We look to the past to shape our future. Who are you? Where are you going from here?

I’m Sydney! I’m from the Bay Area in California and go to school at UC San Diego, heading into my senior year. I love writing, dungeons and dragons, and my dog. I’ve been stage managing since high school, so I’m excited to be in Monmouth continuing my stage management career! I’m hoping to make stage management my profession, but I’m also a writer and would love to see more of my playwriting work get produced in the future as well. I don’t have a solid plan, but I’d like to explore all kinds of theaters. It would be great to travel, so I’m glad to be traveling across the country to work. Maybe next summer it’ll be across the world!

What most excites you about being a part of TAM’s Brave New Worlds Season?

There are so many things that excite me! I think the biggest one is the location. I’ve never been
to Maine, and I’m rarely on the east coast, so I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be working so far from home and with people from all over. Maine is a beautiful state, and one I’m ready to
explore. One of my professors already told me to try a lobster roll for her.

We’re all about making old things new and new things classic. Why are you drawn to Classic Theatre? How do you shake it up?

I love classical theatre, especially Shakespeare, because of how you can shake things up in so many different ways! You can set it in any place or time period and discover so many new nuances with characters depending on who you cast. My favorite thing to do to shake up classic theatre is to make it queer! I love genderbent casting and exploring queer themes. So much of Shakespeare is already so queer, with women playing men playing women and complex relations to gender. Other classical authors like Oscar Wilde also have a lot of queer text and subtext that can be explored more openly than it could in the past.

From what sources do you draw your inspiration?

I draw inspiration from a lot of strange places. I love actual play shows, which are shows where people play tabletop role playing games together and collectively create a story. I love how they balance structure and freedom. It’s such a great exercise in improvisation and collaboration. I also love Sarah Ruhl’s work, she’s impacted my playwriting style greatly. Melancholy Play is my favorite from her. Cartoon Saloon is an animation studio that’s also influenced my artistic tastes. I love their animation style and storytelling. A final influence I could name is Amy Rose Capetta’s work, especially The Lost Coast. I have so many other influences, but I’ll leave it at that!

You can have dinner with any three influential people. Who are your dream guests, why them, and what is the topic of conversation?

My dream guests would be Casey McQuiston, Aabria Iyengar, and Taika Waititi. All three of them are storytellers in different mediums (novels, ttrpgs, and film). I’d love to talk to them about storytelling, how their lives have influenced the stories they’ve put out into the world and how they’ve built a career on their imaginations.

How have the past few years changed your view of making theater and what action are you most proud of?

Especially as I went into college, I realized just how much a stage manager does, and how intense yet exciting professional theatre can be. It gave me an even stronger appreciation for theatre makers and the work they put in. I’m most proud of my work as the production stage manager for Muir Musical’s The Rocky Horror Show at UCSD. It was the first full-length production I was the lead stage manager on, and it was a huge undertaking. From auditions to showtime in less than ten weeks! It had a lot of challenges, but I’m so proud of myself and my team and how we overcame them.

What’s your superpower?

I have an encyclopedic knowledge of Phineas and Ferb. And if I could choose a more supernatural superpower, I’d love to be a shapeshifter.