.
3) D. Really people, grow up.
4) Unfortunately, some version of E. It is never the stage manager’s job to get into artistic decisions, no matter who may be the jackass (sorry, Bash).
5) A—nicely, would do for the second time. After the third, I would choose D.
6) Although I prefer E, I would probably quietly choose D. Explain to them the consequences of aiding and abetting a minor.
7) Do I like him/her? Not sexually, but as a person? (And why does your only option regarding giving them the backrub involve being attracted to them?) I would probably choose E.
Thanks to Bathsheba and Deb for creating the quiz, and to everyone who played along!