Earlier this summer, our Marketing Intern took it upon herself to make sure that you, our friends and patrons, get to know our staff a little bit more. She's gone back to college for her senior year, but we have a new Marketing Intern, Connor Norton, joining us for our upcoming season! He'll be continuing our Staff Spotlight Series, and up next he's interviewing Carolyn Thatcher, our Production Manager.
Carolyn is beginning her ninth season here at Virginia Stage Company. While a native Hoosier, she has made her home in Norfolk, Virginia. She has been known to work for several venues and organizations in the area such as the Virginia Arts Festival, The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Little Theatre of Norfolk, and Stage Right Lighting as a freelance lighting technician and designer. She previously worked as our Master Electrician and is excited to begin her tenure as Production Manager this season.
Marketing Intern: How did you come to work for Virginia Stage Company?
Carolyn Thatcher: In the spring of 2008, I went to Southeastern Theatre Conference Job fair in Tennessee and found the table for Virginia Stage Company. Julie Franklin was the first person I met from Virginia Stage; I gave her my resume and went to a party they hosted to welcome interested people. Not long after, they called me and offered me the position of Electrics Apprentice; I then moved up to Master Electrician and then Production Manager. If you can’t tell, I have a bit of a lighting ‘focus’ (Ba-Zing).
MI: Can you tell me a little about your background?
CT: I’m from a small town in Indiana that no one here will have heard of. I went to DePaw University for my BS (chuckle) in Theatre. While there, I worked for Summer Stock at Seaside Music Theatre in Florida. My first year was as a general tech worker, and then for two years I was an electrician. I then worked for Indiana Repetory Theatre as an over-hire electrician. After that, I moved here to Norfolk working for just about every group in the community I could: Stage Right Lighting, Sandler, Roper. I’ve designed and worked with Little Theatre of Norfolk & Virginia Beach, TR Dance, and others. You could say I find my way around the theatre world wherever I go.
MI: If you could produce any show, what would it be and why?
CT: Aida is always going to hold a special place in my heart; it was the first professional show I ever worked on. Great music, great story, and a little history. What’s more to love?
MI: Where is your favorite place to grab lunch in downtown Norfolk?
CT: Hokkaido, a sushi place right here in downtown Norfolk. No one needs to ask me that question more than once; I actually need to get back there or they’ll forget me…and my order.
MI: Favorite oxymoron?
CT: Jumbo Shrimp. I love them all, but that’s just what came to mind.
MI: What has changed here at Virginia Stage since you first began?
CT: Oh, so much. A lot of the staff, our co-productions and community engagements. With location, we used to be located in only the Monroe building, but now we are so spread out. The Wells Theatre renovation; it’s a lot of change, definitely.
MI: What are you looking forward to most this season?
CT: I’m definitely excited for The Wiz. It’s a huge show, and we haven’t tackled a show like that in a while on our own. But with NSU partnering with us, I think we’re going to make it work. And the talent and amazing students they’re bringing to us…I think it’s going to be really exciting.
MI: Where is your favorite place to be in the world and why?
CT: I don’t generally like to deal in favorites, so it’s hard…I mean, home is always really great for me in the summer. I mean…it’s home! It’s where I grew up, it’s countryside. I get to see my family. It’s a perfect rest, and it’s great to see my family all over.