Your Places Call: Junior Emma Schramm on What it Takes to Stage Manage A Musical

Emily Wyrwa, Editor in Chief

Junior Emma Schramm rescheduled her March ACT to April 2, 2022. 

 

She was trying to avoid being exhausted from studying for three tests during tech week for SPF Repertory Theatre’s production of “Les Miserables” and her choice of entry-to-college exam, but alas, when the “Les Mis” dates changed, Schramm accepted her fate. 

 

She will sit for her exam in the morning, and make sure the show runs smoothly that same night, probably with a break for a Quick Check sandwich in between. 

 

“We have two shows and then I have the ACT and then that night I have another show,” Schramm said. “So, okay, that I’m slightly worried about. But I’m just really excited for tech to see the show come together. That’ll be the most rewarding, and it’ll be really cool, because you put so much effort into the show, and we all see the minutia, but then when we get to see the whole final product, it will be very rewarding.” 

 

Schramm serves as one of the stage managers for SPF Repertory Theatre alongside senior Charlie Pollack. Schramm is a native to the stage crew after becoming involved with theatre behind the scenes in her middle school’s 2019 production of “Willy Wonka, Jr.” She thought she would take over as a leader of the stage crew, but when she was asked to work as a stage manager by the creative team of the musical, her answer was a resounding yes. 

 

“I never really thought about stage managing because I haven’t really been a part of the rehearsal process with the cast specifically,” Schramm said. “ I was very flattered when they thought of me. I almost immediately said ‘yes’; I thought it would be a good opportunity.” 

It was exciting [at the start], but now I look forward to every rehearsal even more. I can’t wait to see it come together.”

— Emma Schramm

When Schramm sits down for rehearsal, she unpacks her bag filled with pencils and scripts. She braces herself for a fun, but intense, few hours, creating the “rehearsal report” with Pollack. In this report, the pair takes note of cast attendance, what parts of the show are being rehearsed and the blocking for every cast member.  

 

“We have this big binder of the whole script,” she said. “‘These people enter stage right, they exit at this point, they cross the stage,’ and things like that [are what we’re writing down]. We also write down any props we need for those scenes and who would have them. Now that we’re off-book, we write down who drops a line, who does a good job with their lines, all that sort of thing.” 

 

Sans cast experience, Schramm initially found stage managing intimidating. She recalls feeling overwhelmed by the intense responsibilities at first, and certainly, the awkwardness of having to “be the boss” of cast members her own age (or even older). When it comes down to it, she’s found just how fun the process can be, even amidst the chaos. 

 

“It was exciting [at the start], but now I look forward to every rehearsal even more,” Schramm said. “I can’t wait to see it come together.” 

 

To see Schramm’s work come to fruition, buy your ticket to SPF Repertory Theatre’s production of the iconic “Les Miserables,” before they sell out! Tickets to the March 31-April 3 shows can be purchased at spfrep.com