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

My name is Melissa A. Nathan and I’m the Production Stage Manager. After a brief stop home in NY, I’ll be heading to Baton Rouge, LA in the fall to stage manage Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Swine Palace/Louisiana State University (I did my last show there as well).

What most excites you about being a part of TAM’s 50th Anniversary Season?

The shows, the people, and being a part of such an exciting milestone.

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 feel like a lot of places concentrate mostly on newer plays, so I try to make the most of my time with Classic Theatre. I love the stories and the language. It can be so educational and transformative. It also can be done in a variety of ways. I’ve done four very different productions of Twelfth Night and they all worked well.

Who inspires you and why?

All of the stage managers I have worked with and those who I can talk to and get advice from. Those people have helped me become the stage manager I am today.

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

This is such a hard question! I would have to say Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barbara Walters. It may seem like an odd combination, but all three of them were born in the same year and yet lived extremely different (and not necessarily full) lives.

What recent accomplishment are you most proud of?

On my last show, we had to fire two of our actors the day before opening. We canceled five (!) performances in order for us to find and rehearse two actors (one we flew in from the West Coast and one from the ensemble who was moved up). Throughout the whole ordeal, I even surprised myself with how calm I was. Somehow, I just knew everything was going to be ok and it was. I was very proud of myself and my cast (which was a mixture of professional actors, graduate, and undergraduate students) for making it through the rest of the run with ease, grace, and no more incidents!

What’s your super power?

Mind reading. Just kidding; I haven’t been able to master that one yet. Seriously though, I’m pretty good in a crisis and my paperwork is my pride and joy.