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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Saturday Special - Working in Theater: An Interview with Hannah Delmore, Production Stage Manager

Welcome to another installment of our Working in Theater series. This series in which we interview people working in different theater related jobs runs periodically on Saturdays.  Today we will be speaking with production stage manager Hannah Delmore (HD). 

What is your job title?

HD: I am a Production Stage Manager in New York City. I have been doing it for 6 years now, and currently I am the PSM for Paddington Get in a Jam at the DR2 in Union Square. 

How would you describe what you do?

HD: The role of PSM is a lot to explain so I’ll just touch the surface of what I do for Paddington. It is my job to call the light and sound cues for the show, call places for the cast, check that all props are pre set correctly, give the cast their call times for shows and rehearsals, give out all the notes for all the departments on the show, do daily show reports to keep the whole company up to speed on how the project is doing, disinfect the inside of the Paddington Puppets, reset special effects used in the show, and my personal favorite be the Paddington “Cake Fluffer” There is moment with a cake getting smashed in a face and I have to reapply the shaving cream after each show and my General Manager called me the “cake fluffer”.

How did you come to be doing the job that you do?

HD: I went to a performing arts high school in Las Vegas, The Las Vegas Academy of Performing and Visual Arts, and it was there I learned that even though I love what happens on stage I was drawn much more the behind the scene world. Specifically the production side of things. 

Did you have to get any special training for your job?

HD: For this current show, no I did not need any special  training. However for other projects I have to get my fire certification or complete other kinds of certifications to be allowed work with that company.

What is the best part of your job?

HD: I would say the best part of my job currently, is seeing the reaction kids have to one of their favorite story book character has come to life just to play with them.  

What is the worst part of your job?

HD: I can’t really pick one bad part of my job. I would say, just like every job, the worst part is just when we have a rough show day or rough rehearsal. We deal with it and just have a better day after that. 

 What are some of your favorite shows that you have worked on?

HD: I am having a lot of fun working on Paddington right, there are so many moving parts to it that you never find yourself bored or getting too comfortable in routine. I have also work on the Very Hungry Caterpillar Show with Rockefeller Productions as well and that is definitely one of my favorite projects ever. That little caterpillar has a special place in my heart.

What show if any would you loved to have worked on?

HD: If there was any show I could stage manage it would either be A Chorus Line or Cabaret, I grew up listening to them both and became two of my favorite shows. 

Who are some other people in your field that you admire?

HD: I have had the pleasure to work with a lot of strong women in my field. Currently, two of the main people I answer to are women (Krista Robbins and Jill Bowman) they are two people I admire. Not to mention, the puppet supervisor for Paddington is also a woman (Jessica Lawrence) All three of these women started doing small freelance work like myself and now I am lucky enough to have the chance work and learn from them. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?

HD: Be hungry for it, be open to trying new things, listen and be a sponge, don't burn bridges (Gossip can wait for the bar or your home, keep it pleasant in the work place this industry is small), and have fun. 

We thank Hannah for taking the time to answer our questions.  Paddington Gets in a Jam is currently playing at DR2 Theatre located at 103 E. 15th St., New York, NY through Sunday March 8, 2020. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://paddingtongetsinajam.com.

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