Allison Goetzman ’03 is a theatre worker we should know
Allison Goetzman ’03 was named among September Role Call’s “Six Theatre People You Should Know” by American Theatre magazine. Goetzman is production manager for the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe, N.M.
Goetzman, who has been working in theatre since her freshman year in high school, was humbled about the recognition.
“My high school tech theatre teacher always said, ‘If we do our job right, you never know we’re there,'” she says. “I’m much more comfortable behind the scenes, where it’s dark, and I can do my best to facilitate a production without being in any kind of spotlight, so it was a bit of a surprise to be contacted by American Theatre.
“In truth, I still don’t know what the impetus was,” she continues, “but now that I’m one of ‘those’ people — the I’ve-been-doing-this-for-twenty-years types — I can say it’s nice that not all of my hard work has happened unnoticed in the wings.”
Prior to relocating to Santa Fe in 2015, Goetzman spent several years in Chicago at various theatres, including Oracle Theatre Productions, Trap Door Theatre, Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company and Freakeasy Productions. Two of her Chicago productions won Joseph Jefferson Awards: The Mother at Oracle Productions in 2014 and La Bête at Trap Door Theatre in 2015.
At the Lensic this season, she will oversee performances ranging from ballet, flamenco, dance, classical music, symphony, rock concerts, lectures and theatrical productions.
“Even though I’m relatively settled now, I’m still looking forward to continuing learning and expanding my professional knowledge even further,” Goetzman says about her work at the Lensic.
Right from the start, her experiences at Centre College played a pivotal role in her career.
“I was fortunate to be able to assistant stage manage (ASM) my first production,Waiting for Godot, at Centre in the fall of ’99,” Goetzman says. “At the time, it wasn’t common for freshmen to work on shows. I had been doing theatre since my freshman year of high school in a really fantastic facility, but Godot was a great introduction into what more professional theatre would be like.
“Of course I had a lot to learn, gaining more experience by ASM’ing A Little Night Music that spring and with the first Centre show I stage managed, Scenes from an Execution, fall term sophomore year,” Goetzman continues. “Every show, no matter how old you are or how many you’ve already worked, presents unique challenges and lessons to learn that, in my case, set me up to successfully stage manage Three Sisters junior year and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg senior year.
“I also had an amazing opportunity to stage manage our non-DramaCentre production senior year of The Laramie Project,” she adds. “We took the show to Danville High School, which sparked a beautiful discussion throughout the Danville community about the story and the intention of the production, and it will always stand out as a very special experience in my career.”
Matthew Hallock, professor of dramatic arts, has been a guiding force in the lives of Centre students for nearly 20 years, and Goetzman is no exception. She learned early on that there was a lot more to theatre than Broadway, so most of her major influences were predominantly people she has worked with directly.
“Matthew was a great sounding board, not just on the DramaCentre production happening at the time but also with guidance on companies to work with to kick-start a professional career,” Goetzman says.
She is quoted in her American Theatre bio that she joined the tech theatre crew in high school because her best friend had a crush on a guy on the crew, but didn’t want to be the only girl. That decision launched a career.
“I knew I liked stage managing from the first show I sm’ed, Mousetrap, sophomore year of high school,” Goetzman explains. “It took me several more years to pin-point exactly why: I really appreciate being involved in every aspect of the production, from pre-production paperwork to closing night. It’s one of the only positions in theatre that has the kind of over-sight that it has, where one’s scope is not limited to one spoke on the wheel.”
Goetzman goes on to say that her position now is slightly different, mostly due to the fact that she works with a “presenting house and not a producing house,” meaning, rather than creating productions, they present other companies’ shows.
“Even with 19 years of experience in stage management, 21 years in theatre in general, it’s a type of theatre I haven’t had worked in very much, so I’m really loving and appreciating expanding my professional portfolio even further,” she concludes. “I had never been to Santa Fe before, but it’s a very special, beautiful town set within an amazing landscape and immersed in a unique culture. It’s been an amazing adventure getting to know this corner of the country.”
by Cindy Long
November 28, 2016
Photo: Allison Goetzman ’03 (Photo by Joe Mazza/BraveLux)