The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

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Loy Norrix senior learns essential leadership skills through theater

Credit: Eleanor Cook
Then a junior, Nina Holm operates the pulleys in the flyspace during the 2022 production of “Legally Blonde.” Holm has been involved in theater at Norrix for two years, and this was one of many productions she’s worked backstage on.

Imagine a class of 30 high school students in an auditorium rushing to learn their dances, lines, places on stage and where props need to go all before opening night. During the chaos of it all, someone has to be in charge to keep everything organized and in order. That’s the role of being stage manager: a job senior Nina Holm has prided herself in doing the past few years. 

Nina decided to join theater two years ago. She has learned many different skills working as a stage manager for numerous productions, where she learned many different skills, especially leadership.

“It was just a great experience for me,” said Nina. “It helped me grow as a leader, and it also helped me make new friends.” 

Nina started out as an assistant stage manager during her junior year because she was informed about an open spot for the job. She jumped at the opportunity and has continued doing it ever since. 

Over time, she has worked her way up to becoming the head stage manager for multiple theater productions at school. Nina has been a spotlight on the crew of “Something Rotten,” an assistant stage manager on “Legally Blonde,” a stage manager for “Almost Maine” and lastly, this year, she was the head stage manager for the casting of “Oklahoma.”

 As a stage manager, you’re in charge of the set, lights, music and calling queues to tell actors and crew members what to do. This is a job that is vital to any theater production. Although being a stage manager is a challenging job that requires a lot of work, it’s rewarding in the end with an average salary of $56 thousand, according to Salary.Com.

“The stage manager has to make sure everything goes off smoothly, so I’d say, by far, they’re the most important person in the theater,” said drama teacher Daniel Lafferty.

Outside of school, Nina is also a member of the KU Ultimate Frisbee team. When she was given the opportunity to be a co-captain, she was able to use the skills she learned from being a stage manager and apply them while working on the team. 

“I think it helps that I had such a big leadership role in the musicals,” said Nina, “because then I knew what it was like to take the lead.” 

Nina has observed that being a stage manager has also taught her organizational skills. As a stage manager, you have to help organize materials on set as well as organize your own notes. This has helped her with many tasks such as keeping her schoolwork organized, her room organized and other aspects of her life more organized as well.

Nina will continue her journey in theater this summer by attending an acting class in Norway. Although she anticipates the language barrier will be a bit of a struggle, she hopes to learn even more skills from studying theater and acting abroad.

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Eleanor Cook
Eleanor Cook, Executive Editor
Hi, I'm Eleanor and I'm the executive editor for Knight Life. I'm a junior this year, and it's my third year on Knight Life. It's critical to me that youth opinions and voices are heard, which is the main reason I took Journalism freshman year. I'm partial to hair ribbons, cats, and dresses.
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