Monika Orzelowski, Stage Manager
Monika Orzelowski is incredibly proud to have worked with the Loewe Team as a Stage Manager, while also working with the Goldberg Studio as a Production Manager for CoLab. She is currently a sophomore studying Theatre at Hunter, and serving as the Development Director for Hunter Theatre Company. Recent credits include The Last Five Years (asst. Director/Stage Manager), Lear (Stage Manager), and Cocktail Hour (Lighting Designer). Extraordinary gratitude to all who have been there along the way, and to the passionate members of this team with a story to tell.
Questions from Students
Why I SM’ed:
As a Stage Manager, you have the opportunity to be present for conversations happening in both rooms. From the Director working with the actors, to Designers communicating their ideas to one another, you are able to see a production constructed from the very bottom. There are so many great ideas that are floating around with all of our students in the Theatre Department. They have so much to offer as theatre artists, and I’m so thankful to bear witness to these discussions.
Why are you excited to be working on this project?
CoLab is an entirely new project, and there’s nothing else like it. We’re in a time period where theatre artists are trying to discover what to use as a creative outlet right now, when they don’t have their “typical” in person live three dimensional theatre space to work in. We need to find other solutions to not act as replacements, but to substitute for the circumstances we’re under. It’s thrilling to be able to try different ideas that may or may not work, because there is no “wrong” answer for what any of these productions should like. We all have different takes based on what inspires us from Sarah Ruhl’s work.
Pre Production Process:
Our pre production process was much shorter for the CoLab project than what it usually is. I received an email from the faculty mentors that I’ve been chosen to work as an SM, and immediately had a Facetime Call with our director for the Loewe, Luis. I was inspired by his want to have a storybook vibe to the show, and I knew in that moment, that he was a director with a clear intention on why they’re doing the show. Immediately that same week, our phenomenal SM Team of Sarah Jones and Ariane Terrell, led by faculty mentor Sarah Shea organized auditions for CoLab which was an experimental process on the Zoom platform, but ultimately rewarding and successful. We had to have one of us manage welcoming actors, the other moving them to different rooms, and another in the audition room with the directors. All communication was done solely by our group chat, which is such a great representation of how well we worked together. During Callbacks, we had some excellent volunteers come in that helped us coordinate this, and aided in the process of casting for three productions of the same show!
One of the most difficult aspects would have to be the barrier of us all being in separate spaces while creating art. We’re all in separate Zoom boxes and we don’t have the freedom to explore with everyone together. Of course, there were other challenges like internet lagging, but creating theatre is such a collaborative effort, and this was one hurdle that we had to confront. I’m grateful that even though we’re not sharing the same space, we can share the same time. We pushed these limitations by having a “Zoom Play Night” one rehearsal to figure out how to play in our own spaces, and to expand what can be shown in our own Zoom box.