What do you do as Company Manager and COVID-19 Compliance Manager?
As Company Manager I begin with flying in our guest artists, creative teams, designers, and almost anyone else who is flying to Dallas Theater Center. From there I maintain and provide housing accommodations for their stay in Dallas, including hotels, company housing, rental cars or stipends to get them around town. I set up access badges and parking for these guests, and am happy to assist in any way I can to make their stay in Dallas as comfortable and welcoming as I can. I then begin to plan opening night festivities for each production. Also, I help maintain the safety of guests and the entire company by keeping up with any Workers Compensation claims.
Photo by Photonoire
As the Covid-19 Compliance Manager, I upkeep and maintain any signage that may be needed within any space (break spaces, QR codes to assist with the Self Screening process at Dallas Theater Center, etc.). Along with signage I help maintain and distribute the supply of disposable masks to our mask stations. Some of these stations are located right before you enter the rehearsal space, or within our Wyly Lobby. I also coordinate each and every onsite testing, from creating a testing roster for who will be testing to admitting the Safework team and ushering them into the space. I am also constantly learning and maintaining my training as someone on the Covid Compliance team to keep up with the consistent changes and new science from courses or reading up on CDC guidance. From there the Covid Compliance committee helps create safety guidance for any production Dallas Theater Center produces through our Risk Assessment process that helps us determine what safety protocols are needed. As each production we produce is different, we have to be able to adjust these guidelines appropriately to match the needs. When we go into Tech for a production, Covid Compliance is there as a reminder to help maintain social distancing, masks, and wristband wearing. These wristbands are to help indicate which person is on which particular Zoned activity.
What is your favorite part of the job?
I would say being able to help others, as best I can, to keep them safe, and make them feel welcomed. It is one of the highlights of doing both Company Management and Covid Compliance. Although sometimes faced with tough personalities at times, I do what I can to listen and understand the person’s perspective and find a middle ground for the both of us.
How did you find your way to theater?
It began in middle school, acting (of all things!) then transitioning into high school where I was able to pursue the path of Stage Management. It was SO MUCH FUN and something I was very passionate about. The “high stakes”, remember high school everything is high stakes even when it is not, of it all really drove me into wanting to remain in theatre in some way, for the rest of my life. When choosing my degree plan for college, I remember originally wanting to major in law and minor in theatre. When I realized I could actually train and major in Theatre, Stage Management specifically, I went full speed ahead in that direction and never looked back.
What is your favorite Dallas Theater Center production and why?
I am truly the worst at trying to think of my favorite production at Dallas Theater Center. Each production we do from when I began working to now, have all been different and unique in their own way. So I honestly enjoy and appreciate each production I have been a part of so far. But if I had to pick one, I would say Hair, because it was the very first show of the season when I began working at Dallas Theater Center and I will never forget the feeling when I visited the space of how massive, wild, and beyond insane it was to be with such a company like Dallas Theater Center.
Cast of Hair, Photo by Karen Almond
You’re a COVID compliance officer. What can you tell us about the safety measures Dallas Theater Center has taken?
Dallas Theater Center has taken several safety measures and precautions during the Coronavirus pandemic including; wearing a mask when working onsite at any of our three buildings, providing PPE for all employees, hand sanitizer stations, wet wipes to help disinfect areas or high touch points, a Google form for each employee to self screen prior to entering any of our facilities, and of course maintaining 6ft distance when working. Along with all of that the Covid Compliance Committee, made up of myself and 4 others, created specific production oriented safety protocols to ensure the safety of all persons involved. Following the CDC guidance along with our medical experts Dr. Nick Bellos, and Dr. Eric Bing,they help us ensure our policies and procedures are for the betterment of the health and safety for everyone working at our institution.
You’re an active member of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee’s Activ8 work group. Can you tell us about the committee and what drives your passion?
Yes, I am a part of the Activ8. Like the name implies, we were created to take actionable steps to achieving true anti-racism at Dallas Theater Center. But while being on this team, it has been difficult to make change happen, or make change that you can cross off your to-do list. It is true work that takes a lot of introspective of who you are and how you are seen by others. As someone who is a first generation american with parents from different parts of the world, one is from Greece the other Colombia, you are able to relate to those who share in that reality, weather it be a first generation American, mixed race, or my fellow Non-White peers.
From listening truthfully to the people around me, and within my own seeking of understanding, it has helped drive me to be better, to do better and become a better ally. By speaking up and speaking out during full company meetings, I can help others around me who aren’t as bold to be willing to speak out in other circles and advocate for themselves in other ways. Is it terrifying, YES, but do I do it anyway, YES. And that is what drives my passion to continue onward with this work. Our world beyond the walls of Dallas Theater Center is already not great, so if change can happen at one institution like Dallas Theater Center, I am hopeful other institutions like ours will see and be able to mimic our practices for the betterment of the people that work within those institutions. Theater has always been a safe haven for a lot of people, if we can imbed this work within our institution we can be that much MORE of a safe haven for others with this passion of theater.
You are also a Stage Manager at other theaters. What’s your favorite show you’ve managed? And how do you find the time?
Yes, I do Stage Manage around the D-FW area and it is a lot of fun. I love getting to work with other theatre institutions like the Dallas Children’s Theater, the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, Cara Mia, and more. I feel as though my favorite production I have managed was a Wrinkle in Time with Dallas Children’s Theater and the Bippy Bobby Boo Show with DGDG. Both were really fun, high energy, the costumes were exceptional and such a great time working with such talented artists.
In finding time to do the work I do at Dallas Theater Center, and the tasks and details I need to maintain as a Stage Manager, it boils down to my organizational and time management skills. Although it can get challenging at times, being able to work at Dallas Theater Center during the day and in the evenings work as a Stage Manager really brings me joy. I feel as though I ensure I make time for both at the same time. How can an artist create, learn and grow if they are unable to explore other artistic institutions that are around them?
If you won the lottery, what are the first five things you would do?
-I think the first thing I would do is share this wealth to my immediate family first and plan how best to use and save this money for potential future generations.
-Then I think I would build a small theatre company that could be for live theatre, bands who are up and coming, poetry, dance, etc. as space that can be shared with the community and provide opportunities for others to share with.
-Next I would probably begin to invest in properties. Somewhere in the states (Texas, New York maybe), Greece and Colombia.
-Then I would want to join major leaders currently leading the way for change in our country and join them in a much larger way for the current Environmental Crisis, BLM, AAPI, Migrant children at the borders, Migrant workers, #Metoo, End the Backlog, Plan Parenthood, etc. and any other organizations or groups fighting the injustice that we have within this country and have my newfound financial wealth help assist in any way possible.
I can only think of these 4, at the moment, but I feel that if I were to win I would do everything I can to share the wealth as best I could.
Do you have any fur family members you want to tell us about?
No fur children for me. Although pets are cute, beyond fun to play with and silly, I feel as though how my life is currently structured I would not be able to give a pet all the love and attention it deserves.
Do you have any advice for someone who’d like to get involved with theater, but doesn’t know where to start?
Start at school by joining the drama club or join your local community center that has spaces for you to learn, train on how to become an actor, designer, or stage manager. If these aren’t available to you, begin a google search. Look up videos and how to courses on what a Stage Manager is, or what it means to be an Actor or Designer and start training yourself. Then you can scout theatre experiences/job opportunities at your local theater, community center, or even community college. Work backstage, become an assistant to someone within the theater community and learn, grow, and take those experiences and keep going. It is always difficult to start anything but once you do, perssist and keep climbing until you find exactly where you want to be.