Wrapping Up & New Beginnings with Stage Manager Steph Link


As the dust from the Christmas musical The Other Side of The Pole settles, rehearsals for the next production has already started at Keyano Theatre! In February 2017, Keyano Theatre Company presents the energetic and entertaining story of Footloose, based on the original screenplay by Dean Pitchford directed by the incredibly talented Karen Johnson-Diamond. It's a story about Ren McCormack, a young man who moves from the bustling city of Chicago to the small town of Bomont - a place were dancing is strictly prohibited. No less than 31 talented community actors from Fort McMurray has been cast in the play, featuring both well known faces of the Keyano stage and several completely new ones! One person who is deeply involved at Keyano Theatre is the resident Stage Manager Steph Link, who guides the process from day one - and beyond.

Tell us Steph, how was show week of The Other Side of The Pole?

"It went very well! The audiences seemed to love it and I was so happy to see so many children in the audience. There is something very special about having young kids out there. It was a great way to wrap up a year that has been so hard for so many people.

My favorite memory from the show is not just one thing; it’s all the laughter we shared in rehearsal and backstage, I think I laughed more in those rehearsals than any other! We laughed at stories, laughed at a flubbed line or a missed prop - there was so much joy in our process. Maybe it had something to do with the story as well, but the laughter is my favorite memory from it. The thing I am going to miss the most from The Other Side of The Pole is definitely the closeness of a small cast and crew. As much as I am super excited for the bigness of Footloose, it’s very special to spend so much time with a small group who comes to be almost like a family."


What happens once a show is done?

"When a production has had their final curtain call, the show crew move anything not nailed down after closing night and then the theatre technicians strike the set in one day. After that there is a day to move the lighting fixtures back to a 'zero state', followed by one or two days to put away all the props, furniture and costumes."

Footloose is a large scale musical! The cast start their rehearsal process several weeks before the director even arrives, learning the music.


Can you tell us about the music rehearsal process?

"The music rehearsals are easy for me! Our musical director Hilary Hornberger takes the actors through all of the songs and teaches them, so that when we get back after the holidays they know all the music and are ready for dance and blocking rehearsals. I just get to sit back and enjoy the music, mostly my job is to make sure the actors have the schedules, that the schedules get followed and that the room is ready. I also use the time to get caught up on some work for the rest of the season, setting up auditions for the next show and doing paper work.

I absolutely love a big musical with great songs, a big cast and lots of dancing! They are my favorite thing to work on. I’m a super sucker for a good multi-task and a big musical gives me a brain full of it!"


Footloose - the Musical opens on February 17, 2017! Tickets available at keyano.ca/theatre

Author: Hanna Fridhed