The look and flow of Suffolk's production of Anton Chekhov’s 3Sisters benefit from two crew members with significant professional theater experience, both of whom are Suffolk students.
Their professional experiences come from internships and jobs on the professional stage in Boston and beyond.
“I’m like the air traffic controller,” said 3Sisters stage manager Annalise Fosnight, whose responsibilities include working closely with everyone from the cast to the designers. “I have to make sure everyone and everything is running smoothly and on time.”
Elektra T. Newman, the assistant scenic designer, says that “working together as a team is vital to the play’s success.” She is supporting Theatre Professor Richard Chambers through design tasks such as drafting, building model boxes, and set dressing. “It makes you feel proud when everyone is working in harmony.”
Adaptation of a classic
The Theatre Department’s production of Chekhov’s masterwork is adapted and directed by Robert Kropf, artistic director of the Harbor Stage Company in Wellfleet.
Anton Chekhov’s 3Sisters is set in Moscow, Illinois, in 2019. In the wake of a global disaster, a few survivors have taken refuge in the ruins of a decimated library. When they stumble upon Chekhov’s masterpiece, this ill-fated population brings the play to life as a final act of resilience, courage, and hope.
The play features 18 Suffolk students and will run Nov. 16-19 at the Modern Theatre.
Post-grad job in hand
Over the years, Newman and Fosnight, both theater majors and members of the Class of 2018, have gained valuable experience practicing their craft on the Suffolk stage and beyond through internships and assignments obtained with the help of Theatre Department introductions, networking, and recommendations.
“I chose Suffolk because of its theater program, where I could learn multiple skills, from stage management and design to acting and directing,” said Fosnight, who, at the professional level, Fosnight has been a stage manager with the Boston Opera Collaborative and the Actors’ Shakespeare Company in Somerville, as well the properties master at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan this past summer. She also served as assistant stage manager for Suffolk’s production of RENT and production stage manager for the 2017 Spring Showcase.
“The Theatre Department has taught me organizational skills, how to think on my feet, and the importance of having grace under pressure,” said Fosnight.
She will receive her degree in January and already has secured an assistant stage manager position with the Boston Opera Collaborative.
Learning by doing
Newman, who also plans a career in theater, will write, direct, and design her own Suffolk show during the spring semester.
Newman’s professional credits include a production internship at Wellfleet’s Harbor Actors Theatre and being part of the run crew for the production of The Owl Answers at Harvard University.
“What I’ve learned is through hands-on experience,” said Newman. ”I feel confident enough to apply for variety of jobs in the field.”
She also was the scenic designer for the Suffolk 2016 Fall Showcase one-act play Sälem and has been a technical design assistant within the Theatre Department.
“Suffolk has given me kind of a basic tool kit to do any job in the theater world,” said Newman. “It’s education at its finest.”
Chambers has worked with both Newman and Fosnight and feels that both students have a promising future.
“Annalise and Elektra are perfect examples of the kind of student we try to foster at Suffolk,” he said. “They try to experiment with a lot of different things, collaborate broadly, and develop organically as a theater professional in areas they want to pursue.”
— Tony Ferullo