Emily Lathrop: Our Literary Master of Backstage Management

If you’ve been to The Warehouse at any point in the last year, you’ve seen Emily Lathrop’s work. You just didn’t know you were seeing Emily Lathrop’s work. Starting with last season’s The Whipping Man, she’s been behind the scenes as an Assistant Stage Manager for all our shows except Shakespeare Abridged because she was busy being our Stage Manager for Coriolanus at the Upstate Shakespeare Festival. Her face is as regular around here as Paul Savas’ at this point and we love her to pieces. Thankfully, we woke Emily from her only 15 minute nap of the day and got her to tell us about herself.

WHT:  Oh, you know that we love the educational components of life around here.  What’s your story?
Emily:  BA in English from the University of Iowa and a MA in early modern literature from King’s College London.

WHT:  Where are you from originally?
Emily:  Fenton, MI. I’ve been in Greenville for a year this October.

WHT:  So you’ve done a lot of shows with us now.  How many does Rocky make?
Emily:  This is my fourth main stage show at The Warehouse and I’ve also done one show with Upstate Shakespeare (Coriolanus).  The last main stage show I was involved in was Boeing Boeing.

WHT:  What’s your favorite production you’ve ever worked?
Emily:  Boeing Boeing was such a joy, it’ll probably remain a favorite for a long time.

WHT:  Favorite experience in a theatre as a stage manager or audience member?
Emily:  I’ve been lucky enough to see a lot of amazing theatre but one that has stuck with me is the Old Vic’s production of The Crucible with Richard Armitage in the round. It was breathtaking.

WHT:  What’s your favorite part of being a stage manager?
Emily:  The people! I love getting to know everyone so well. Curtain call is also a wonderful moment, especially with an engaged crowd.

WHT:  Is there someone’s work that you greatly enjoy or admire?
Emily:  Sonia Massai, my Master’s supervisor, is doing some really exciting things with Shakespeare, particularly with global performances of Shakespeare.  She’s also extremely kind and giving, I aspire to be on her level as an academic and human one day.

WHT:  Person that has influenced your stage management process the most?
Emily:  Louise Ochart has been a stage manager mentor of sorts for me, she’s influenced me a great deal.  Paul Savas has also had a significant effect on my stage management.  I will always be thankful to him.

WHT:  Routine that you go through before a performance?
Emily:  Apart from the normal prop and light checks, I don’t really have a superstition or pre-show ritual.

WHT:  Being relatively new to the area, what is your favorite part about being in the arts in Greenville?
Emily:  The community! Greenville is so lucky to have such a thriving arts culture and I am even luckier to be able to be a part of it.

WHT:  Do you have any other jobs outside of stage managing
Emily:  I’m a writer and social media manager for the online writing site, LitReactor.com.  I’m also a teaching artist at The Warehouse.

WHT:  Now, on to some Rocky Horror questions.  How does performing such an in-your-face show in an intimate setting like The Warehouse affect your work?  Does it at all?
Emily:  As a stage manager, I think the setting energizes me.  It’s wonderful to be able to see how the cast and audience interact with each other differently every night.

WHT:  How have you been preparing for the audience interaction that is guaranteed to come with this show every night?
Emily:  I’m thinking of buying ear plugs.  Jokes aside, we used callbacks in rehearsal to prepare everyone for the regular callbacks, though you never know what a Rocky Horror audience might throw your way.

WHT:  How many times have you caught yourself singing Time Warp in the shower since mid-August?
Emily:  That number is beyond any measure.

WHT:  How many times have you actually seen the movie version?
Emily:  About a dozen.

WHT:  Favorite thing about working on a script for the first time?
Emily:  I had only seen the show live once prior to this production so I’ve enjoyed discovering the differences between the show and the film, like the song Once in a While.

WHT:  Moment in the show that has changed the most for you from the beginning of rehearsal until now?
Emily:  Time Warp and Sweet Transvestite were already great in rehearsals but seeing how the audience reacts to them every night has made me love them even more.

WHT:  Greenville’s shows usually run from three to four weeks with approximately 12 performances.  What have you done differently this time in order to be physically ready to manage a musical that runs for seven weeks and over 30 shows?
Emily:  I’ve cleared out some of my schedule for the run and I’m certainly not staying out as late as I normally would on the weekends.

WHT:  One thing you learned during this process or something you rediscovered?
Emily:  This is actually my first time running a light board so that’s new!

WHT:  Any piece of advice for a virgin audience member coming to see The Rocky Horror Show?
Emily:  I think for both, just have an open mind and enjoy yourself!

WHT:  This show is good ole rock and roll. What’s your favorite song in the show and why?
Emily:  I love the beat in Planet Schmanet and Floor Show is always so much fun.

WHT:  If Matt Reece suddenly couldn’t break away from his auction-addiction and refused to perform in the show this Saturday, who…and you can pick anyone in this world…would you want for the Narrator?
Emily:  I think Russell Brand would be kind of hysterical.

WHT:  What’s your next production?
Emily:  I’ll be stage managing Uncle Vanya (January 29-February 20) and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (April 29th-May 28th) at The Warehouse next.

See Emily Lathrop’s handy work (but not Emily herself) on our stage in The Rocky Horror Show playing through Halloween midnight!