TDPS Production Manager broadens her successes
This blog post is by Omar Khan, senior communication major.
For the past 17 years Cary Gillett, Production Manager for the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and UMD alum, has brought her distinct expertise to the DC area stage and production managing scene. She has worked on a wide range of projects in the area, from being the Resident Stage Manager at the Round House Theatre to “A Salute to the 2015 Presidential Scholars” at the Kennedy Center. Recently, she took her expertise and knowledge into the wider arts world.
“The really exciting part is that this is a completely new endeavor for Eastern theatre. There are no stage management programs in China, but there is a need."
Last month, Gillett was invited to teach at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts (NACTA) along with Clarice staff member, Mark Rapach, which led to a commission to help with a brand new stage management program at NACTA.
“The really exciting part is that this is a completely new endeavor for Eastern theatre. There are no stage management programs in China, but there is a need. More and more large companies, like Shanghai Disney, are looking to hire bilingual stage managers.”
Additionally, Gillett was recently asked to join the planning committee as an Assistant Programming Coordinator for the annual United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Gillett said that the actual work that she does for the planning of the conference is not too different from what she does as a Production and Stage Manager.
“It’s a lot of scheduling, finding the right rooms and materials, and making sure the appropriate space and times are used.”
The planning of the conference isn’t the only new field that Gillett is tackling. Her book, The Production Manager’s Toolkit, is due out in the fall of 2016. For Gillett, the book fills a space that was lacking in the academic theatre world.
“I talked to a lot of people, and everyone was struggling to find the right textbook. Then one day a colleague said, ‘just write the textbook!’ So Jay Sheehan of San Diego State University and I pitched the book idea to Focal Press at last year’s USITT conference.”
Writing the book has had unintended but positive effects for Gillett.
“We had to write the book from a multitude of perspectives and that involves talking to people in various areas about their ideas. With every interview I get so inspired, and I’ve become a better production manager while writing this book.”