Behind the stage with Kamy Veith and Maddy Cuff

ANHS juniors and Lightning theatre stage managers Kamy Veith, pictured left, and Maddy Cuff, pictured right, show a small glimpse of The Little Mermaid’s set.

Photo by Caroline Holmes

ANHS juniors and Lightning theatre stage managers Kamy Veith, pictured left, and Maddy Cuff, pictured right, show a small glimpse of The Little Mermaid’s set.

Caroline Holmes, Contributor

The Appleton North High School theatre program harbors quite the reputation not only within the community of Appleton, but throughout all of Wisconsin. Having won seventeen consecutive Critics Choice Awards for their one act plays at the annual Wisconsin State High School Theatre Festival, maintaining such a standing seems difficult to maintain.
Maddy Cuff and Kamy Veith are up to the task as the two current stage managers for Appleton North theatre. So far, they have taken lead on the “Alice and Wonderland” one act and straight shows and have assistant stage managed “Mary Poppins,” last year’s spring musical, while Maddy has assistant stage managed for the “Journey to the West” showcase and one acts and the “Romeo and Juliet” one act play. Both Cuff and Veith were also stage managers for this year’s spring musical, “The Little Mermaid,” and were able to give the Noctiluca a little insight on not only their past years’ experience with stage managing, but on the job as a whole.

Kamy: Patience!

Maddy: Patience is good! (laughs)

Kamy: It’s probably the biggest [skill needed] because a lot of people will ask you questions that you don’t have the answers to, but they kind of expect you to, so you just kinda gotta roll with the punches!

Maddy: It’s also really helpful to be organized…

Kamy: Yes…

Maddy: We are also full time students, so you need to organize theatre as well as organize yourself, and it’s always good to know what’s going on, so you need to understand what you need to know. Everyday for rehearsal we get it set up by taking attendance of people who are supposed to be there, and making sure all of the props are ready…and, if we have the set pieces, we make sure that they’re ready to rehearse with.

Kamy: And if people aren’t there who are supposed to be there, we have to call them and find out why they aren’t there and if they’re coming. I enjoy it, usually. I think it’s fun to be in kind of a role…in an “in-charge” role. It’s kind of funny to watch everyone scurry around, and you actually know what’s going on, it’s good! I like control, so I like to kind of be in control, so I can make everything else kind of flow nicely.

Maddy: It’s good work experience because it’s lots of fun, but it’s also a really good learning experience for how to communicate professionally, because we need to, as well as organizing the kids, correspond with the adults. There’s a lot of adults who volunteer with the program, and we need to make sure that they are all in the loop as well.

Kamy: [On behalf of all stage managers,] if it’s not yours don’t touch it, just in general!

Maddy: Headsets are a wonderful invention of mankind/womankind, and we love headsets a lot! Communication is key!
Joining Kamy and Maddy behind the scenes, Yasmeen Ashour is the student costumer for the Appleton North theatre department. She [has worked] on “The Little Mermaid,” and has done costuming for the “Journey to the West” showcase, “Mary Poppins,” “The Tempest,” the “Alice in Wonderland” straight show, and the “Alice in Wonderland” one act.

Yasmeen: Not only do they keep everyone from panicking in times of high stress, they work unbelievable hours to keep high stress situations under control and to make everything work evenly without putting extra stress on individual people. They’re the ones who take it on in order to ensure the success of the show. Without the stage managers’ expertise, and willingness to take on this responsibility, our show would fall apart. Without Kamy and Maddy, there would be a lack of moral support, a lack of ethics and a lack of judgement and control. A lot of people would rather look at [the show] and not want to be as dedicated, but seeing them [Maddy and Kamy] and how dedicated they are, no one wouldn’t want to please everyone the way that they do. They lead by example, and they contribute more than they even understand.