BACKSTAGE AT THE REP: Rep Staff


Interning at the REP

By Rudy Gandara

Interning at the REP has been an extremely rewarding experience so far. I didn’t know what to expect at first; I was referred to the opening by Shelly Orr, my college professor who knew I was interested in dramaturgy. She said I would have a chance to do that kind of work here. I am intentionally vague about the kinds of work I do because of how ambiguous the role of a dramaturg is. Initially I wasn’t expecting much out of the internship to be honest; I figured they would just have me help with some extra research for an upcoming production and I’d email documents summarizing it. I’m happy to say it's been much more than that.

Yes, I was initially asked to help with research and that was fine because that's what I feel like I’m good at. I felt like that’s how I could be the most useful. I was told I would be working the most directly with Patrice Amon in the artistic department and all of my assignments would come from her.  This is an important detail because I don’t think I would enjoy being here as much if it wasn’t for her. Right from the start she saw that I was capable of doing the needed research but trusted me to go out of my comfort zone to expand on that. I went on my own to different museums and reached out to people directly that could be useful sources of information. Introducing myself as “Rudy from the San Diego REP’s literary department,” I got a lot of practice on how to make myself sound important. I think I was able to do that because Patrice made me feel important as a member of the artistic team rather than “this-season's-whatever-extra-help-intern.” Aside from the field research, Patrice found ways to utilize my interests and skills in ways that would not only benefit the theatre but would help me understand how to reach my own goals. It's never been “Do this do this do that” but rather “Hey we need help with this. Would you be interested in (insert opportunity here)?” She took into account who I was and how I would most fit into the overall development process.

My time at the REP has been a growing process and I’ve learned a lot about the production process and myself. Thank you Shelly for telling Danielle about me, and thank you Danielle for putting me with Patrice, and thank you Patrice for teaching me so much. Even if my role is extremely minor compared to the hard work I see everyone doing it’s been a very rewarding role so far.  


 

STAFF TOP TEN

Summer is heating up in San Diego, and any good San Diegan has their sworn by method of beating the heat. Here are the top ten ways that REP staff like to cool down when it gets too darn hot, like our man Cole Porter said.

10. Escape North

9. Enjoy a nice, cool beer

8. Visit the spa (Korean Day Spa or Glen Ivy Hot Springs are recommended by Patty Rangel, our Marketing & Public Relations Assistant)

7. Visit friends and family who have better AC than you do

6. Hit the pool!

5. Rent a hotel room (Our Production Manager John Anderson recommends the junior suite at The Lamplighter)

4. Take a bike ride along the coast

3. Hit the beach!

2. Put a sheet in the freezer and then lay underneath it

And the number one answer, and perhaps the most genius invention known to man....

1. Lie on the living room floor, with a fan on either side of you, with their rotations oscillating in opposite directions (Thanks to Jacole Kitchen, our Casting Director)


STAFF PROFILE

We're sitting down with Kevin Lohmann, who was recently promoted to a new position. While we've spoken with Kevin before, we wanted to catch up with him and chat about his new position.

1) What is your new title?
I am now the Marketing & Public Relations Manager.

2) What is new about your position compared to your previous one?
Well, before, when I was the Marketing Specialist, the majority of my duties were managing our graphic design projects, (meaning our playbills, ads, posters, etc.) along with social media, emails, and other things. With my new position, we've brought public relations in house and I now manage that process. I still manage our graphic design firm, but on a bit more of a higher level. I now also have a little team of my own with myself and our new Marketing & Public Relations Assistant. 

3) How are you liking the new position?
Getting to manage someone else is a trip. It's my first time being a manager and Patty has made it both easy and fun. But it's more time consuming than I had thought. I do enjoy getting out of the groundwork a bit, though, and getting to think more strategically. That's really nice.

4) What project(s) are you working on right now?
I am living in what I like to call "JFest Land." Basically everything I am doing right now is devoted to our Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival. The mailing brochure, the playbill, the ads, the flyers.... The list goes on. But it's great. JFest is a lot of fun and there are so many different projects and events.

5) What draws you to The REP? Theoretically you could work for any theatre company, but is there something in particular that you find special about the REP?
The work is what draws me here and keeps me here. The theatre's artistic vision is really unique. You'd be hard pressed to find another theatre that's devoted to producing works by minority voices. On top of that, we have a heavy committment to NEW work by those playwrights. That's extremely rare.


STAFF PROFILE

This time around, we sit down with REP Development Manager Jodie Weisenberg, who will be celebrating her first complete year at The REP very soon. Read on to learn more about Jodie and what she does to make award winning theatre!

