We've seen them listed in playbills, and maybe we've even been seated near one in a restaurant or on a bus. But who knows what stage managers actually do, anyway? Glenn Bruner does. As stage manager for Arizona Theatre Company, Bruner is the lifeline to the actors, the props people, and everyone in between. He pauses here, between performances of ATC's Tuesdays With Morrie, to consider tardiness, the importance of family, and the joys of Homer Simpson.
I knew I wanted to be in show business in the seventh grade, after I began setting up chairs and running the lights for school assemblies. "Running the lights" amounted to switching a couple of circuit breakers on and off, but it was a big thrill being behind the scenes, separated from the audience by just a couple of curtains. Being backstage was the best place to be during those assemblies.
The thing no one understands about being a stage manager is that we really do need to sleep. Another thing a lot of people don't understand is the amount of paperwork involved in mounting and running a production. It can be quite overwhelming.
My worst theater job ever was one I won't name. I never know with whom I'll work in the future.
The happiest day in my life hasn't yet happened. I hope.
If I could be anyone other than myself, it would be any one of my siblings (I have three brothers and a sister). They are all wonderful people: smart, focused, generous, caring, and full of passion. They are true gifts to their families and communities.
It's not entirely true, but I sometimes tell people that I weigh only 185 pounds. I'm not sure anyone really buys that; most people just smirk and say "try again."
I am utterly terrified of being late for work. I'm also terrified, at times, of my own cooking.
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I laugh uncontrollably at T. R. Pearson's novel A Short History of a Small Place; A Prairie Home Companion; Homer Simpson; and some of the acting on CSI: Miami.
The one thing I absolutely refuse to do as stage manager is jeopardize the safety of an actor or crew member.
Currently I am reading Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez.
The first time I got drunk, I don't remember. I'm happy to say I'm too old to recall things like that.