Behind the Curtain Q&A: Communications Manager Lauren James

With the 2014-2015 MainStage Season in full swing, we want to showcase the people behind the Rep stage in a series called “Behind the Curtain.” This weekly Q&A series highlights staff members who keep the Arkansas Repertory Theatre running on a daily basis.

1689634_867417063269274_7763819236660539374_nThis week, I decided to take a stab at the Q&A and share my awesome experience with The Rep so far!

Here is what I had to say:

Job Title: Communications Manager

How long you have worked at the Rep: 5 months

Education/training: BA in Journalism from University of Arkansas; some graduate work at University of Memphis

How’d you get into the theatre biz: I just fell into it! I’ve always loved going to the theatre, but never thought it would be my line of work. After working in the publishing world for a few years after college, I was really aiming for marketing and PR work at a local nonprofit to be the next step in my career.  So, when I heard that the Arkansas Repertory Theatre was hiring in their marketing department, I thought it would be the perfect fit because of my love for the arts and my writing/communications background. And it was—one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

Why your job rocks: Getting to be behind the scenes of professional theatrical productions is incredible in itself, but sharing The Rep’s story with the public and engaging with patrons is the most gratifying and the most fun. And working with professional actors and theatre professionals is pretty cool, too!

Best work day ever: When our ceiling shakes from dance rehearsals and we can hear Music Director Mark Binns’ piano playing show tunes above us in the third-floor rehearsal space. I definitely feel like I’m a part of something special when I hear (and feel!) the rehearsals going on!

Favorite Rep show you’ve worked on and why: With this being my first season, every show has been an awesome adventure, but I would have to say our first 2014-2015 show, Memphis, is my favorite. It was an extraordinary production to be a part of anyway and the fact that it was my first show made it even more special. Seeing how successful the show was and the way audiences enjoyed it made me so proud to be a part of it!

One thing people would be surprised about your job:  We are not just in the office working behind the computer all day. Our marketing staff is usually out and about coming up with new ways to engage our audience and before shows, spending lots of time with the cast at appearances and working with our creative team to best promote the theatre. It’s a great balance!

Favorite seat in the house: Center, first row of the First Mezzanine!

Best job perk: Seeing professional theatre for free and being able to share this incredible work with my friends and loved ones! My folks who live in Fayetteville and had never been to The Rep before this season, have been able to see every show this year and I’m so glad!

Be sure to check back every week to get a glimpse at a different member of The Rep staff. Buy your Flexpass subscription for the rest of the season here and buy gift certificates for the family this holiday season by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405!

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