MILWAUKEE – A stage manager for a small theater company in Milwaukee recently took complete control over rehearsals, usurping the director’s position entirely.
The stage manager, Kiera, said in a statement, “We were constantly talking about other things. No one would have rehearsed if I didn’t make them.” Following the change of guard, Kiera forced the actors to say their lines and follow the agreed on staging in a timely manner.
“I didn’t notice,” said one of the actors. “And there was still coffee in the green room.”
But the director was gobsmacked. “The stage manager usually runs the show, but not before opening. This was unheard of.”
An actor who has reportedly been in the business for over thirty years said, “I’ve seen a lot [of stage managers] try. I’ve never seen one actually do it. It was really something.”
The director watched helplessly as rehearsals continued, transitioned into tech rehearsals, and then opened to fair reviews.
“We opened on time. We were prepared,” said Kiera. Critics, however, were skeptical, and protests outside posited the idea that if they opened on the same day as planned before the coup, then why the takeover?
Others have shown their support by attending the performance early, ready to be seated the moment the house opens. The house manager says she’s never seen anything like it. “We could even start the show early each night, get it over with, and then go home.”
“I can’t speak to the quality of the performances,” said Kiera, “but the show runs on time, it’s consistent, the actors do what they’re told. That’s good theater.”
Throughout the process, all union actors still received their union breaks.
by Dan Plighter