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.
This week, we are taking a look at someone who leads the marketing efforts of the theatre: Director of Marketing Allyson Pittman Gattin!
Here is what she had to say:
How long you have worked at the Rep: 7 months
Education/training: Bachelor of Journalism in Strategic Communications from the University of Missouri School of Journalism
How’d you get into the theatre biz: Completely by chance. I was working in marketing at a local publishing company when I was contacted about this position. I had previously worked in the art world at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, so I was elated to hear that there was an opportunity to get back into the arts world, and especially with an organization I’d grown up attending.
Why your job rocks: I grew up coming to The Rep with my family, so it’s been such a fun experience to come in and see the behind-the-scenes side of the organization. Being able to experience and be part of the entire process – costumes being made, scenery being designed/installed, hearing (and feeling!) dance rehearsals from my desk – it’s all so amazing!
Best work day ever: Easy – the first read-through for Memphis. With it being my first read-through, and my first show here at The Rep, it was such a moving experience to see all of the actors who just arrived gathered around a big table saying their lines and belting out their songs. Everyone was so talented and it completely set the tone for that show, and for my future experiences here at the theatre.
Favorite Rep show you’ve worked on and why: I’ve loved every show so far, but my favorite would have to be Memphis. With the newness of everything – read-through, meet and greet, promo photoshoot, media appearances, etc. – it was such an exhilarating time to be part of such a creative and important process. Also, the lead female, Jasmin Richardson, was so incredibly talented! Every time she sang “Colored Woman” – whether during a weekday matinee or nights when I was working – I’d find myself sneaking into the back of theatre just to listen. I could listen to her sing every single day.
One thing people would be surprised about your job: This is definitely not a desk job. While we are not on the production side of things from a creation standpoint, marketing is part of the visual side of how the production is sold to our audience. That allows us to be out of the office watching rehearsals, snapping photos of costume fittings, taking actors to media appearances, etc. This job is go, go, go all the time, but it’s the best kind of going. It’s a going that is creative and alive. A going that keeps you so excited about what you get up to do every single day.
Favorite seat in the house: Orchestra right – J 6 and 7
Best job perk: Seeing world-class productions over and over again. It’s such a thrill to see a show go from read through to design run to tech rehearsal to Opening Night. From start to finish – it’s such a joy to see the show transform and evolve, and the actors on stage to come alive in their roles. I’ll never experience theatre, or The Rep, the same ever again.
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!