Behind the Curtain Q&A: Director of Marketing Allyson Pittman Gattin

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.image1

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!

Behind the Curtain Q&A: Box Office Assistant Tara Clem

With the new 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 will highlight staff members who keep the Arkansas Repertory Theatre running on a daily basis.

Someone who helps keep our Box Office running is asssisant Tara Clem.

Here is what she has to say about her theatre experience here at The Rep:

When did you start working at The Rep: July 2014

Education/training: I am a senior musical theatre student at Ouachita Baptist University. I have also been apart of the SMTI program at the Rep for the past two years.

How’d you get into the theatre biz: When I was in the 5th grade, I had the opportunity to be a part of the Casa Manana summer program in Dallas where I got to be an extra orphan in their main stage production of Annie. Since that show, I knew that I had a passion for the stage.

Why your job rocks: It’s awesome getting to talk to so many different types of people on the phone when they are ordering tickets. Also, I love the people I get to work with! We have our own little quirky family in the office.

Best work day ever: Since I’m the newbie on staff, I would have to say that my first day has been the best so far. I really enjoyed getting to meet everyone and learning the box office system.

Favorite Rep show you’ve worked on and why: My favorite show so far was the SMTI production of Project Elan. I loved getting to be apart of the collaborative team of writing parts of the musical and since it was my first experience at the Rep, it will always hold a special place in my heart.

One thing people would be surprised about your job: There is a lot more pressure on us who working the Box Office then most people might think. We are the impression that someone has of the Rep so it is very important that we are very friendly and efficent.

Favorite seat in the house: My favorite seats are J8, J19, K8, or K19 in the center orchestra because it is right on the aisle and rows J and K are raised about a foot above the rest of the seats, which really helps since I’m short.

Be sure to check back every week to get a glimpse at a different member of The Rep staff. Buy your tickets to Wait Until Dark here!

Behind the Curtain Q&A: Costume Shop Assistant Samantha Key

With the 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 will highlight staff members who keep the Arkansas Repertory Theatre running on a daily basis.

Someone who helps bring the beautiful costumes to life onstage is costume shop assistant Samantha Key.

Here is what she has to say about her theatre experience here at The Rep:

How long have you worked at the Rep? This is my third season at The Rep.  My first season I was the assistant to the costume designer for Gee’s Bend, and then last season, I was the Assistant Costume Designer for Clybourne Park and a dresser for Les Miserables.

Education/training: Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

How’d you get into the theatre biz: I have been producing theatre since I was 10 and putting on productions in my aunt’s backyard. I continued to be involved in productions in high school, and when I started going to UALR, I knew that theatre was what I was going to do with the rest of my life.

Why your job rocks: My job rocks because I get to be involved in so many different parts of the costume world.  I get to be an assistant, a dresser, a wardrobe supervisor, a stitcher and a crafter.  It is so much fun to get to stretch all of my creative bones in one day.

Favorite Rep show you’ve worked on and why: Clybourne Park has been my favorite show. There were a lot of firsts for me on that show, and I got to work with my mentor.  The whole process was really great and it was a lot of fun.

One thing people would be surprised about your job: I think that when I tell people that I am a costumer, they assume that I just sew. I do so much more than that. There is a lot involved in my job that people don’t ever think about.

Favorite seat in the house: My favorite seat in the house is First Mezzanine, first row, middle seat.  You can see everything from up there and you don’t have to worry about tall people sitting in front of you.

Best job perk: The best job perk is getting tickets for my mom. I think that she has seen more productions since I started working at The Rep than in the last 10 years of her life.

Be sure to check back every week to get a glimpse at a different member of The Rep staff. Buy your tickets to Wait Until Dark here!

Behind the Curtain Q&A: Special Events Coordinator Ronda Lewis

With the start of a new MainStage season, 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.

Someone who helps with special events surrounding our MainStage productions– including our biggest gala of the year, Saints & Sinners– is Ronda Lewis, our special events coordinator.

Here is what she has to say about her theatre experience here at The Rep:

How long have you worked at The Rep? One year, three months

Education/training: Bachelor of Science in Marketing

How’d you get into the theatre biz: It’s not a interesting story. I applied for the job because I love the fact that theatre is so diverse.

Why your job rocks: Planning special events is eventful in itself! The satisfaction of knowing that I participate in making an event successful and the overall feeling of knowing that I contribute to helping keep the theatre moving forward.

Best work day ever: When I cross every goal for the day off of my to-do list and we have a membership gathering with wine (wink). Also, meeting the actors during Meet & Greet.

Favorite Rep show you’ve worked on and why: I have not worked on any shows but my favorite show so far was Clybourne Park.

One thing people would be surprised about your job: I think people would really be surprised to know how the staff literally juggles 15 things at once. Also, how dedicated we are as a staff and how much the actors LOVE the staff and our Southern hospitality.

Favorite seat in the house: Orchestra-F15

Best job perk: Wine—duh! Drinking on the job and all of the great talented actors and staff who you meet. Getting to see the creativity from beginning to end; whether it’s a show or putting together small or big events and seeing the final product. P.S. I am not a alcoholic!

Be sure to check back every week to get a glimpse at a different member of The Rep staff. Buy your tickets to Wait Until Dark here!