Masako Tobaru '06
Tell me about your work at the Chance Theater.
I began working with the Chance Theater in 2003 during their First Chance Fest as a Stage Manager. I was asked to join the company in 2004 while I was designing lighting for their production of Rodger's and Hammerstein's A Grand Night For Singing and asked to join the staff in the summer of 2005. While working at The Chance I have served as a Stage Manager, Lighting, Set and Projection Designer. I am currently on staff as the Production Director. My position is responsible for overseeing all aspects of production from casting to closing night.
Do you feel that your work at Concordia prepared you for your current position? How so?
I do feel that my experiences at Concordia prepared me well for the position I have now. While at Concordia I worked heavily in the technical department gaining knowledge in lighting, audio and scenic construction. Through both my classes and practical experience I learned the fundamentals of theater. I gained the knowledge and training I needed to enter the professional theater world.
Tell me about the productions you worked on at Concordia and some of the highlights.
While at CUI I worked on almost 30 productions as a stage crew member, audio technician, lighting technician, lighting designer, stage manager and director. One of the major highlights of my CUI theater career was being invited to compete in the 2004 KCACTF design competition with my lighting design for Medea. Other highlights include directing Patient A my senior year, designing lighting for the first time for the production of Scapino! my sophomore year, and running lighting for my first production my freshman year at CUI - Agnes of God, which was the first time I had worked on a non-musical.
Were there any experiences that you had at Concordia that made an especially strong impact?
The first production I ever worked on at Concordia, Agnes of God, changed my views of theater drastically. I had been a performer and Stage Manager during high school, but had only worked on large scale musicals and thought that was what all theater was about. I had never had the experience of working on a drama. From the first rehearsal I attended through closing night I was in awe of the production in every aspect; from the directing to each performance that was given on the stage. This was the production that actually made me decide that I wanted to pursue a career in theater, working on pieces like this one. Since then I have enjoyed a very diverse career, continuing to work on both musicals and non-musicals but will always remember the show that made me realize that theater was more than the Broadway-style musicals and that it could have a very personal and profound impact on the audience.