Stanley Natonek may have started his Limelight career as a performer, but he soon found a home as a skilled technician/builder, designer, and stage manager. Stanley served as a valuable “right hand man” for seasons. He has transformed his passion and interests into a career path. We are so lucky that Stanley shared his joy and talents with us! Here is what he has to say about his time with Limelight.
What was your first show?
James and the Giant Peach
What is your favorite show that you did or part that you played with Limelight?
How were you involved (acting/writing/tech)?
Some acting (like two shows) mostly tech, designing, building and stage managing
Most memorable Limelight experience?
Stage managing Oliver, the last day of shows was almost canceled because of flooding, but the show went on. We started late and getting to see how fast and efficiently the cast and crew for ready for their final performance was so exciting. Working with and stage managing that show was a fun experience, there were a lot of really talented people involved.
What is something you learned from Limelight?
I got to learn so many new skills. Working with Laurie every day over the summer, she taught me new ways to build and design, new techniques on painting, and a lot of critical thinking, how to create a cool set piece or prop out of very random and weird materials. Every day was a new challenge but every day I got to learn.
What does Limelight mean to you?
Limelight is a place to learn. It is a safe environment to explore your interests in theater. You are given opportunities to try something new and to engage in all aspects of theater. You aren’t just learning acting, you can have an opportunity to learn how to direct, write scripts, design shows, run the tech, stage manage. There are so many local theater programs that only focuses on performing, and Limelight goes above and beyond that. It’s a place where everyone can feel like the belong and like they are important.
What are you doing now? How did Limelight help prepare you for that?[Answer provided prior to COVID-19 pandemic] I’m currently a props assistant on the world tour of ‘Marvel Universe Live: Age of Hero’s’. I’ve been on tour with this show for almost two years now and I can say my time with Limelight has helped get me here today. My job involves loading our 33 truck show in and out every week, as well as maintaining and upkeep of the props in the show. Limelight grew the spark of interest I had in theater, and that love of theater on top of the skills I obtained with Limelight really help today.
What is your advice for other theater artists?
Learn a little bit of everything. Learn the process an actor, director, designer go through. The more you learn about other people the better off you will be. The more well-rounded you are the easier it is to communicate with other aspects of a show, and with better communication creates a more cohesive show. It takes a village to put on a production, so try to at least understand what other people are doing and why it’s important.