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Sarasota Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010 9 years ago

BACK TO SCHOOL 2010: The Stage Manager: Vannessa Alvarez

by: Stephanie Hannum Managing Editor

Vannessa Alvarez likes to be in control — in control of the actors and actresses involved in New Gate School’s theatrical performances, in control of the props and costumes and in control of the atmosphere backstage. She is calm, cool and collected and the perfect fit for the job of stage manager.

“I’m more of a mom-type and have to set control and set the tone backstage,” says Alvarez. “I keep everyone in control and get people where they need to be.”

Only one of two students in the senior class at New Gate School, Alvarez has a love for all things entertainment, and although she’s played minor roles in multiple plays, she is ultimately drawn to behind-the-scenes roles.

“I love entertainment, and although I’m not talented in that way, I like the whole feel of it,” she says.

Last year, Venezuela-born Alvarez assisted in putting on three school plays last year, at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center. During rehearsals, she tends to act as the assistant director, in charge of getting props and costumes together and helping the actors with their lines, as well as making sure each person knows when to go off and on stage and where (according to the stage directions she has written down).

If she’s done her job well, life is much easier on the day of the play, because Alvarez makes sure everything and everyone is where they should be.

“My favorite moment as stage manager was during one of the plays when everyone knew what they were doing and didn’t need direction,” says Alvarez. “I felt I had done my job during rehearsals and it had paid off.”

Alvarez would like to continue to follow her passion of the entertainment industry. Her dream job entails something in the music industry and she is also considering marketing in college.

“I’m excited for graduation because it’s so different from any other graduation. It’s so personal at New Gate,” says Alvarez, who has attended the school for 13 years. “All of the students walk through the gate, signifying walking into next level of their life. Speakers make personal comments about each senior, and then I’ll shake hands with all of my teachers and walk through the gates for the last time.”

My first real play, in second grade, “The Jungle Book.” I was one of the monkeys — that will stay with me the rest of my life because it was so much fun. The story line is really fun, as well as the people that were in it and the way it all came together.

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