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An Interview With...Loni Stein
STARTING OUT
How did you get started in theatre?
I had acted in 5th and 6th grade plays, and I realized that acting wasn't my thing. When I was about 12, my sister, Shira, said that the show she was currently working on (The Sound of Music), needed extra stage hands. It was taking place at The Stage Theatre. At first, I didn't really want to, but my mom gave me the extra push and I decided to help out. Little did I know that I would fall in love with it.
What was the first show you ever worked on?
The first show I worked on was The Sound of Music. I was a stage hand.
What was first show you ever saw?
Will Roger's Follies
WHAT I DO
What is your position on a production?
I'm a Stage Manager.
What does your job entail? What are the duties of a stage manager?
Being the Stage Manager, I need to have EVERYTHING organized. I make sure rehearsals run smoothly, everyone in the cast/production staff has everything they need, and most of all, the show is ready to open. I help clean the theatre when I see it's needed, I help seat people, I also help out at tech weeks, even if it isn't a show I'm doing, just to make sure all of the technical aspects run smoothly.
Did you go to school to learn what you do?
Well I'm still in High School, but I plan on going to college to major in technical theatre. I'm looking into Emerson.

MY THEATER EXPERIENCE
What has been your favorite show to work on?
Wow, I have had so many favorites! But if I were to choose one, it would have to be Cabaret, which was just done at The Stage Theatre this past winter, directed by Tony Georgean.
What motivates you to keep doing what your doing?
My parents, but mostly my sister Shira. Shira is an actress, but she supports me all the time in everything I do. One reason I enjoy theatre so much is because it keeps her and I so close together.
How do you feel about pre-casting?
Is this a trick question? To be quite honest, I am not a fan of the pre-casting. I think that by pre-casting, you are not allowing yourself to see talent out there that has not been seen by anyone yet.

What was your worst theater experience?
Hands down, the production of Annie that I stage Managed. I have never seen so many tables/chairs/ CHILDREN in my life! Never again will I do that show!
What was your best theater experience?
I feel like every show that I enjoy doing, is my best experience. I can't pick just one, because they are each perfect in their own way.
If you could give one message to ALL of the actors out there, what would it be?
Be nice and respectful to your stage managers, because in the end, you may not have that prop you need! Also, GET OFF BOOK!

If you could give one message to ALL the directors out there, what would it be?
Don't assume anything! Also, don't leave blocking to the last minute!

If you could give one message to ALL the other techies out there, what would it be?
Be patient and courteous! If you don't have those two qualities, you will never be respected.

Why do you work at the theatres that you do?
Although it may not seem like it, in the end, they respect me, and appreciate everything I do. I enjoy the atmosphere, and of course, the people.

FUN
Do you think Long Island theater will continue to grow?
Absolutely!

What brings you greatest joy?
Seeing the audiences' faces of satisfaction after a great show!
What irks you?
Actors that won't help with scene changes! It's just "not their thing"...
If you won lotto tomorrow you would...
Buy my mom the powder blue convertible she always wanted, buy my own theatre, and give the rest to my family.

Is it true you would rather be rich than good looking?
No! Because if your good looking, you can always attract a rich man!

What's your favorite word?
"Places!"

Assuming that there is a heaven, what do you want to hear when you get there?
"The theatre is swept and ready to go. But before we open the house, your family is here, they want to wish you good luck!"

THE FUTURE

Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like the readers to know about?
I am Stage Managing "Annie Get Your Gun" at the Stage Theatre until June 20, 2004 and I'm going to be doing an internship at the Tilles Center next year for technical theatre.
What is your dream theatrical project?
To work on any show on Broadway! And if my sister happened to be part of that production...that would make it even better!