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Performing Art
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, May. 19, 2010 7 years ago

The golden touch

by: Heidi Kurpiela Contributing Writer

It’s hard to imagine Alyssa Goudy getting stern with actors. Bubbly and gregarious, the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre’s 28-year-old stage manager is better known for her contagious laugh than she is for her disciplinary tactics.

Still, there are some things Goudy just can’t tolerate — like changing something on stage without asking her first.

“If you asked me first and I thought it legitimately got a laugh and worked within the world of the show, I’d say, ‘Absolutely, let’s try it,’” Goudy says. “But don’t just decide to throw something on stage without talking to a fellow actor or me.”

Goudy characteristically softens the statement with a guffaw and admits that she’s had to work hard at putting her foot down, especially when it comes to giving actors notes when she thinks a scene needs work.

“I’m not as hard as I should be,” she says. “There are times that I need to kind of crack down more on the actors and I won’t, because sometimes they can take it to what I call ‘the kindergarten level.’”

Another giggle.

“Not all actors are like that,” she says. “I’ve only had a handful like that — although sometimes egos flare up and you never see it coming. It’s a very delicate thing to give an actor a note. Nobody likes to be told they’re doing something wrong.”

Goudy bounced between the Golden Apple’s box office, scene shop and control booth for six years, before stepping in as the company’s full-time stage manager four years ago.

An Indiana native, she majored in theater studies at Anderson University, where she learned to be “a Jack-of-all-trades, master of none,” learning the ins and outs of ticket sales to prop gathering to costume design to hair and makeup.

The well-roundedness has served her well.

Says Goudy: “Theater can be a very difficult environment. It’s not unusual for 250 actresses to show up for one role. You can’t just expect to be cast. If you want to work in this industry, you have to know how to do other stuff.”

She counts her senior project — producing, cutting and directing Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” ­­— as one of her most “rewarding and wrenching” triumphs to date. The experience further cemented her desire to direct.

“I love the idea of seeing something in your head and making it an actualization,” says Goudy, who also works part-time at Build-A-Bear Workshop in the Westfield Sarasota Square Mall. “It’s incredibly rewarding.”

Even though she’s too busy to see this ambition to fruition right now, Goudy has begun writing monologues for an original work titled “Techies, the Musical,” which she’s scribbled on scraps of paper in various places throughout her house.

“I’ll write it one day,” she says. “When I’m 60 and have more time.”

Her focus right now is on managing the theater’s current show, “­­The Andrews Brothers,” a 1940s-era musical about a trio of singing soldiers performing USO gigs in the South Pacific.

Things might slow down in the summer everywhere else in Sarasota, but at the Golden Apple, programming continues through August.

If You Go

“The Andrews Brothers” plays through May 30, at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre. For more information, call 366-5454 or visit

Contact Heidi Kurpiela at [email protected].

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