Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Creative Team Interview #5: Livia Hill-Mildener, Stage Manager for THREE SISTERS

Welcome to our exciting series of interviews, where you can get to know the cast & creative team in our production of Three Sisters -- an adaptation by Brian Friel of Anton Chekhov's classic story.

Three Sisters runs March 9-25, 2012, Wed-Sat at 7:30pm; Sat & Sun at 2pm in New York City.

For tickets, please click here.

For more info about The Seeing Place, click here.

Your Name:
Livia Hill-Mildener

Role in this Production:
Stage Manager

How long have you been stage managing?
I have been a stage manager for 6 years in New York. Before this, I was a professional ballerina for 22 years. I continue to dance some, but more in the ballroom world.

How long have you been in NYC?
I have lived in NYC since September of 2005. I moved here from San Antonio, where I had evacuated to during Hurricane Katrina. I am a New Orleans native.

Where are you from originally?
New Orleans, Louisiana.

What's been your favorite project, to date?
Wow! There have been so many wonderful projects I have worked on, each one a learning experience. Yet, the most special experience I had was working on The Rite of Spring during “Berlin in Lights” produced by Carnegie Hall. It was in old church now called The United Palace Theater. I got to work on an important piece of dance history teaching young people while also using my stage management skills. Creative people from all over the world came together in this historic theater to bring it to life. I made some great friends during this project. Including this one guy from Queens, New York. He became my husband.

If you could work on any play right now, what would it be?
Lion King or Venus in Fur.

What's the wackiest experience you've ever had in the theater?
Realizing I wanted to be stage manager.  I was working for Career Transitions for Dancers fall gala in 2005. I was a Production Assistant. After being a dancer, I thought this role was not going to be as exciting. WELL! When I watched the stage manager, and started doing more assistant work for her, I realized there is a role in theater that I could love as much, if not more, than dance. Who knew that could happen to me? Maybe you can teach old dogs new tricks. 

What's your experience with Chekhov?
Ya know, I love Russian culture, and Russian art. Have I had any real experiences with Anton Chekhov? Very few people I have worked with in the past understand his work. Yet one day during our rehearsal period we had one of very few snowy days. An actress looks out the window, during the blizzard, and her line spoke to how her character did not enjoy the winter at all, she missed summer so much she forgot what it looked like. I thought it was a special moment.

What's been the most challenging thing about preparing for this project?
My being away during 3 weeks before opening. I had a dance competition I was in, yet I had to also to be with my mother, taking her to the cancer hospital in Houston. I am sure it was hard on the cast and crew as well, I felt just terrible. Yet, I did explain to our director my circumstances. When he told me he would find a way to make it work because he wanted me as his stage manager, I was so honored, and so grateful.

What excites you about THREE SISTERS?
Watching the cast work and seeing their interpretation come to life. 

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