When most people hear the word "theater," they envision an archetypal Shakespeare play in the Globe Theatre, or maybe they recall a time when they were part of a Thanksgiving production put on by their third grade class. But for senior Kaitlin Springston, theater is much more than a reenactment of the Pilgrims' encounter with Native Americans.
When Geneseo's performance of "Jekyll and Hyde" closes in April, Springston will have served as assistant stage manager for three shows and as stage manager for six shows including the School of the Arts' recent performance of "The Burial of Thebes." By the time she graduates in May, Springston's career in theater at Geneseo will encompass a hefty total of 31 shows.
A theater major and English minor, Springston has immersed herself in the SOTA since 2007, when her advisor, professor Melanie Blood, recommended she take Introduction to Technical Theater.
Since high school, Springston has been ruling the backstage theater world and loving every minute of it. "Being a part of the crew in high school is so much different from the college level, but I was able to make the transition," Springston said.
Now in her senior year, Springston is taking on the highest role of the techie world: stage manager. The position encompasses everything from handling props to knowing every light cue, and Springston doesn't take the job lightly. "As stage manager, you're the translator from the director to [the crew]. You need to know everything," she said. "If I'm doing my job right, no one will know I'm there."
Springston spends most of her time in Brodie Hall – in addition to being stage manager, Springston carries the titles of Props Mistress, teaching assistant for the paint shop and technical assistant in the scene shop. "Stage managing requires at least 80 hours a week … sometimes people joke that I sleep in the Brodie computer classrooms," she said.
With graduation around the corner, Springston has high aspirations. While most students will be relaxing over break, she will be in New York City interviewing for an acceptance into the Professional Intern Program at The Juilliard School. She said that if she doesn't get accepted into the program, she still has plans to live in New York City, where many opportunities will arise for work in technical theater.
"I measure my life in productions," she said. "Each show is a lifetime, and I make a point of dedicating myself to each one. In theater, you can't do something half-heartedly."