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Behind the curtain

Drama department’s stage managers’ dedication to theater

Isabella Corsaro, Yearbook Reporter
Originally published January 8, 2015

Amanda Balter

Amanda Balter

Senior Amanda Balter drilled a wooden set piece together as she talked highly of the connections she’s created within the drama department: “We’re a family; a big dysfunctional family.” Her understudy and working partner, junior Lily Munro, felt the same.

“You find your home here,” Munro agreed. The girls are two of the biggest forces behind the theater program.

Director of Theatre Shawn Riley shared his gratitude for the girls’ hard work and dedication throughout the years: “The shows could not be done without them.”

As stage managers, Balter and Munro deal with lighting and call queues, as well as managing on stage and backstage during shows and rehearsals. The girls also work on sets and make sure everything works for the show.

The job has required the girls to stay at school late on many evenings in order to make sure everything is taken care of and running smoothly. Admitted perfectionists, Balter and Munro have become close friends while working in the program.

“I don’t know how I would’ve survived high school without theater. I found my niche,” Balter said. “These are my closest friends, my family. All my friends are a part of the theater.”

With seniors graduating every year, the students who replace them must quickly learn everything the job entails. Balter is training Munro for next year by teaching her and giving her more responsibilities.

With Balter leaving the program next year, she already knows her plans for the future.

“My plan is to go to a four year college somewhere for stage management, preferably on the east coast. I’m planning on minoring in lighting,” Balter said. “My goal is to be a stage manager of actual musicals for Fifth Avenue Theater someday.”

As a junior, Munro still has one more year with the program, where she’ll take Balter’s job and train next year’s junior for the position. Munro plans to continue with theater in the future as well.

As much as Balter and Munro have made an impact on Riley, he has had an equally strong influence on their experience as well.

“He’s become my mentor. He’s the type of person you can go to with any sort of problem and he’ll be understanding,” Balter said.

Next year will bring a world of changes for the program, as well as for Balter and Munro, but it won’t be anything they are not prepared for.

“The program will be fine. Everyone knows what they’re doing and as challenging as it may seem there’s a lot of talent here,” Balter said of the theater tech that still have another year in the program. “Lily will have it under control.”

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