When Katie Most arrived at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (WHAT) for a college internship in 2006, she never could have guessed how a Cape Cod summer would alter her life. Most had just completed her junior year at Muhlenberg College where she was studying directing and she was eager to learn every facet of the theater business during an expected four-month internship at the Cape theater. A short time after she arrived, WHAT’s Artistic Director Jeff Zinn, asked if Most could fill the position of stage manager for the season’s first show. “I had some prior experience as a stage manager, so I was asked to step in and take on that job,” she says.
Given responsibilities that included working with the directors, putting schedules together, communicating with set designers, and maintaining consistency among the actors’ performances, the young intern was more or less expected to help run the show.
“They entrusted me with so much responsibility at such a young age. I was only 21 years old and I was incredibly nervous,” Most says from her current job for Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company. But Most admits that her time at WHAT became an invaluable dress rehearsal for what would become her chosen profession. “After that summer, I decided that stage managing was really my passion,” she says. “It’s not a glory job, but it really is the glue that holds everything together.”
As the stage manager at the award-winning Huntington, Most can’t help but credit her summer at WHAT with helping her to find her passion and showcase her talents. “Everyone at WHAT was so supportive. That is the place where I really found my niche—my home,” she says.
Most notes that in addition to her actual stage managing experience at WHAT, it was the people she met there that truly impacted her career. “Jeff Zinn has such a beautiful vision for bringing great art to Cape Cod,” she says, “and he remains true to his mission to bring good off-Broadway productions there—plays with real messages and meanings.”
Most also credits WHAT’s Managing Director Jeffry George with helping her become a successful stage manager today. “In the theater business, we work long hours every day and there is a lot to be done. Jeff taught me the importance of maintaining professionalism, no matter how tough things are, or how tired you are,” she says. “He would tell me, ‘there are always going to be problems that come up—no matter how much you plan and prepare. It’s how you handle those problems that people are going to remember.’”
Growing up in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Most was completely unfamiliar with Cape Cod when she arrived for that first internship. She returned in 2007 to work as the stage manager for WHAT’s new Julie Harris Stage. In 2008, she landed her job at the Hungtington Theatre Company,
When Huntington won the coveted 2013 Tony Award for Best Regional Theater in the country, Most found herself surrounded by some of the industry’s brightest stars. “I was invited to attend the awards event and it was incredible to be in the same room with people like Denzel Washington, Nathan Lane, and Neil Patrick Harris,” she says.
Most’s star may be rising in the theatrical world far beyond Cape Cod, but she still maintains relationships with all of the people she worked with at WHAT and from time to time returns to the Wellfleet theater company. “I really felt like a part of the family there,” she says. “There is nothing that can compare to the experience I had and the people I met.”
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