An Interview with Alumnus Blake Kile on Stage Managing The Servant of Two Masters
December 12, 2016
What is unique about The Servant of Two Masters and your experience of working on this show?
What’s nice about it is the ability to adapt the story for where we’re playing. This production has been done about 6 times across the country and they change about thirty-three percent of the show for each location and what’s going on in the current news. And then each night the show is ten percent different because of the improv nature of the show. So it keeps the stage management team on their feet.
There’s a specific moment during the call of the show where there’s a light switch that turns on and off the lights, and the monologue during that cue is completely improvised around what [the character] Truffaldino is thinking that night. Calling that cue requires being in the moment with the actors and predicting what they’re going to do. Really, in that moment we’re acting with them. We have to be in tune and in synch with the actors.
One of the things Columbia taught us was about adapting to different rehearsal styles. The rehearsal room for this production was really open and fluid. That helped to develop a relationship with the actors, allowing us to really get into their minds and predict what’s coming up with them.
I started in high school. I really enjoyed being in the creative room with the director and actors, and I always had a nerdy side for the tech side of theater. I liked figuring out how things happen and who is in charge of making those things happen. In stage management, I get to dabble in all those worlds and foster a safe and inviting space for all in rehearsals so that the art can happen every night.