Shay Dickerson is the Company Manager at Gulfshore Playhouse.
If you read our blog last week by General Manager, Chris Brislin, you know that theatre, particularly productions like Moon Over Buffalo, need a strong door. Well, I would like to tell you about my theatre door: it’s a revolving door, like one you see in a shopping mall. My door at Gulfshore Playhouse is revolving constantly, day and night, and in many different ways.
As you may or may not know, our actors and designers often come from far away and make
Naples home for just a few weeks. And since I am the Company Manager, every time a show starts I get a new group of people to manage. Then, when a show is over, they head back to New York City or Washington D.C. or St. Petersburg. This is a unique position because I am usually the first person they meet (though sometimes it’s one of our generous volunteers) when they arrive at Gulfshore Playhouse. I love constantly meeting new people and building relationships with them. Theatre brings together such a diverse group of people and part of why I love my job so much is that I am able to meet and get to know every single actor, stage manager, designer and guest director that walks through our “door”.
Another way my job is constantly revolving is that I am never in the same place for too long. It’s quite hard to find me at the office and even if I am there, it probably won’t be for too long. One day I might be in one of the 11 apartments we manage, prepping for a new actor from Moon Over Buffalo and the next I’m at the airport sending a designer from Informed Consent back home. My days are NEVER boring. I love the constant movement and lack of routine that my job allows. I am consistently moving and working towards making an actor or designer time here as amazing as possible.
Being the Company Manager at Gulfshore Playhouse has taught me a lot about what it means to be involved in theatre. I get to interact with everyone on every side of this wonderful machine that works seamlessly to create the amazing and life-changing productions we produce on our stage. That is not something many of us have the opportunity to do. Most are either always in the shop or rehearsal or the office. I am one of the lucky few that get to float in between the areas and learn about them all as well as the people who make it happen. I have even found myself front of house for some days, greeting patrons and having even more of you walk into my life. It takes a village to create a production at Gulfshore Playhouse and it takes a Company Manager to look after the village.
I am glad to have a revolving door here at Gulfshore Playhouse. Many wonderful, entertaining, and passionate artists have walked through that door. Maybe the next person to walk through my door could be you, and I’ll be happy to see you.