JACQUELINE LAWTON: How long have you lived and worked as a stage manager in DC? What brought you here? Why have you stayed?
CARY GILLETT: I graduated from the University of Maryland in 1998 and have been working as an SM ever since. I love the DC area and have no desire to leave. It is a wonderful place to live and work.
JL: What excites you most about being a stage manager? What do you feel your greatest challenges are?
CG: I love being in the room when it all happens. I love bringing my strength in organization to a group of artists and help them achieve their dreams. My greatest challenge has always been and will always be saying no. I always take on too much.
JL: What traits do you feel a successful Stage Manager should have to support the health and growth of a production?
CG: Organization, communication and a sense of humor.
JL: Does your work as a Stage Manager pay the bills? If not, what other work do you do and how do you find a balance?
CG: I used to be a full time free-lance SM but have sent the last 5 years as a full time production manager. I still dabble in stage management from time to time and now teach it at the University of Maryland.
JL: Looking at your body of work as a stage manager in this community, how conscious are you of selecting plays by women or people of color when deciding your season?
CG: I’m not sure how much the playwrights have influenced my decisions but I always enjoy working with female directors.
JL: How do you feel the DC theatre community has addressed the issues of race and gender parity? How has this particular issue impacted you and your ability to work?
CG: I feel we are growing as a community towards awareness and inclusion. We still have a long way to go but we are headed in the right direction.
JL: DC audiences are ...
CG: Fantastic and very smart
JL: DC actors, designers and directors are …
CG: Innovative and fearless
JL: DC critics are ...
CG: Don’t know. I never read reviews…
JL: What advice do you have for an up and coming DC based stage managers?
CG: Learn as much as you can about every aspect of theatre craft and work at as many theatres as you can until you find your perfect niche.
JL: What's next for you as a stage manager? Where can we keep up with your work?
CG: Currently teaching an intro the stage management class and mentoring a group of 12 SMs and ASMS on 5 shows this semester. Exhausting but exhilarating work.
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I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!