We are pleased to present you with another actor spotlight, this time on company member Sarah Coon. Right now, she is Assistant Stage Manager for Comedy of Errors. Oh, and she's also in the ensemble for that show. Oh, and she is writing a bunch of grants for us. Oh, and she'll be the dramaturge for King Charles III. And she proof reads about every study guide and newsletter OSF ever writes. She's an awesome example of how our actor-manager model works when we have smart people doing work they love.
Tell Us a Little about yourself.
Well, whaddaya wanna know? I’m a born-and-raised Ohioan, and I work as a local theater artist, director and educator. I got my B.F.A. from Kent State, my M.A. from Bowling Green, and I’m currently at John Carroll University working on my language arts teaching license/master’s in education. I’ve been married to (Greenshow Music Director and artist extraordinaire) Jason Leupold for three and a half years, and to OSF for almost five.
What would you say you do here?
An excellent question. I like to think of myself as the Resident Et Cetera (Et-Sarahta?). I’ve stage managed or assistant-stage managed several productions (and I always stage manage the Greenshows!), I’ve performed, helped with development, assistant directed, served as gofer, this spring I’m teaching a workshop… You know those job descriptions that include the line “and all other duties as assigned”? That’s generally my job title.
What's next up?
Up next I’ll be ASM’ing and performing in the ensemble for Comedy of Errors, which should be interesting since I’ve never really split onstage and offstage duties before. I’m also so excited that next season will include my first show as dramaturg!
Gesundheit! What show?
King Charles III: A Future History Play. It’s an incredible piece that takes place after Queen Elizabeth has died, and Prince Charles has taken the throne. It’s written in verse, just like a Shakespearan history, and it delves into some of the same issues. My role as dramaturg will be to help unravel the text: the real-life history of the royal family, British history, the Shakespeare allusions… It’s like being a literary detective, plus 100% more OMG KATE & WILLS!!
What is the best part about being a stage manager?
The mother-hen pride you get watching the show come together, and getting to experience it from backstage. Helping Ariel put her fins on, buckling Macbeth into his armor, waving a thunder-sheet… that’s magic. And getting a wink from Robin Hood? Icing on the cake.
okay--What is the Worst part?
The abject horror that you feel when you can hear something going wrong onstage, and are powerless to stop it.
why play with us at Ohio shakes?
Why not? Seriously. Give me one good reason why not. I think the work produced by this company is some of the best I’ve ever seen, and so much of the company is like family to me. We’ve called it “summer camp for adults” before, and that’s the honest truth. But now it’s even better because camp never ends!
Share an Ohio shakes anecdote with us.
This is such a small moment, but I think it captures some of the spirit of the company. Joe Pine was playing Hotspur for our production of King Henry IV Pt. 1, and as such had this climactic fight scene. Somehow it became a thing that I would stand backstage and wait for him to come off, then ask him if he won that time. He would sigh and look at the ground before offering a solemn “No.” It wasn’t a particularly funny bit, but for whatever reason it made us laugh. Those little moments of connection between company members are what add up to such a special place to work!