Erin's twenty-plus-year professional career includes a wide variety of productions, from intimate two-person dramas with political and social impact to large scale spectacles with, on occasion, more than 200 artists onstage (not to mention those working behind the scenes). Large musicals are probably her favorite genre to stage manage, but right now she really enjoys working on a diverse range of projects throughout the year; additional recent credits include opera, dance, cirque, classical music, "straight" theatre and a sports award show, as well as guest speaking at several educational institutions. She is proud to admit that her favorite cast members so far were the adorable camels of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular tour, though many others remember it for those famous high-kicking Rockettes. Erin is also actively involved with volunteer projects for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), the Stage Managers’ Association (SMA), and Actors' Equity Association (AEA), and is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA). During warmer months, Erin splits her time between theatre and guiding canoe and duckie trips down any river possible.
"Bit by bit, putting it together..." - Stephen Sondheim
Putting a show together is often like a big jigsaw puzzle. Unlike recreational puzzles, productions don't usually have a "picture on the front of the box" to help guide you, and you may not even be sure if you have all the puzzle pieces. However, you can use what you've learned from other production puzzles to go about creating the best version of the current project possible, and figuring out how to fill in what might be missing. If you have a team of people working on the puzzle, focusing on their areas, but adding to the overall picture, you can create a great work of art.
....And it's fun to vary between large complex puzzles and ones with fewer pieces!
I wrote even more about my "puzzle philosophy" in a blog post, when we were working on backstage puzzles, including the one pictured above.
Resume and Credits
- Upcoming Projects lists both future and recent credits (this is the most up-to-date list online)
- Stage Management Resume for Erin Joy Swank (as of February 2019) - PDF - includes credits in multiple genres
- Opera Stage Management Resume for Erin Joy Swank (as of February 2019) - PDF - tailored specifically for opera
- Educational and Lecture/Workshop credits are available on the Guest Speaker webpage
- Erin's LinkedIn profile