1) What is your official title?
Development Manager

2) How long have you been with The REP? Was it always in the same position, or have you done multiple jobs here?
I began working for The REP, after moving from Arizona, in April 2015.  I have worked in the same position and love interfacing with our patrons.

3) There are no “average” days at the theatre, but what does a day at work consist of for you?
Like many in the non-profit world, I wear many hats.  “My hats” include donor correspondence, database oversight, event planning/execution, spreadsheets, and more.  My favorite days are the days that I get to interact with theater-goers, subscribers, and donors!  The people who support The REP are what make my days worthwhile.

4) What project(s) are you working on right now?
In addition to my day-to-day work, I am working on the Spring Appeal so that we end the fiscal year with a strong annual fundraising campaign.  I am also working on the San Diego REP Ruby Reunion, which is going to be the party of the year!  The REP Ruby Reunion will not only celebrate The REP’s 40 years of contributions to the community, but also Sam’s contributions.  This is a banner year for The REP and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

5) What draws you to The REP? Theoretically you could work for any theatre company, but is there something in particular that you find special about the REP?
I’ve worked for several other theatre companies including Phoenix Theatre, Arizona Broadway Theatre, and Arizona Theatre Company.  The work that The REP does is important and unique to San Diego.  “Celebrating the multiple voices of our region” really resonates with people.  My favorite thing about working for The REP is the staff and stakeholders that make the magic (aka art) come to life.

6) What is your favorite show that The REP has ever produced?
My favorite show that The REP has ever produced is the Tony-nominated It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues, which I saw in Arizona in 2004.  I’ve been fortunate to see a lot of theater in my lifetime, my grandmother first took me to Children’s Theatre Company when I was 4, and It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues still speaks (or “sings”) to me in ways that no other production ever has.  That’s why I believe the art of theatre is so important, it makes us experience feelings in the dark with a group of people that we’ve only just met.  


 

STAFF PROFILE

Kevin Lohmann became a member of The REP family in late August of 2015 after previously working at The Old Globe as the Marketing Assistant and graduating from San Diego State University with a Master's in Business Administration. We sat down with Kevin to learn a bit more about himself and his work at The REP.

What is your position with The REP? 

I am the Marketing Specialist; the title is a bit misleading, however. Even though I am a "Specialist," I am perhaps the most generalist position in the Marketing department. Basically I am the "traffic cop" for the department. I manage our graphic design and PR projects, our print and mailing materials, and other such things.

What is your favorite part of working at The REP?

Every day I get to live out my dream. I'm doing exactly what I hoped I would be after getting my MBA. Not only do I get to work in Marketing, but I get the opportunity to do it at a wonderful theatre that produces amazing work. Also the free tickets are pretty sweet.

Do you have a favorite play or musical?

Oh gosh. This is probably the worst question to ask a theatre kid. Like most of the theatre world right now, I'm currently obsessed with Hamilton. I'm a big Lin-Manuel Miranda fan. One of my favorite plays will always be Death of a Salesman. I also really love this small and under-produced play called Charm. It was a Pulitzer finalist in 2011 and I was lucky enough to get to direct a production of it when I was in college. It's a beautiful play about Margaret Fuller; she was one of the transcendentalists writing in the mid-1800s with Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. The play feels very much like a coming-of-age story, just in a transcendental way. It's all about her learning how to love, be loved and explores all those different kinds of love (familial, platonic, romantic, sexual, etc.) and how that makes us fit into the world around us. It's very sweet and heartfelt, but also heartbreaking at times. It also uses a lot of magical realism, which I LOVE. It's just gorgeous.

What does a day at work look like for you?

I live and die by my email. Since our graphic design and PR is outsourced, I spend almost all of my time in my email. So there's that, proofing design materials, ordering printings, posting to social media, designing our weekly eblasts, managing content on the website and just generally making sure I don't go crazy with the number of projects I have to keep my thoughts on at any given time. 


 

STAFF PROFILE

Marley Healy joined the REP staff in the middle of 2015, originally as the Marketing Fellow. She quickly became an essential asset of the department and her role changed greatly, now being a full time employee. We sat down with Marley to ask her a few questions.

What is your job at The REP?

I am the Audience Engagement Curator at San Diego Repertory Theatre. Essentially my job is to create and then coordinate an engaging environment and experiences for our audience for each of the six productions in each season. This includes curating and coordinating The REP’s art gallery spaces.

How long have you been at The REP?

I have been working at The Rep since July 2015, so I haven’t been here too terribly long.

