Behind every successful Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays there is a team of highly motivated and accomplished stage managers and interns and this year, I do believe, we've assembled the team of our dreams.
First, we have our fearless Production Coordinator, Caroline Chang, who joined us earlier this year while we were in the midst of producing Tales of an Urban Indian. Caroline jumped head first into a flurry of activity and was able to seamlessly pick up right where former Production Manager, Rich Deely, left off and blaze her own trail of achievements behind her. Since Caroline's main responsibilities keep her tied to our Production Office at the Autry National Center, we were very lucky to be able to have her join us in San Diego for the retreat and festival.
Joining us for their third year as retreat stage managers are Crystal Mercado and Pamela Sevilla. In addition to serving as a stage manager, Pam also served as Native Voices Literary Associate helping evaluate and short-list scripts as well as our Retreat and Festival Assistant coordinating all of our catered lunches and receptions and helping me keep my sanity (a very important job). Our third stage manager, Ally Zonsius, has actually worked with Native Voices several times in the past but this was the first time we were fortunate enough to secure her for this event. Although they may not know it, Crystal, Pam, and Ally actually form the backbone of our Retreat and Festival. Once the events starts, they ensure that everything runs according to schedule, that everyone's where they're supposed to be when they're supposed to be there, and that any problems are addressed with grace and kindness. This event would not have functioned as smoothly as it did had it not been for these three ladies.
Completing our Dream Team are our two interns: Terri Cao and Emily Nuthall. Although Terri, a recent graduate of SDSU, and Emily, a student from High Tech High School, joined our circus fairly late (about a week prior to the start of the retreat), they were more than willing to fill in the gaps we couldn't fill and were absolute joys to be around.
Native Voices received a lot of compliments during the retreat - we were praised for our organizational prowess, for our ability to foresee possible complications and address them ahead of time, for our good humor, among other things. What I hope everyone realizes is that it takes a team to run this machine that we lovingly call our Playwrights Retreat and Festival of New Plays and all compliments that are given to Native Voices should also be directed straight to Caroline, Crystal, Pam, Ally, Terri, and Emily. We can not do this alone and we were incredibly blessed to be able to work with such giving and tireless artists.