IMG_0002What’s your deal? Who are you? What’s your story?
My name is Tannis Boyajian and I am the assistant technical director here at TAM this year. I am currently a second year graduate student in Yale School of Drama’s Technical Design and Production program. I graduated from undergrad at Salem State College in Salem, MA in 2012. Since then I have been working at a variety of theaters and schools in and around the Boston area until I decided to return to school last fall. This is my second, although not consecutive, year with TAM and I am delighted to be back.

What is the biggest misconception about your job?
Most people who are not involved in theatre do not know what my job is. Once I tell them that I build scenery, nine times out of 10, they think I am a designer. As a technical director or assistant technical director, we take the designs the scenic designer has created and figure out how to make their vision a reality. From budgeting the cost of the materials to drafting the scenic elements to send to the shop floor to overseeing the construction, rigging, and installation of the set into the theater, a technical director wears many hats. The actual design of the set comes from someone else entirely.

What is your  idea of the most perfect day?
Being outside. Taking a walk along the coast or hiking some wooded trail. Maybe exploring a historic fort or old building or maybe rock climbing or swimming. Definitely some sort of adventure. Then coming home and cooking a meal, preferably with a few friends. I always learn something new when my friends and I cook together and the house is always filled with laughter. Cooking is one of the things I miss the most while working at TAM. Then settling in for the evening and watching a movie.

If it were a rainy day, (which I quite enjoy from time to time) I’d probably curl up in front of a big window with a good book and a strong cup of tea (or two, or five). In the afternoon I would bake something: scones or bread or cookies. Baking always makes the house feel warm and cheerful on a dreary day.

What is your superpower?
I don’t really have one talent or skill that I would consider myself good enough at to call a super power. I am more of a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Knowing a little bit of a variety of skills has helped me out of a number of sticky and sometimes rather strange situations. Whether it is sewing, sailing, swordsmanship, cake decorating, lifeguarding, or gardening (to name a few) the unusual skills I’ve picked up along the way have proved invaluable in one way or another.

IMG_9999What was your first impression of TAM?
My first impression of TAM was that it was a small little theatre company in the wilds of Maine. Which it is. However, what I discovered was that this small little theatre company has big dreams and brings together some of the most wonderful and interesting people to make those dreams happen. What surprised me more was how well known the theater is. Everywhere I go someone knows about TAM.


Among the many shows you’ve worked on, what’s your favorite?
I think my favorite show I’ve ever worked on was A Christmas Carol at North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, MA. It is a show that they do every year with a stock set but it is a HUGE production. Everyone comes together at the end of the season to re-assemble the set stored in an on-site trailer and off-site warehouse. What I enjoy the most is the huge variety of elements that go into the production. It has a little bit of everything; flying performers, scenery that pops out of the stage or is hoisted in or out on hydraulic or pneumatic motors or flown by the crew, a stage lift, a slip stage, fog, haze, confetti drops, air, scenic and actor operated pyrotechnics. Then, as it is the last show of the season and due to its size and complexity, the shop staff joins the run crew for the show. [The production] has a real sense of community. Everyone pitches in and helps out all the other departments to put on one heck of show.