Assistant stage manager shines

Meshach Mandel helps to oversee, produce fall show


Used with permission from Meshach Mandel.

Gabriel Kaplan

In his first time filling the role of assistant stage manager at Park, sophomore Meshach Mandel said he has loved working with the cast and crew while organizing the fall play.

“I’ve always liked theater as a whole, I used to see a lot of plays and musicals as a kid,” Mandel said. “In my 8th-grade year, I was assistant stage manager, and I really enjoyed it. I liked the feeling of crew and of the show days, and I liked the responsibility of it and the challenge — it’s difficult to run a show well.”

According to friend and castmate sophomore Gwen Rockler-Gladen, Mandel focuses on supporting each actor in portraying their characters compellingly.

“Without distance (learning) it would be a lot more hands-on,” Rockler-Gladen said. “He’ll give us directions on delivery of lines and decide if we need to resay or something or use more emotion. It’s almost like having another director role.”

Mandel said he especially enjoys coordinating the various members of the cast and taking part in rehearsal.

“I like running the meetings,” Mandel said. “To step into a managerial role like running the entire thing, that was very cool. It’s fun sometimes to read people’s parts if they’re not there, which is something I get to do, so I can play around with it.”

Throughout his few months as assistant stage manager, director Jodi Schifsky said Mandel has done an impeccable job.

“He’s a great fit, he’s got wonderful ideas, patience, grace and he’s willing to step up and fill any spot that needs to be filled on any given day,” Schifsky said. “He has been a great creative energy, and I can’t wait to see more of what he can do when we have more opportunities (in-person).”

According to Rockler-Gladen, Mandel humbly and effectively directs those in the show.

“He’s always really good at giving directions without acting like he knows more than us — working as a peer rather than superior,” Rockler-Gladen said. “He handles the role really professionally, without goofing off or anything. He’s always present and works really well.”

Mandel said that he feels best suited for stage management.

“I do prefer this to the other roles just because it’s my main interest in theater, being a stage manager,” Mandel said. “If there’s a (stage managing) position available, I’ll apply and see if they want me back again.”

Schifsky said she hopes Mandel will continue to pursue stage management in future shows.

“I would love to have him step up and take control when we are physically together too. That’s when it gets a little more stressful as a stage manager,” Schifksy said. “At that point, they start running the show from backstage during actual performances.”