What is your favorite thing about working at The REP?

My favorite thing about working at The REP is the unmitigated lack of conventionality of it.

What is your favorite color?

My favorite color is green.

What is your favorite movie?

I never know how to give a simple answer to this question because I love movies and everything is my “favorite” for different reasons. Can trilogies count as single movies? I could watch The Lord of the Rings into eternity! I also love Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Jurassic Park, and Caddyshack. The list goes on and on…


STAFF TOP TEN

Everyone loves Christmas movies, and so does the REP Staff. Check out our REP Staff's Top Ten Christmas Movies:  

1.       Christmas Vacation

2.       Home Alone

3.       Elf

4.       A Christmas Story

5.       The Santa Clause

6.       Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

7.       How the Grinch Stole Christmas

8.       Die Hard

9.       A Muppet Christmas Carol

10.     White Christmas

And a very special vote from our Artistic Director, Sam Woodhouse:

11.     Apocalypse Now!


STAFF TOP TEN

Everyone loves Halloween movies, and so does the REP Staff. Check out our REP Staff's Top Ten Halloween Movies:  

1.       Shaun of the Dead

2.       Hocus Pocus

3.       It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

4.       The Nightmare Before Christmas

5.       The Rocky Horror Picture Show

6.       28 Days Later

7.       Saw

8.       The Ring

9.       The Evil Dead

10.     Cabin in the Woods

 

And a very special vote from our Patron Services Manager, Rojo Reynolds:

11.   Pumpkinhead!


REP Staff Profile

We sat down with Jacole Kitchen, Assistant Director of The Oldest Boy, and asked her about why she loves The REP.

 

1) What is your official title?

I am the Casting Director and Artistic Associate with San Diego REP.

 

2) How long have you been with The REP? Was it always in the same position, or have you done multiple jobs here?

I started at the REP in September of 2012 and although my position and title have remained the same, my job has evolved greatly over the past three years. In addition to my regular casting and artistic associate duties, I have been Sam’s assistant director on Detroit and Honky, and will be working with Sam once again on our production of The Oldest Boy, I was the artistic producer for The REP’s 40th Season announcement party, and most recently was the in-house producer for our current production, My Mañana Comes.

 

3) There are no “average” days at the theatre, but what does a day at work consist of for you?

A typical day for me depends on what time of year it is and what hat I am currently wearing. A typical day for me as a casting director consists of sorting through up to hundreds of headshots and resumes trying to find actors who look like they might be right for a given project, scheduling the actual auditions, re-scheduling the auditions when people’s conflicts arise, chasing down actors for confirmations, creating sides (scenes cut from the play for the actors to read for the audition), and getting on the same page with the director to make sure that I what I am seeing and responding to matches what (s)he is going to respond to.

As the artistic associate, much of my days consist of reading plays that our literary manager has selected as a possible project for us to produce and would like someone to give their thoughts on. It’s exciting to know that I have an actual voice in our season selection. I also spend a lot of time making and reviewing calendars and other documents that are needed to make the director’s life easier once (s)he is in rehearsal. And as the only full time member of the artistic department besides Sam, I am the artistic liaison to the actors, designers and other collaborators prior to the start of rehearsal. Sorry you asked?

 

4) What project(s) are you working on right now?

I am the producer for My Manana Comes so I’m keeping an eye on how everything is going with that production. We are in pre-production for The Oldest Boy so I am working hard to make sure that Sam has everything he needs for a successful start to rehearsal. I am in preparation to direct a reading with the affiliate group that was born out of San Diego REP, the Amigos del REP, and deep in season planning for Season 41.

 

5) What draws you to The REP? Theoretically you could work for any theatre company, but is there something in particular that you find special about the REP?

The REP’s mission and commitment to diversity is what drew me into the REP and what has made it my artistic home here in San Diego.

 

6) What is your favorite show that The REP has ever produced?

Oh, that’s a tough one, so I’ll narrow it down to two.

In The Heights will always be held in the highest of standards to me. It was the first show that I cast at The REP from start to finish and I am extremely proud of that, and it is to me, one of the best contemporary musicals ever written, but there was something very special about OUR production. The cast was amazing both on and off stage, the direction, the choreography, everything. It was insurmountable. But if I had to pick one favorite, it would probably have to be HONKY. I was an extremely strong advocate for us to produce this show in the first place. Rumor has it that I may have threatened to quit my job if we didn’t produce it, so I on a personal level, I’m so happy that we did, but also because our production was so good, that it garnered national attention and will be the pilot episode of PBS’s new series, On Stage In America. 

 

 
 
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