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WOMEN IN CHARGE
This past fall, more than 50 Washington, D.C. professional theatres participated in the momentous Women’s Voices Theater Festival, showcasing more than 50 world premiere plays by women. In the spirit of the festival, Shakespeare Theatre Company started a blog series to highlight some of its Women in Charge. As part of STC’s efforts to continue the mission of this season’s Women’s Voices Theater Festival, we would like to keep producing our STC Women in Charge blog series.
Theatre is a collaborative art, and a successful production involves stage managers, scenic designers, administrators and grant writers, costume designers, prop masters, trainers, and so many more. That is why we are taking this opportunity to highlight some of our women behind-the-scenes who keep our theatre, and the art form, alive.
During the 2015–2016 season, we will be publishing interviews with some of the women you will not see onstage, but who keep STC running smoothly. We’re proud to put these wonderful women in the spotlight!
We hope you enjoy this next installment, featuring STC Soft Goods Artisan Becky Williams.
An Interview with Becky Williams
How long have you been working in the arts?
The creative arts have always been an important part of my life. I have been working professionally in the arts since my early 20s. I have been employed at Shakespeare Theatre Company since early 2001.
What got you started in the arts?
I have to blame my preschool teachers for this. They instilled in me a desire to make things and to experiment with all kinds of materials. I was lucky enough to have the support of many other teachers throughout my education. Then after high school, my parents supported my choice to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, where I graduated with a BFA in textiles.
Tell us about a time you “saved the day”:
Most recently, I was able to assist the scene shop in finishing the large Lion drop for Othello.
The schedule kept changing due to many problems and complications that arose during the printing process. This was the first time we had worked with this material, and it required us to creatively rearrange the work space into a sewing space capable of handling a drop of this size without damaging the image. I had an excellent team of associates who were able to come at a moment’s notice, and we finished in good time to hang the drop for the technical rehearsals.
Can you explain your role in the theatre world, for those who might not know?
I am one of the artisans in the Props Department. My official title is Soft Goods Artisan. My responsibilities include (but are not limited to) the sewing and upholstery work related to set dressing for all of our Main Stage productions. Occasionally, I am asked to work on projects for other departments as well.
What’s the best part about your job?
The best part of my job is being able to work with the many diversely talented people here at Shakespeare Theatre Company. I am grateful to be one of a wonderful team of artisans. I also love being able to make really beautiful—or very ugly—things to help designers realize their vision for the stage.