A Final Post

21 blog posts. 2867 views. 7,735 words. 1 incredible summer.

These numbers can only begin to describe the amazing eight weeks I’ve had here at Upper Darby Summer Stage. Throughout the summer, I’ve tossed on an array of hats. I’ve worked as an assistant stage manager, performed as Humpty Dumpty in “Shrek the Musical” and on top of all that I’ve been working in the marketing closet. No, seriously, the marketing team works out of a storage closet. Thankfully next year we are being upgraded to a full-sized classroom to better fit our growing team.

In about a week I’m heading off to Pomona College in Los Angeles, California to study chemistry. Pomona is a tiny liberal arts college that believes in providing a broad spectrum of education to its students. Thus, not only will I be studying chemistry, but I’ll also be in a freshman writing seminar and working on my language requirements. In much the same way, I believe Summer Stage has provided me with a broad theatrical experience.

This word cloud, created using wordle.com, features my most commonly used words during this season of blogging.
This word cloud, created using wordle.com, features my most commonly used words during this season of blogging.

In no other theatre can you get the kind of experience that Summer Stage offers. The sheer number of shows put on by Summer Stage is mind-boggling. There are seven large productions, three small showcases and countless other small performances that pop up throughout the summer. And what that means for someone like me is that I can work on the production staff of one show, market another and perform in yet another. It also means that I’m often at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center from 8:45 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. but that doesn’t matter – when you’re doing something that you love, time seems to just fly by.

It’s hard to express what I have learned this summer in such a short amount of space, but what the heck, I love a challenge. As an assistant stage manager I’ve learned to become more organized. I’ve learned how my actions can impact others even when the two seem totally unrelated. As a performer, I’ve learned that acting takes a lot more effort than I previously suspected. Movement needs to be thought over and improvisation has to be character-driven. I learned that you’re never to old to perform for kids, because nothing is more satisfying than the shrill laughter of a child that thinks you’re funny. 

As a marketing intern, I learned a lot about graphic design. As a partially colorblind individual, this was an incredibly helpful experience to have under my belt. I made the slideshows that played in the lobby before the shows and each week they improved in style and layout (with the help of Dan Luner and Mark Dietzler). I learned a lot about self-made deadlines. I learned that I could write a lot in a little amount of time when I need to.

I feel as if I’ve truly accomplished something here at Summer Stage over these past weeks. I not only strengthened my old friendships, but I leave for California knowing that I have a whole group of new friends that I’m going to miss. I leave knowing that I can work in any department of a theatre (with the possible exception of costumes) and feel comfortable as well as experienced. 

I don’t know what my year in California will bring, but I know that if I choose to return to Summer Stage, I’ll find the Performing Arts Center waiting with open arms and that is the greatest gift anyone could ask for. 

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