IN THE SPOTLIGHT
People Behind the Scenes
Who keeps our university in top shape? It's the People Behind the Scenes! Meet Lynn Nichols, general manager and casting director for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.
What is one thing you would like people to know about the work you do?
I GET TO FALL IN LOVE OVER AND OVER AGAIN! And it's on the job! Let me explain... I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to do a variety of exciting projects during a calendar year. I'm assigned as a senior instructor to The Colorado Shakespeare Festival and I teach and direct for the Department of Theatre and Dance. Each year I direct one play for the Theatre department and participate in making the CSF shows possible each summer. What a wonderful thing it is to bring to life an exciting variety of theatre productions with the talented and dedicated students during the academic year and to get to know the 180 theatre folks who create The Colorado Shakespeare Festival every summer. So, I get to fall in love with a new theatre project, invest my soul in it, work side by side with terrific designers, staff and actors and then... reluctantly say goodbye to that project and look forward to the next. The LIVE THEATRICAL EVENT is something that has thrilled me since I was a child and to be a part of bringing such an event to life gives me much happiness. I'm one of the lucky ones who enjoys the ideal combination of making a living AND doing it while fulfilling one's passions.
What do you like best about being a part of the CU community?
THE STUDENTS! In my job, whether it's at The Colorado Shakespeare Festival or in the Department of Theatre and Dance, I'm in contact daily with some of the brightest, most talented and dedicated students at CU. These students know how to communicate, sharing their talents to create theatre productions that enrich the wider community. The actors learn the discipline that it takes to rehearse four hours a night, six nights a week for six weeks at a time and also carry on with their studies. Technicians spend hours in the theatre late at night in addition to long afternoons hanging and focusing lights, creating and sewing costumes, constructing scenery, painting, crafting props, installing fog machines! All of these students learn the vital skills involved in collaborating with others to bring a theatre project to life. They have such a wide variety of skills and come from many backgrounds. Some are actors, some are dancers, some are costume designers, scenery designers, lighting designers, sound designers, stage managers, stitchers, lighting board operators, sound board operators, house managers, dramaturgs, some are directors and some are even young budding producers! They all learn that it takes working TOGETHER to create something valuable... kinda like LIFE isn't it?
What is your favorite activity/interest outside of work?
ROSES! For the past four years I've been digging deep holes in the hard Gunbarrel clay and planting rose bushes. I have enjoyed spending the winters searching the internet to learn about and purchase just the right bushes for our climate (did you know "own root" roses are best?) in order to have as many fragrant blooms as possible to bring into the house to enjoy for the longest period of time! I have now planted over 100 varieties (forty went in this past summer) and I look forward--for years to come--to reaping the rewards of all of that planning, digging, soil mixing, mulching, watering, pruning. Next spring, summer and fall will bring a lot of beautiful blossoms!
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