Meet Arkansas Light, Christmas Revels Production Stage Manager

Blogs

10.08.2021

Between the music, the costumes, the lights, and the actors, it takes a lot of coordination to run The Christmas Revels. Luckily, we have the incredibly talented Arkansas “Ark” Light, our resident Christmas Revels stage manager, to keep the wheels spinning and the curtain opening on time. We got to chat with Ark about her work backstage and her favorite moments from her years at Revels!

How long have you worked with Revels?

The Welsh Christmas Revels in 2015 was my first year. So I’ve done 5 years of Christmas Revels now.

The Christmas Revels is a huge undertaking with lots of moving parts for a stage manager. Could you give us a brief overview of what you’re responsible for during the show?

The Christmas Revels is really its own animal. You come in pretty late in the Revels process, so it’s more about managing the different parts that have already been created and just getting them all to mesh together. The chorus already knows what they’re doing, everybody knows their blocking, and someone has already worked out who gets what props when, so I just have to come in and make sure everyone plays well together. I also help layer the technical elements on top of what the actors are doing. It’s always exciting to figure out what language I’m going to learn to speak each year. My first year, I showed up for the final rehearsal and they gave me a script to follow along. That first year was the Welsh show, and the Welsh language doesn’t look anything like it sounds. All of a sudden I have this script in front of me that has no vowels and I just have to follow along. I have to say there was a pretty big adrenaline rush after the first invited dress when I was able to say “I did this, this works, we’re good.” 

Have you had a favorite Christmas Revels out of the ones you’ve stage managed?

You know, there’s something I love about each one.The Welsh show is always going to be close to my heart because of the dragons, and because it was my first one. The Acadian show had a lot of really special people in the cast and crew. The Venetian show was a hoot with the fake Morris men leading a prison break in Venice, I thought that was great. We had so much fun with that one. For the Nordic show, I think I learned three different languages. And the American celebration was really awesome too because it had such a big, diverse cast with so many different elements in it. You know, I don’t think I could pick a favorite, because each one has its own special thing. They all feel like my children. 


How did you end up working in stage management?

I fell into it by accident. I performed in my high school theatre company, and really loved my time there, but I very much understood that I was a big fish in a little pond there and would be a little fish in a big pond if I went anywhere else. When I went to college, I wasn’t really doing any theatre – I was studying science. Then a friend of mine had to back out from stage managing a production for the multicultural performing arts group on campus and she thought that since I had theatre experience, maybe I could step in and support them. I’d never been a stage manager before, but I thought I could handle sitting in the chair and calling cues. It ended up being a really great experience, and I realized this was really where I wanted to be. Then I realized I could actually stage manage for a living. So I fell into it by accident, fell in love with it, and just stayed. 


Have you been able to find any projects to work on while we’ve been in lockdown?

I actually got licensed as an EMT, and am pursuing that as well. And I had to deal with a bloody nose at a rehearsal not too long ago, so the skill sets are more related than you may think.

What are the most exciting and most challenging parts in being a stage manager?

The most exciting part is always the tech portion. I like to say that I make magic for a living, and that’s where we start to layer in the magic. Sometimes that’s also the most challenging part, like in the case of The Merchant of Venice, which I’m doing now at Actors’ Shakespeare Project. I’m running lights and sounds together and there’s a LOT of both. My right hand and my left hand have to play pretty well together. Another challenging element is dealing with the people you’re working with and trying to get the personalities to mesh.

Do you have a favorite production that you’ve worked on during your career?

The Hotel Nepenthe, produced by Actors Shakespeare Project. It was written by a local playwright, John Kuntz and directed by David Gammons, and then we remounted it a few months later for the Huntington’s emerging artists program at the Calderwood. It had parallel universes, funky little stories, amazing lights and sound, and a great cast of four – it will always hold a very special place in my heart.

What projects do you have on your schedule besides The Christmas Revels

As I said, I’m working on The Merchant of Venice at Actors’ Shakespeare Company through October 17th. I also have The Inheritance booked for the spring at Speakeasy Stage Company.


Is there anything else you’d want to say to the Revels community?

I have this inside joke with Revels people who know me from years past, – it’s all about having a good time and trying not to suck. 


Don’t miss Ark and the rest of the Christmas Revels team LIVE in Sanders Theatre this December!

share this story on social media

Related Stories
See More
Blogs
11.23.2021
Thanks Giving

Read More

Blogs
10.08.2021
Meet Arkansas Light, Christmas Revels Production Stage Manager

Read More

Blogs
09.22.2021
Artist Spotlight: Ken Field

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
01.26.2021
Volunteer Spotlight: Haley Fisher

Read More

Reviews
12.29.2020
The Sleepless Critic Review: Christmas Revels 50th virtual anniversary delivers mirth, merriment,

Read More

Reviews
12.23.2020
Review: Christmas Classics – Virtual Editions and Good as New!!

Read More

Reviews
12.19.2020
Boston Globe Review: This virtual Christmas Revels is a virtual triumph

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
11.10.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Rachel Grygorcewicz

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
10.29.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Nick Browse

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
10.01.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Ross Hall

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
08.26.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Harvey Cohen

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
08.05.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Cathie Ghorbani

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
07.07.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Mari Young

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
06.30.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: Julie Smith

Read More

Blogs
05.19.2020
David Zooms to Perkins

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight
05.13.2020
Volunteer Spotlight: John Recroft

Read More

Blogs
04.30.2020
MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!

