Brandon Lovejoy, 2019 For a show to fully captivate an audience in the theatre, a lot has to happen behind the curtain, the lights must go on, the microphones have to work, actors need to find the right places to stand on the stage, and any tricks have to flow seamlessly. The person behind the scenes who is responsible for making sure all these wheels are turning is a stage manager, says University of Rhode Island (URI) senior Brandon Lovejoy.

“Going into URI theatre, I knew I was going into a pre-professional training program,” says Lovejoy. A public relations, history, and theatre triple major, also pursuing a minor in leadership studies, Lovejoy has been cutting his teeth under the watchful eye of theatre director Paula McGlasson since he arrived on campus three years ago. “Paula was one of the first professors I remember starting to

talk to my peers and I as adult professionals - that really made a difference to me,” Lovejoy says. “I took her stage management class and she looked at me and said, ‘You know, you’re going to be a stage manager one day. Just trust me on it.’” As McGlasson predicted, Lovejoy became fascinated with how the back of a theatre operates. He has learned first hand through working URI’s stage production, box office, lights and sound box. After graduation this spring, he hopes to pursue a master’s degree in theatre or arts management. This summer, Lovejoy was awarded an undergraduate Fulbright fellowship, which meant he was one of three people from the United States who traveled to London to study at the famous Globe Theatre. He says the award would not have been possible without the help of the URI theatre faculty, and especially McGlasson. “I’m incredibly inspired by her professionalism and mentorship more than anything,” Lovejoy says. “A lot of theatre departments are cut throat and competitive and vicious, but we have a familial environment where students hang out in the lobby and faculty interact with students by name, and that’s because of Paula.”

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