Managing the Stage

February 13, 2017

Human of the Hilltop: Emily Goldman


Posted February 3, 2017 in The Scout

Emily Goldman, senior theater arts major, poses for a promotional picture for Bradley’s production of “High Fidelity” fall 2015. photo via Sarah Heilbronner

According to one student, the Bradley theatre community may be a small group, but it is definitely a lively one.

For senior theatre arts major Emily Goldman, the theatre department has been her home since coming to Bradley. However, she said she has been invested in the theatre scene for most of her life.

“When I was five years old, my mom took me to The Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis,” Goldman said. “I saw a show called ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ … and I was like, ‘I want to be in theatre.’”

Goldman said though she’s always known her career dreams lay in theatre, she hasn’t been sure what area she wants to focus on – until recently. After trying acting, directing and sound-designing, Goldman said she found her passion in stage management.

“I had not wanted to do it for years,” Goldman said. “But stage management, I was really good at, and I was denying the fact that I was really good at it until last year. I stage managed [Bradley’s production of] ‘Our Country’s Good’ and found that I loved it. And now, that’s what I want to do with my life.”

According to Goldman, Bradley theatre students are required to take courses in both the performance and technical aspects of theatre production, which led to her decision to pursue stage management.

“[Bradley] is an educational theatre,” Goldman said. “We blur the lines between actors and technicians. We all do the work, and we work together to create art.”

In addition to serving as the stage manager for “Our Country’s Good,” Goldman has also worked on other Bradley productions such as “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play.” Goldman is about to start working as the stage manager for Bradley’s upcoming production “Twelfth Night.”

People often do not recognize just how many production elements stage managers are responsible for, according to Goldman.

“I always say that [stage managers] are the unsung heroes; sadly, they are the most unrecognized people, and they do a lot of work,” Goldman said. “They are the source of communication, they make sure that every design aspect is being communicated [between designers and the director], that rehearsals run smoothly, that people are getting the information they need … you’re making sure that everything is in order.”

Despite the many unheralded tasks required of a stage manager, Goldman said the job is very fulfilling.

“The best part about it is the reward it brings,” Goldman said. “I find my favorite part about it is that if I can make the director’s life a little bit easier … I’ve done my job. I take a lot of pride in being able to make their life simpler.”

After graduating in May, Goldman said her goal is to pursue stage management in Chicago. However, Goldman is also traveling to St. Louis to interview with production companies for stage management internships, and she is applying to the Julliard Stage Management Apprenticeship in New York.

Wherever her stage career takes her, Goldman said she dreams to return to the roots of her passion for theatre by serving as a stage manager for a production of “Kiss Me, Kate.”

“That’s my show,” Goldman said.