March 12, 2018

Spotlight on Alumni: Beth Beardsley

Beth Beardsley
Beth Beardsley

Beth Beardsley (BFA Production 2016) started out working as a freelance/apprentice stage manager in Toronto the year she graduated, and was able to support herself with just theatre work. She now works a full time job as the Front of House Coordinator at Banff Centre For Arts and Creativity in Alberta.

What is your fondest memory of studying Theatre at York?

My fondest memory of York is from my fourth year, during my last practicum position as stage manager of Cloud 9. We were in the last few minutes of the closing show and just after I called the final blackout, I burst into tears. I had been thinking about all the amazing work everyone had put into this show and how it was my favourite show I’d ever done at York and I just got overwhelmed. Thankfully my tech crew on headset were empathetic and managed to make me laugh and cheer up. It was the end of one adventure but that also meant the beginning of a new adventure.

The Dream Catchers at Confederation Centre of the Arts, PEI June-August 2017

Do you have any advice or tips for York students just about to graduate and join the job market?

Get everyone to look at your resume and cover letters and give you notes. Not just your friends, but professors and people in the industry you know. Also call up all those people you’ve worked for over the years and let them know you’re about to be done with school.

What were some of the things about Theatre that you believed to be true but found to be either false or fluid?

That “the stage manager is god”. That whole sentiment is outdated and just alienates actors/crew from their SM, and that doesn’t help the process at all. We are all on the same team and no one’s job is more or less important than anyone else’s. This includes first years on crew! We’re all needed to do our part so the theatre machine can run smoothly.

Beth (apprentice stage manager) with the cast and crew of Banana Boys at Factory Theatre Studio

What was one thing you enjoyed about York that was outside of the Theatre?

The skating rink in the building right across the street from Tait Mackenzie. I didn’t even know we had a skating rink on campus until 4th year, but I used it a lot to exercise and clear my head. I think it’s only $4 for their public skating and you can just bring your own skates. It’s a regulation indoor size rink and it’s usually pretty empty because not many people know about it.

Beth Beardsley (stage manager) with the cast and crew of Trigonometry at Factory Theatre Studio, Toronto

What was your favourite place at York, and why?

Studio 154 in the backstage hallway of the JGG. I had so many classes, late night drafting sessions, production meetings, and meals in there. It was like the upper year production lounge. Everything happened in there. I also took a nap on one of the desks in there once after a particularly long day and they are surprisingly comfy!