Chelsea Walsh is the Company Manager at Gulfshore Playhouse.
Q: What age did you discover you were interested in theatre? Was there a particular event or experience that revealed your interest?
My mom jokes that it was in the womb – she saw Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables when she was pregnant with me. My first actual theater experience was seeing the National Tour of The Sound of Music at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta with Marie Osmond as Maria when I was four or five. The next year I saw Les Miserables and that sealed the deal of my theater obsession.
Q: You are called the “Company Manager” at Gulfshore Playhouse. Can you talk a little about what that position entails?
The Company Manager is a bit what it sounds like. They manage the needs of the company – coordinating meetings and celebrations for staff, the point of contact during emergencies, maintain company housing and vehicles, and serve as the welcome committee for new staff. Additionally, the Company Manager is the bridge between the adminstrative and artistic departments. They coordinate logistics for any artists or guests associated with a production. This includes travel, housing, and any other non-production needs. They are generally the primary contact for any non-production need, or will at least know the correct person to answer the question.
Q: How did you end up pursuing this particular aspect of theatre?
As a musician from a relatively early age, and being involved in theater, I realized I enjoyed being backstage more than onstage. I received a degree in Music Management with a minor in Theater Production. My final semester was an internship at The Kennedy Center as the Production Intern for the Washington National Opera. From there, I went to Artis—Naples, where I had a similar position as Company Manager for eight years. I am very excited to be back at a producing company – there is nothing like that energy.
Q: What does a typical day in your role look like? There really isn’t a “typical day” in this kind of job. Depending on where in the production process, I may be running around checking housing to make sure things are ready for artists, booking flights and transportation, running to the airport to pick up the artist, attending rehearsals, or planning/prepping the opening night event. Some days I may be stuck at my desk, others, I may not see my desk. One day could be completely different from the next, which definitely makes it exciting.
Q: What might people be surprised to learn about your job?
People are often surprised by the scope of the job.
Q: What are you most looking forward to this season at Gulfshore Playhouse?
I can’t wait for a live performance with an audience again!