Columbia Stage Managers in the Field
BY Robbie Armstrong, October 5, 2020
Columbia Stage Managers are working on exciting artistic projects on Broadway, off Broadway, on tour, and internationally. The Stage Management program, headed by Associate Professor Michael J. Passaro, had an exciting year for alumni and students. Below is a recap of this past year’s student and alumni work.
Many alumni have landed on Broadway this year, including Rachel Zucker ’17 who is the Assistant Stage Manager for Six The Musical alongside Production Stage Manager, Adjunct Assistant Professor Bonnie Pason. Zucker was previously a substitute Stage Manager for Tina: The Tina Turner Musical with fellow alumna Jessica Emmanus ’19, who was a Production Assistant on the new Broadway musical. Alumna Alexandra Hall ’13 also made a Broadway bow as a substitute Stage Manager for Tootsie, while alumna Kate Croasdale ’12 was a Stage Manager for Sea Wall/A Life. Joan Wyatt ’17 was the Stage Manager for A Christmas Carol on Broadway, meanwhile Jennifer Ainsworth ’14 produced the critically acclaimed Broadway play The Inheritance.
Opportunities for talented Stage Managers are abundant Off Broadway and this year, alumni have worked on many plays and musicals in New York’s Off Broadway theatres. Recent alumna Alison Rae Simone ’19 is the permanent Stage Manager for the 10th anniversary production of Rock Of Ages and Caitlyn Annelise Dominguez ’19 was the Stage Manager for Brecht: Call and Response. After her run on Tootsie, Hall served as the Production Stage Manager for All the Natalie Portmans at MCC Theatre. Elizabeth Goodman ’14 was the Stage Manager for About Love, while Jessi Cotter ’16 was the Production Stage Manager for Dana H at the Vineyard Theatre. Janelle Caso ’17 and Daniel Vaughn ’17 teamed up as Production Stage Manager and Production Assistant respectively on The Public Theater’s production of Coal Country.
Some of our alumni and students have found home on the road and the high seas as touring stage managers all over the world. Ada Zhang '20 was a Stage Manager on the Matilda Broadway Asia tour in China while student Jianqiao Lu travelled with An American In Paris on tour in China. Morgan Leigh Beach '19 sailed the high seas aboard the Disney Fantasy cruise ship as a Stage Manager for a multitude of productions and Caroline Watters ’14 traveled as the General Stage Manager for CRYSTAL the Cirque Du Soleil ice skating and acrobatic spectacle.
Columbia Stage Managers also pursued television opportunities and public works theatre this year. This past spring student Hadley Armstrong held an internship at The Doctor Oz Show and student Robbie Armstrong served as a Set Production Assistant on the new Disney+ game show, The Big Fib. Student Kelley Lynne Moncrief production stage managed Into the Woods Sr. for Music Theatre International’s pilot production rewritten for senior citizen performances. Moncrief was even visited by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim in rehearsals.
Many alumni have moved into full time positions in management and the arts. Megan Webb ’19 began at the George Mason University Center for the Arts as a Project and Production Coordinator. Whitney Dearden ’13 is the Director for Public Programming for Riverside Park. Kate Dial ’15 incorporated her own business for event management and Colleen Lacy ’14 continues to serve as the Resident Stage Manager at Sacramento Theatre Company.