Loyola Theatre Arts & Dance (TAD) Stage Management students recently had the privilege of welcoming three guest artists to the Stage Management course taught by Professor Karl Lengel. Two of which are returning TAD alumnx. The successful Broadway Stage Manager Sherry Cohen gave our students real life examples of what it means to be a working stage manager in today’s climate:
Sherry Cohen started as a stage manager at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Florida, and met numerous New York stage managers who encouraged her to move north. Work on major productions came quickly, including A Broadway Musical, Peter Pan, Cats, Marilyn, Miss Saigon, Minnelli on Minnelli, Mamma Mia!, A View From the Bridge, Waitress, A Doll's House, Part 2, Network, and, most recently, Diana. On many of the long-running shows, she repeated as a substitute for national tours when not employed on a new production.
"Her discussion in the class covered a broad swath of stage management experiences and responsibilities, and offered the students an opportunity to understand the professional caliber of a theatrical stage manager's work ethic. She is also one of the finest people I have ever worked for and with, and her demeanor is truly reflective of the model producers seek in this position. Offstage, she is one of the funniest and most positive and calm influences in my life."
- Karl Lengel, Loyno Professor
We’re also grateful to our recent TAD alumnx, Bari James Bellard and Hannah Jacuzzi, for giving back to Loyola by sharing their experience and expertise with students in an engaging stage management workshop.
Bari James Bellard is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. During his time at Loyola he stage managed and performed in over ten university productions, and also participated in the Disney College Program as a Character Performer at Walt Disney World. Upon graduating he accepted the role of Production Stage Manager at Southern Rep Theatre. After that he traveled the world as a Stage Technician aboard the Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas. Most recently Bari served as the Production Stage Manager of the national tour of THE COLOR PURPLE.
“It feels so good to be back at Loyola! Who would have thought that I'd be educating students about the very thing that I had learned about in the very classroom that I had learned it in? I am beyond thrilled that I've had the opportunity to share my education and my experience with the next class of theatre makers!”
Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Hannah Jacuzzi graduated from Loyola University New Orleans in 2017. During her time with the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, Hannah served as assistant technical director, performer, stage manager, scenic designer, and director on more than twenty mainstage and small productions. Additionally, Hannah worked with Loyola’s ballet program on the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition, as well as several other concerts, as costume assistant and dresser. In her final year at Loyola, Hannah served as president of Loyola’s chapter of Alpha Psi Omega and received the Leo Zinser Drama Award. Following graduation, Hannah served as assistant stage manager for the 2017 and 2018 seasons of the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane. Hannah spent several years performing in B. B.’s Stage Door Canteen at the National World War II Museum, assisting film and television agents at People Store Talent Agency, and learning about film production at Second Line Stages. In 2018, Hannah was honored to join the Southern Rep Theatre family as production associate, production stage manager (succeeding her dear friend, Bari James Bellard), and personal assistant to former producing artistic director, Aimee Hayes. Hannah is currently pursuing an MA and MFA in Theatre Education and Applied Theatre at Emerson College with the dream of teaching at the collegiate level and opening an arts education institution that prioritizes community engagement and wellness. Hannah enjoys hazelnut lattes, novels, deep conversations, and long walks around the city.
“The best thing for the health and development of a team and production is a strong, compassionate and flexible stage manager. My heart is warmed by the eagerness to continue pursuing the art of stage management (because it is an art form!) during this turbulent time in theatre. The world needs more great stage managers to ask the hard questions and keep us all on track! I am so excited to see where the students of the stage management class go after this. Can’t wait to visit again in November!”