It's hard to believe Measure for Measure has already been running for over a week. Performances at the tent are already delighting audiences, and we know that you won't want to miss this show. Don't worry, there's still time. Get your tickets and come take in one of the performances, you'll be glad you did.
Kristen Wickersheim's six year professional career has been filled with a variety of productions; from a one man comedy to a 30 person musical. While she doesn't have a favorite genre, she thoroughly enjoys finding herself in characters she wouldn't expect to find herself in. Some highlights, Wild Honey directed by Kevin Landis, The Liar directed by the late Murray Ross, The Knockout Opera directed by Jim Jackson and many summers stage managing Shakespeare at the Ranch. We're delighted to have her back in the tent working on Measure for Measure directed by Katy Walsh. We asked this Shakespeare at the Ranch vet a few questions about the play, and the unique ups and downs of life as a stage manager.
Kristen: I'm from Illinois, north of Chicago but have lived in Colorado Springs for the majority of my life.
TW: Home now?
K: Colorado Springs currently, but searching for a new place to move. Looking forward to new adventures.
TW: What brought you to stage management?
K: I have always loved the art form but have huge stage fright, so I knew acting was out. I started looking at what else was needed to make a show run. Learning about lighting, sound, costumes was fun and informative but not for me. Lighting and sound design are amazing art forms and it takes great skill to create a landscape that draws people in, making them feel exactly what you want them to is something that I envy but cannot do. Costumes are beautiful and necessary but I really can only sew on buttons without getting frustrated. I did love building sets but not designing them. So, I started to do run crew and I loved it. Being backstage in the controlled chaos of a show is so refreshing and exciting. I thoroughly enjoy being kept on my toes and thinking 2 steps ahead of what I am doing. Since I am a natural leader who also loves order and structure, it was an easy transition from run crew to ASM to SM. Thankfully, my mentor, Tim Muldrew, encouraged me and gave me opportunities to do it.
TW: Bucket list show?
K: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. I saw this on Broadway and it blew me away. Any show that is technically complex the better.
TW: What would you be doing if you weren't working in theatre?
K: I have done many things over the years and hold many skills but the one thing I have always wanted to try but never had the courage to is writing. I would love to write novels or fake autobiographies.
TW: What do you hope audiences take from Measure for Measure?
K: That things are still the same after 400 years. That is the beauty of storytelling. Here is a play written in 1623, in a different country and I can see not only myself but others in our world in those characters.
TW: What challenges does working in the tent present that you might not encounter in a more traditional space?
K: Nature has always been the challenge at the tent that is not encountered in a traditional space. I know that seems obvious but every year there is something new. Last summer we had to chase a bobcat out from under the stage.
TW: What is your motto?
K: I don't necessarily have a motto but I try to remember that every one has their own struggles and that we are all the same.
TW: When/where were you happiest?
K: There are two places where I am happiest. The first is sitting by the ocean as the sun is going down and the crowds are gone, letting the peace of the water wash over me. The second is sitting in tech rehearsals being a part of bringing all the separate art forms together to create a larger piece.