Meet Rosemary Jones, a double major in comparative history of ideas and drama, specializing in stage management. This is Rosemary’s second year at UW and she will be graduating in the Fall of 2020. Rosemary grew up in Gig Harbor WA, completed running start in high school, and then chose to attend the UW. Initially, she wasn’t intending to be a drama major.
Rosemary says “I started doing theatre in high school and I was really dead set on performance. I took a break from theatre and then I came here as a philosophy and political science double major. I ended up doing stage management by accident. I came to Anne [Stewart, Production Manager] because I missed doing theatre and I wanted to do running crew for a show. And Anne said 'Congratulations, you’re the ASM [assistant stage manager] for Rutherford and Son.' And then I found out pretty quickly that the assistant director for the show had been shunted into also stage managing. And she asked if I wanted to be the stage manager.” Rosemary said "yes," and the rest is history.
What do you know now that you didn’t know when you started here?
The biggest thing I’ve learned as a person is where I fit into the world as an artist. And that’s absolutely as a facilitator of other people’s work. Like down to my core my passion is helping other people execute their art. There’s nothing that gives me a kick like helping somebody structure their project, making it easy for them, and letting them really get to play because I’ve taken care of all the other details.
Any plans for after graduation or dreams for the future that you can share?
Since I’m graduating in the fall, I’ll definitely be sticking around for at least another year in the Seattle area. I’m going to apply for the Seattle Rep apprenticeship. And I’m going to apply to Yale for their MFA in stage management. But first I hope to establish myself and get more experience in the Seattle theatre scene. I’m also interested in trying out the east coast…
One of my longtime dreams is working for OSF [The Oregon Shakespeare Festival]. I don’t like cities and OSF is the dream. It’s in a little town and they do incredible theatre and nine-month contracts! OSF is really the fantasy.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time here?
It’s hard, I’ve done a surprisingly large amount of shows for how long I’ve been here. The nice thing about stage managing here is there is no reason to be out of work. Melancholy Play, which I did with UTS [the Undergraduate Theatre Society], was probably my favorite show that I’ve ever stage managed for. Opening Three Sisters was definitely one of my proudest moments. I had to stretch myself a lot as a stage manager for this one. Working with Jeffrey [Fracé, director and co-adapter of Three Sisters] was incredible and I loved it so much and it’s one of the largest challenges I’ve ever had because the man is unpredictable. It was a wild experience to work with him and plan out all the logistics.
What advice do you have to people who might follow in your footsteps?
I feel a little weird giving advice as I haven’t made it yet. Just do as many shows as you can. Stick your finger in every single pie you can; that’s one of the greatest things about this school is that between the mix of School of Drama and other things going on on campus there’s an opportunity to do just about anything... It’s a great way to get experience and grow your confidence as an artist because you’ve done a little bit of everything.
Why do we need theatre?
I need theatre because I need a way to do art that is fast and ever-changing. In theatre, there’s always pressure to get it done as good as possible and quickly and there’s so many different constraints, and the space in between those constraints is where the art happens. Because it’s so hard! Because of all the things stopping you, that’s what makes it so incredibly good. And the fact that it’s always doing something new. Theatre keeps me working and keeps me improving.