All The World's A Stage
All the World's A Stage: Aligning the stars is all in a day’s work for graduating student, Emily Melgard, from the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.
During her four years as a student in the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Idaho, Emily Melgard learned that she could do anything she set her mind to. A Boise native, Melgard graduates in May with a Bachelor of Science from the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.
Though she did a bit of acting in high school, it was her UI experience behind the scenes where she found her true calling. Melgard served as the stage manager for two UI Shakespeare productions —“Cymbeline” and “As You Like It.” Both had large casts and serious responsibilities.
“Emily is a talented stage manager because she is such a multifaceted theatremaker,” said Matt Foss, assistant professor of Theatre Arts, and director of “Cymbeline”. “She has a strong directing eye, an informed aesthetic, and is an asset to any room she is a part of.”
As stage manager, Melgard worked alongside Foss scheduling and running rehearsals, recording director decisions and communicating to the cast and crew. During performances, she called cues and entrances and made sure everything ran smoothly.
“I like being part of the process and seeing all the different sides come together,” Melgard said.
Both plays presented their own challenges. “Cymbeline” had a giant fight sequence, projectors and a live band; while “As You Like It” had a lengthy wrestling scene and live music.
“She was well organized and on top of everything,” said Keely Wright-Ogren, a Master of Fine Arts candidate who served as projection technician for “Cymbeline” and “As You Like It”. “Emily leads her crew really well. She’s gracious and firm when necessary.”
Her skills impressed a panel of judges at the Region 7 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in February 2016, where she was a first-time presenter, sharing her prompt book and other materials from “Cymbeline.”
“I was nervous but excited to get feedback,” Melgard said. “I got the most constructive criticism.”
For her efforts, Melgard was received the first-place stage management award for the Region 7 KCACTF. She attended the national KCACTF conference in Washington, D.C., April 11-15.
She and seven other top student stage managers from around the country visited theater companies and spent time with production, stage and general managers.
“It was a unique experience,” Melgard said, and it made her feel positive about her future in theater. “It showed that you can get your foot in the door and it’s possible to have a stable career.”
This summer, Melgard will spend her second season with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise, where she’ll work as a production assistant. After that, the skies the limit.
“You can end up doing anything,” Melgard said.