Assistant Stage Managing BETWEEN RIVERSIDE & CRAZY

By Season Wong

Hello everyone, it’s Sze Shun Wong here, but please do call me Season. I am the Production and Stage Management apprentice for the 18-19 season of Life, Out Loud! I am a recent graduate from University of Massachusetts Amherst. I am originally from Hong Kong, a beautiful and fascinating city! For the past two months, I have been a part of the show, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, as an ASM (Assistant Stage Manager). As you can see, my apprenticeship title is Stage and Production Management, so you probably won’t see me on stage, except when we are changing scenes. I would love to share my ASM experience from this show!

Last week we closed BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, my first professional show. I am very lucky that I have a very talented and amazing stage manager, Rachel Harrison, to help me through the process.

At the beginning of the rehearsal process, Rachel and I had to establish a props list and French scene breakdown. A French scene breakdown is a table to see when the actors go on and off stage. Rachel did the preliminary charts, and during the rehearsal process, we kept updating them to keep track of the props and characters’ entrances & exits.

During rehearsal we took blocking for the actors. The director and actors kept changing blocking in the beginning of the process, as they needed to find the best way to present the story. When the actors went off book, either Rachel or I would help with lines for the actors, as sometimes actors might have forgotten one or two lines. At the same time, we had to keep updating the props list in order to give the crew an idea as to what props were needed and where the props should be located on or offstage.

We had three weeks of rehearsal, and after that, we were in the tech rehearsal! During this time, the set was moving in and actors were able to rehearse on stage with costumes, lights, and sound. When the onstage rehearsal started, the props list had to be updated in order to give the crew clearer instructions.

Other than ASM-ing the show, I also helped with lighting. I helped with hanging the lights up on the grid!

During the performances, I am stationed backstage to make sure everything runs smoothly and make sure the crew and actors have a safe environment to work in. During the run there were many sudden situations during shows, like something on stage was broken or the turntable decided to stop working, and I was on hand to give an immediate remedy to that. This is also why I love live theatre, as you can never imagine what would happen next!

While one show ends, another begins! We are already in rehearsal for MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY running Nov. 28th through Dec. 30th.
americanstage.org/CHRISTMAS