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Behind the Curtain: Interview With Kyle Largent – Assistant Stage Manger on MOULIN ROUGE!

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Behind the Curtain: Interview With Kyle Largent - Assistant Stage Manger on MOULIN ROUGE!

Due to the global health emergency, Broadway theaters have found their bright lights dimmed and their houses dark for the first time in history. As the world works together to stop the spread of COVID-19, the theater industry has been put on hold indefinitely – theaters around the world have closed their doors in compliance with social distancing rules, and Broadway has been shut down in full since March 13. The Broadway shutdown has impacted the lives of all who work in theater industry, who are now facing uncertain and unprecedented circumstances.

In our Behind the Curtain interview series, we are speaking with Broadway musicians, stage managers, ushers, bartenders, and more, talking about how they are handling the current circumstances, and discussing the impact that the shutdown has had on the Broadway community.

Today, our Behind the Curtain interview is with Kyle Largent, one of the Assistant Stage Managers on Moulin Rouge!

What is your job title? Tell me a little bit about what you do within the theater industry and how long you’ve been doing it for.

I am one of the Assistant Stage Mangers on Moulin Rouge! Our team consists of Michael Passaro – PSM, Davin De Santis – SM and Julie Baldauff, who is the other ASM with me. I started stage managing my freshman year of college at Northwestern University. Next month will mark four years in NYC for me!

What were you working on when the shutdown was put in place?

Moulin Rouge! has our matinees on Thursdays, so we actually had a Company Meeting before our matinee on Thursday, March 12, to hear, in person, about the Broadway shutdown.

What has communication been like since the shutdown with the people you were working with? Have you continued to maintain contact with them?

Since the shutdown, the stage managers have been staying in touch with our group text mainly; we’ve had a couple Zoom meetings the four of us, and had a cocktail hour Zoom with “Moulin Management” – Company Managers, General Managers, Production Managers and Stage Managers. We had a full company Happy Hour with 77 participants last week too – cast, crew, managers, creatives, etc.

How do you feel that people in the theater community have come together during this time?

I am continually in awe, impressed and jealous of all the amazing things my fellow theater artists are accomplishing during this time. I am so thankful for the technologies available to us, not only to see our friends and families in this time of distancing, but also to be able to “go live” or post videos of dances, workouts or master classes to experience as a community.

What ways have you found to best deal with the current circumstances?

I was very fortunate to be able to come home to Washington (state) to be with my family. My dad is a farmer so we have a beautiful farm house and plenty of room in the country to not feel too cooped up in a small NYC apartment. The one hobby that I picked up during this shut down is cross stitch, though, which is keeping me busy.

How do you think this will change the world of theater going forward?

I am fascinated to see how this changes the world of theater going forward. I can only speculate, obviously, but I am curious to see whether perhaps backstage crew wear masks during performances? Do actors put masks on whenever they are backstage? Do we sell only every other seat in the theater to keep patrons distanced? Will shows with actors entering and exiting from the house or singing in the aisles of the house need to adjust the staging to keep actors away from the audience? Do we limit the capacity of rehearsal spaces?

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