We sat down with the stage manager for The Happiest Song Plays Last and over 20 year veteran of the Goodman, Kim Osgood, to learn more about what it is like to work in the theater.
Neena Arndt: How long have you worked at the Goodman?
Kim Osgood: My first production was Marvin's Room in 1990. Wow–I’m realizing my current intern was only six months old then.
NA: What drew you to work in this position, and/or what drew you to work in theatre?
KO: When I was a kid my parents were involved with a community theatre, and I went with my Mom to watch a rehearsal. I remember a woman sitting onstage at a switchboard singing with a mop on her head and I thought - “this is for me.” In college and graduate school I studied acting and directing, and considered both as career options. But being a stage manager allowed me to be involved in all aspects of production, and it also allowed me to work with a large range of artists. That incredible variety and the very high artistic standards of both artists and staff at the Goodman have made these last 23 years a very interesting and rewarding experience.
NA: What are your primary job duties?
KO: My job is a combination of ringmaster and air traffic controller.
NA: Is there anything you do in your job that most people find surprising, or that they wouldn’t expect you to do?
KO: People are often surprised to hear that I am involved with the show before we start rehearsals and that I am at every rehearsal and performance. They also usually don’t realize that I not only “call” the show, but that I am also responsible for the artistic maintenance of the production after we open.
NA: In what capacity do you support or interact with artists?
KO: My favorite is helping to create a safe, supportive – and hopefully fun - atmosphere in the rehearsal room, where the artists can focus on bringing the play to life.
NA: What has been your favorite Goodman production during the time you’ve worked here?
KO: There have been too many to name.
NA: Do you work with other theatre companies around town?
KO: I have worked at Steppenwolf, Court, and Northlight theatres.
NA: What are your hobbies?
KO: I’ll let you know after I retire.
NA: Who is your favorite A Christmas Carol character and why?
KO: Back when the Goodman Theatre was still housed at the Art Institute, we did a wonderful one man show in the Studio Theatre that Tom Mula wrote and performed called Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol. I think anyone that saw that show would agree with me that Tom made you fall in love with all the characters.