Stars Behind The Stars: Kate Croasdale '12
BY Robbie Armstrong, October 14, 2019
Stars Behind the Stars is a bi-weekly series featuring theatre makers behind the scenes.This week we sat down with Stage Management alumna Kate Croasdale ’12 and discussed her work on the recent Broadway production Sea Wall/A Life starring Columbia College non-degree alumnus Jake Gyllenhaal ’02 and Tom Sturridge, at the Hudson Theatre.
Croasdale is a Pisces who has worked on nine Broadway shows including Ghost the Musical, Children of A Lesser God, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Relatively Speaking, and Sunday in the Park with George, also starring her recent colleague Jake Gyllenhaal.
How does your astrological sign appear in your work as a Stage Manager?
Emotional awareness is a key trait of the Pisces sign. It’s basically reading the room. I feel like it is something stage managers use every day. With Sea Wall/A Life you have to be aware of how it’s affecting people. I make a point to inform the crew of what the show is about, particularly the substitute crew members. There are some heartbreaking themes and I want to make sure the team is comfortable and prepared every night at the Hudson.
What was your first experience in the theatre?
I was in the Drama Club in middle school. Everyone was in the show, so I was in the show. The first show I remember doing was called Lion and Mouse Stories. It was a cute kids show.
What have you found unique about working on Sea Wall/A Life?
Solo shows are a completely different beast. In terms of logistics it’s the same as any other Broadway play but this show was unique in its content being two very long monologues. Normally actors don’t attend rehearsals unless they are in the scene but both Gyllenhaal and Sturridge attended each other’s rehearsal regularly. They often had lunch together and really supported each other throughout the show’s life on Broadway.
Was there anything new for you on this production?
I was the Equity Deputy for the first time. The Actors’ Equity Association requires a deputy on every production, as a liaison between the AEA members and the union. All of the actors and the Production Stage Manager, Faculty member Peter Lawrence, voted for me to serve in this role. On this production it was smooth sailing.
How has your Columbia education prepared you for the show?
I learned a lot about New York theatre and commercial theatre at Columbia. I took a class taught by Steven Chaikelson called “Management and Producing” and learned a valuable lesson about how much information to share, who to share information with, and when to share that information. I still think about that. My graduate school experience was about polishing little elements that were already a part of me. It was about coming up with an appropriate response to what was in front of me. Learning to be understanding and adjusting your response for the situation is critical to any artist and that is something I learned at Columbia.
If you could be any famous child, which one would you be?
Suri Cruise. She has excellent clothing.
What’s your next project?
I will be doing a workshop of a new opera at the Phillip Glass Center. We’ll be a part of the Days & Nights Festival.
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