The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Taylor McCaslin

Taylor McCaslin
Major: 
Theatre and Dance
BDP Certificate: 
Digital Arts & Media
Graduation: 
Spring 2013

Digital Arts & Media BDP student Taylor interned as an Assistant Stage Manager for Rude Mechanicals. This theater company specializes in a hybrid art form that incorporates digital theater into live theater performances.

“I have developed an understanding of the development of digital theatre productions in hopes of preparing myself for the future of professional stage management in digital theatre.”

How did you find out about this internship project?
I had a professor in my college who directed me to the Rude Mechanicals Theatre Company, knowing they needed a stage manager, and knowing that I was interested in working a digital theatre production. After contacting the theatre and securing the internship, I decided it was perfect for my studies in Digital Arts & Media. Sometimes the best internships can be found straight through your home college.

Tell us about the internship application process.
I secured the internship without the intention of using it for my connecting experience. My BDP advisor heard of my internship and told me it could be used as my connecting experience, and thus the ball started rolling. I wrote a proposal, found a faculty mentor, and prepared a budget [for the scholarship application].

Describe the work you completed during the course of your internship.
Through my internship with The Rude Mechanicals, I worked on the digital theatre production of Kirk Lynn’s “I’ve Never Been So Happy.” I explored a stage manager’s position, working and cueing digital theatre. I helped manage and incorporate the digital aspects of this performance into rehearsals. I also developed cueing and overall integration to ensure smooth performances once the show opened. The production included projected animations, still graphics and digital art, live 32-channel digital audio mixing, and intelligent lighting.

How did this experience connect to your BDP?
Overall I have expanded my current knowledge of a stage manager’s duties when working with digital arts and media in a theatrical setting. I have developed an understanding of the development of digital theatre productions in hopes of preparing myself for the future of professional stage management in digital theatre. The BDP has literally helped ‘bridge’ my two disciplines of study—theatre and digital technology—in a real world setting.

In what ways has this CE shaped your plans for the future?
My internship with the Rude Mechanicals has allowed me both to expand my idea of a theatrical company and to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the art and adaptability of my role as a stage manager. Furthermore, I have begun digging into the complex relationship stage managers have with digital art and media integration into performance and the designers who imagine and create it. As theatre continues to progress towards digital productions, I hope this experience will give me an edge in my pursuit of a professional stage management career.