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May Volunteer Spotlight: Bailey McNamar

For our May 2023 Volunteer Spotlight, QCT discussed A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Bailey McNamar.

Bailey has been involved at QCT in very critical behind-the-scenes roles from spotlight operator in Chicago to her current role as Stage Manager in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Bailey has also served as Tour Manager for our traveling student theatre show, Lions in Illyria. Bailey shares her approach to stage managing and her advice to those wanting to get involved.

Question: How did you get involved/what inspired you to get involved with the theatre?

Answer: I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, but my aunt is one of the people who took me to see shows when I was younger. She pushed me to be involved in the fine arts and encouraged me. I’ll always be grateful to her. I wouldn’t be here without her.

Question: What does A Midsummer Night’s Dream mean to you?

Answer: For me, it is an opportunity to be involved in making magic on stage! Being involved in theatre has become really important to me. I hope to inspire other people to have the same passion for theatre.

Question: Describe your approach to stage managing the show. You’re also Tour Manager for Lions in Illyria! How do you feel working with the casts may be similar and different?

Answer: My approach to stage managing any show is to be observant, focused, and have fun. As Stage Manager you’re responsible for anything and everything: communicating to the cast and crew of the production, knowing where all the set pieces, props and costumes are located, etc. I also have to be a good problem-solver, sometimes in a matter of seconds! I know working with both cast is going to be a blast. All of the students are incredibly talented. The main difference between the two shows is size. Midsummer has a pretty large cast of all different ages. Lions has two casts with four kids each, all of whom are pretty close in age. It’s much easier to manage and keep track of four actors than 19!

Question: What is one of your favorite stage productions (musical, play, etc.) and describe why you enjoy it?

Answer: I got to participate in QCT’s 2021 production of Chicago. I was part of the crew as a spotlight operator. I had never had the opportunity to do anything like that before, so it was like learning a totally new skill! I loved it and I got the added bonus of watching the show every night.

Question: What would you say to encourage someone else to get involved at QCT?

Answer: If you’re nervous, just start small. There are so many other opportunities to get involved. You do not have to be acting on stage to be a part of QCT. You can take classes, volunteer in the Costume or Scene Shops. Personally, I love getting to help build and paint sets. You could even try getting involved with working backstage. I found I enjoy working on crew the most! Why not give it a shot?

Question: Thanks for taking the time to discuss your exciting experiences at QCT! Do you have any other comments to share?

Answer: I have really enjoyed being Tour Manager for Lions in Illyria! This show has been so much fun to be involved with. It has also pushed me out of my “comfort zone” to experience new roles – from driving the transport bus, talking to large groups of people, or just the overall responsibility and coordination of taking the show on the road with several amazing student actors! I am capable of this, and am glad I pushed myself out of my “comfort zone” to realize my potential. Thankfully, Brendan (Shea) saw that potential, and now I get to share my love of theatre with the casts and the students we bring it to!

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