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SPOTLIGHT: Chelsea Bunyan: Stage Manager

Photo by Sebastien Galina

She tells us, “I had been looking for a way to get involved in community theatre again,” finding it a privilege to work and ...

Chelsea Bunyan joins the BHT Company this season as stage manager for The Heart of Robin Hood. Having heard so much about Beach House Theatre and knowing Candace through their jobs with Surrey School District, Chelsea was more than willing to agree to take on the stage managing. She tells us, “I had been looking for a way to get involved in community theatre again,” finding it a privilege to work and learn from Candace and Rick.

Chelsea is well qualified for her stage manager role. “I’m a drama teacher during the school year, so a lot of the skills I use come from practice in that. I can be loud and get attention quickly when I need to. I’m also creative and detail-oriented. I do find I’m learning a lot in this job too, like better organization in and outside of rehearsals.” A stage manager wears many hats and is responsible for nearly everything except the acting at rehearsals. During performances, the stage manager makes sure that all runs smoothly, both on and back stage. Chelsea tells us, “I’m part of an awesome stage management team, and we share a lot of the work. Right now I keep track of sound and light cues in rehearsal, watch for blocking notes, prop use and set placement, give lines to the actors, as well as run fight calls which is super fun (and nerve wracking!). During the run of the show, my job will get a lot busier, which I love!”

Does Chelsea get bogged down in the minutiae of her job? She does admit, “It can be difficult organizing emails sometimes, as I tend to get a lot of them and if they don’t get dealt with right away they can be easily forgotten.” However, she does “really love coming to rehearsal and working with all the talented people involved in this production. Everyone on the crew and in the cast works so hard to contribute to the look and feel of the show, and it’s great getting to learn from them every day.”

Since Chelsea has heard about BHT productions but never had the opportunity to see one, she is especially pleased that her first show is so detailed. “There is so much going on in this show. It’s going to be hard to see everything all the time. I would suggest taking time to observe each character during the larger scenes, as everyone puts in so much time to contribute to the atmosphere of each scene, especially during those with stage combat! Audiences will never be bored.” She is delighted that company members can learn so much from each other. “There are several people on this production who are looking to get involved in theatre more, like I am, and I think we all take something from each other at the end of the day.”

Audiences can be assured that our new stage manager brings both skill and enthusiasm to her job. Her final comment, “I can’t wait for people to see it!” tells us that she hopes you will share her passion.