Read More

Reviews
12.19.2019
Review: Christmas Revels Brings Its Special Cheer to Depression Era America

Read More

Reviews
12.19.2019
BWW Review: THE CHRISTMAS REVELS: A Long Tradition of Community Forged Through

Read More

Reviews
12.17.2019
Theater Review: The Christmas Revels – American Version

Read More

Reviews
12.16.2019
REVIEW: Nearly 50, Christmas Revels is better than ever

Read More

Reviews
12.14.2019
REVIEW: This Christmas Revels goes to the American heartland

Read More

Blogs
11.21.2019
Thanksgiving

Read More

Blogs
06.21.2019
Solstice Duality

Read More

Blogs
03.19.2019
Happy Spring!

Read More

Reviews
12.20.2018
REVIEW: Christmas Revels Celebrates the ‘Other’ Great White North

Read More

Reviews
12.18.2018
REVIEW: ‘The Christmas Revels’ points north

Read More

Reviews
12.18.2018
Theater Review: The Christmas Revels – A Wonderful Nordic Celebration

Read More

Blogs
11.12.2018
Just Add Audience

Read More

Blogs
06.21.2018
The Longest Day

Read More

Blogs
05.16.2018
A Magical Experience: The Making of a CD

Read More

Blogs
02.14.2018
Malibu 2018

Read More

Reviews
12.27.2017
REVIEW: Revels’ ‘Venetian Celebration’ glitters

Read More

Reviews
12.13.2017
REVIEW: Old World Music, Comedy from Renaissance Era Lights Up Christmas Revels

Read More

Blogs
12.12.2017
St. Nicholas in Bohemia: Mikulas Eve

Read More

Reviews
12.10.2017
REVIEW: A handsome ‘Christmas Revels’ brings the party to Venice

Read More

Reviews
12.01.2017
A liberating holiday performance

Read More

Blogs
11.30.2017
The Master of the Revels

Read More

Blogs
06.21.2017
The Solstice Stands Revealed

Read More

Announcements
06.15.2017
Revels is here! Revels is here!

Read More

Blogs
05.24.2017
Striding Arches

Read More

Blogs
04.18.2017
Moonlighting with Shakespeare

Read More

Blogs
02.23.2017
What Blizzard?

Read More

Reviews
12.14.2016
Christmas Revels Enchants with Celebration of Acadian, Cajun Cultures

Read More

Announcements
12.12.2016
The Holy and the Broken Hallelujah Or How I learned to stop

Read More

Reviews
12.12.2016
This Acadian-Cajun Christmas Revels lets the good times roll

Read More

Reviews
12.04.2016
Annual Christmas Revels’ production fills the stage with delight

Read More

Blogs
06.06.2016
A Music Director Reflects

Read More

Blogs
04.11.2016
Fenway’s Ritual Earth

Read More

Announcements
03.08.2016
Welcome to Our New Music Director

Read More

Blogs
02.17.2016
Reflections on Malibu

Read More

Reviews
12.14.2015
‘Christmas Revels’ finally makes it to Wales

Read More

Blogs
12.10.2015
Christmas Revels – Looking Back and Looking Forward

Read More

Blogs
10.26.2015
Dylan Thomas: the intersection where poetry and drama meet

Read More

Announcements
09.16.2015
Revels Music Director George Emlen Announces His Retirement

Read More

Blogs
08.24.2015
Giving Voice

Read More

Blogs
07.17.2015
A Revels Director in Wales

Read More

Blogs
06.19.2015
Summer solstice: the year’s circus act

Read More

Reviews
06.12.2015
The Boston Globe profiles harpist Maeve Gilchrist and Revels FRINGE

Read More

Announcements
05.27.2015
Reporting on Education at Revels

Read More

Blogs
05.11.2015
The Great Flying Machine Race

Read More

Blogs
05.01.2015
The Wheel of the World

Read More

Blogs
04.13.2015
What’s Your Version of the Revels Elephant?

Read More

Announcements
01.26.2015
Farewell from Steve

Read More

Announcements
01.14.2015
Summer Camp

Read More

Reviews
12.17.2014
Fuse Theater Review: The Christmas Revels – Charming English Music Hall Edition

Read More

Reviews
12.17.2014
The Boston Globe Review: For Christmas Revels, a welcome return to Victorian

Read More

Reviews
12.16.2014
Events Insider Review: Christmas Revels Brings Victorian Dance Hall Celebration to Sanders

Read More

Reviews
12.15.2014
TAB Newspapers Theater Review: Revels transports audiences to Victorian England

Read More

Blogs
12.11.2014
The Crystal Palace

Read More

Blogs
09.16.2014
Don’t Blame Persephone

Read More

Blogs
07.07.2014
From the FRINGE: Who’s Maeve Listening to?

Read More

Blogs
06.20.2014
Solstice Fires

Read More

Blogs
04.25.2014
Patriot’s Day – My Favorite Holiday

Read More

Announcements
04.14.2014
A Forum on Arts Funding

Read More

Blogs
03.18.2014
Spring Forward

Read More

Blogs
03.03.2014
The Itinerant Musician

Read More

Announcements
02.05.2014
Welcome to the Revels blog

Read More

Stay up to date
with Revels.
Sign up to receive email updates on performances, events, and news coming from Revels.