Meet the Team: Stage Manager

I’m Lizzie, and I’m the Stage Manager (SM) for Peculiar’s first production The Truth.

I’ve worked in a variety of backstage roles in numerous professional and amateur productions and have loved every moment of it.
Design is my favourite role whether it is set, costume or props, I enjoy every creative challenge.

What does a Stage Manager do?

Lots of paperwork! Luckily, I have a super organised side. My main duty is to be Ellen’s (Director) support during rehearsals, following the script and prompting where necessary. Making note of exits and entrances as well as keeping track of blocking and any changes. During show week I can be found backstage keeping things in order, most likely shushing – we are a noisy bunch!  Another part of my job is the organising, sourcing and making of props.

I can’t do this job alone and am extremely grateful for the support of my trusty Assistant Stage Managers (ASMs) Sarah B and Vicki R, who help me out whenever I need them or even just to chat and talk things through.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The prop element of my role is what excites me the most. For this play I have the joy of making two dog puppets and an iconograph. I had the challenge of making 3 Errol puppets with Monstrous Productions and am very glad to be making puppets again.

With any “make” my favourite parts are the research and the finishing touches at the end. I love looking at how others have created things, how it needs to work for the actor/puppeteer both practically and visually. I could be on Pinterest, Youtube and google images all day! Being a perfectionist, the making stage often takes a lot longer than it needs to and I occasionally get frustrated with the project and myself. However, when I push through to the final stage these limitations become my strength. I thrive on the little details and finish the project to a high standard even if it takes me all night.

How have you found the play?

As SM I have been attending majority of rehearsals and had the pleasure of watching it progress from page to stage. Everyone has put so much time and effort into their roles… and it really shows! Ellen has done a fantastic job with direction, as well as giving the cast opportunities to explore the script and develop their characters. The cast have had lot of fun and are more connected to who they are playing. As a result, when the characters finally make it to the stage, the audience will find it easier to identify with them.

What are your aspirations?

To keep doing what I love doing and to be surrounded by the people I love doing it with. Peculiar was built on the friendships and values formed in Monstrous and our love of theatre spurred us to carry on doing what we do best. Everyone is supportive of one another and eager to push each other to be the best they can be to produce a show of the highest standard but still have fun.

What would you say is your favourite creation is?

I have so many! I would have to say the puppets though, mostly because I get to play with them around the house, which is probably why it takes my so long to finish them…

Most challenging creation?

Probably the golden suit in Going Postal for Monstrous. It took ages to find suitable fabric within budget! Making a suit from scratch out of faux leather takes time and patience, and I had to teach myself to make a hat with wings too. Although it took a lot of time and effort, I was so pleased with the end result and how great it looked on stage. Unfortunately due to the choice of  fabric and the very hot show week the poor actor boiled – sorry Asher!

I am so excited to get Peculiar Productions’ first show underway in August, it is going to be fantastic so don’t miss out – buy your tickets now before it is too late!

I love this bubbly bunch and you will too!