Putting the polish on PSM

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Jessica Crowe makes her living as a free-lance performance artist. She is used to performing in unique venues, from underwater-style theatres to big stages.  But Jessica has made a place for herself right here at DreamWrights. “The funny thing is, as a performance artist, I travel all over the country but DreamWrights is my favorite place to be. It’s really cool traveling but this is feels very much like home for me and it has helped York feel like home.”

In only her third production at DreamWrights, Jessica has found her passion behind the scenes. “I love the acting aspect of working on a production but as a Stage Manager you really get to work with the whole cast and the crew and you get to know everyone in the production. Whereas, as an actor, you’re really more involved with the people you’re specifically on stage with. I love being able to work with everybody.”

Jessica Crowe with Jaci Keagy

During The Wizard of Oz, Jessica became quite invaluable to director, Jaci Keagy. Jaci explains, “The most effective stage managers are those people who can see what needs to be done and just jump in and do it.  That was Jessica to a T.  She was especially strong during tech and when the show was running.  She was a good leader and kept her cool.  I felt fortunate to have her.”

This time around, Jessica is the Production Stage Manager (PSM) for Babe, the Sheep-Pig.  At DreamWrights, the PSM is the right hand to the director in a production. With her professional performance experience, and the lessons she’s learned at DreamWrights, Jessica shares her best advice for what makes an effective PSM:

  • Be Organized. “You have to be really organized with paperwork, be able to handle blocking, and be able to instruct your stage managers. Being PSM has helped to strengthen my organization skills.”
  • Listen. “Being able to listen and take direction really well are important because you have to pay attention to everything the director wants and make sure he/she has everything he/she needs to make the production a success.”
  • Be Flexible. “As the production grows, you have to be able to fit in where you’re needed and be able to make it a success. I’ve learned to take each moment for what it is and help out where I can.”

So as Babe opens this weekend and audiences sit back and enjoy the show, they’ll never know about the last minute mishaps or emergencies that may or may not be happening behind the scenes.  The show must go on, and Jessica Crowe will be there to make sure it does… successfully!