Saturday, June 29, 2013

T - 9 Days (i.e. Passing the Torch)

By Victoria Chatfield (Executive Director)

Today, the producing team had our last meeting before orientation. It was also Director of Marketing Brandon Burke's last meeting for a while, as he'll be leaving for Philips Academy Andover next week. He has passed on the torch to our Interim Director of Marketing Kayleen Pena. You'll be reading a lot of her writing on this blog over the summer. We love Kayleen more than sparkle ponies so we're psyched that we get to work so closely with her this summer. (We also love you, Bring It On: The Musical. We also love you.)

Everyone would probably agree: planning an orientation is really challenging. You want to get everyone the key facts about the organization and the production; at the same time, you don't want to be the moderator who stands at the front of the lecture hall and yammers on until everyone falls asleep in their metal folding chairs. How do you balance what's necessary with what's entertaining? Or how can you make what's necessary entertaining? Maybe that's the question.

We tried to take some hints from our own orientations. For instance, Brandon's high school gave students ten minutes to read through the entire handbook. Brandon recommended that we guide them through the information instead, giving them plenty of time to socialize in-between sections. It's always a good idea to think back on your previous experiences and consider what worked and what you would change. Everyone agreed that the best orientations provide students with the opportunity to get to know each other, and all of the members of the producing team suggested having members from all different departments sitting at each table. Orientation is a great chance to introduce students who might otherwise never get the chance to socialize, despite the fact that they're working on the same production. Designers can connect with actors; producers can connect with stage managers.

Thanks for all of your help, Brandon. We'll miss you over the next few weeks, but we're looking forward to seeing you at opening night! And Kayleen, congratulations on becoming our new Interim Director of Marketing! We're looking forward to reading your blogs soon.

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