ella thompson is in her first year of studying stage management at waapa and has recently come on board with us in the role of local marketing assistant for the february 2023 performance of eaters at the mandurah performing arts centre.
she has been involved with both performing and stage managing since the age of 13 and was accepted into waapa in 2022.
get to know this up-and-coming stage manager at the beginning of her career, learn how she discovered her passion for theatre and performance, and read about where she hopes her future will take her.
You’re a first year Stage Management student at WAAPA. Can you tell us a little bit about what attracted you to theatre and stage management?
When I was 12, I saw the touring production of Wicked at Crown Theatre and it was one of those “oh my goodness this is what I need to be doing” moments! From then I got involved in community theatre all through high school until I had a few years off from study.
I tried to figure out what aspect of theatre suited me best and what I was most passionate about. A few years ago I realised that it was in fact Stage Management! So, I got experience stage managing and assistant stage managing a few shows and the love grew more and more.
This year I got into WAAPA, and I couldn’t be happier. I adore theatre and I’m not sure what I would be without it!
You also mentioned that you’ve performed in a few stage works as an actor. What were your experiences performing?
I have performed since I was 13 with a local community theatre group Stray Cats Theatre Company as well as some school productions and shows with Riptide Youth Theatre Company. Everything based in Mandurah.
Last year I had the best time ever getting to perform as “Cherry Sundae” In Charlie And The Chocolate Factory in the Boardwalk Theatre at The Mandurah Performing Arts Centre and as “Edith Horton” in Picnic At Hanging Rock in the Fishtrap Theatre also at MANPAC. Both shows were put on by Stray Cats.
I love performing and I feel very lucky to have made an incredible friendship group through doing shows in Mandurah.
Acting and Stage Managing – Do you prefer to be in the spotlight or behind the scenes, and why?
I have such a love for both, but Stage Management is definitely a stronger passion for me and the right career path that I would like to go on. I believe I will always have acting on the side as a fun hobby.
What are you interested in learning from the local marketing assistant role, and how do you think it will assist in your future career?
I’m hoping to learn from this role a lot more about marketing, I feel that I understand the basics but getting to learn in such a hands-on way and to be a part of this experience I believe will be very rewarding.
It will help me in my future career as I will get to learn as well as strengthen my skills through this role, such as researching, networking, and learning more on how to contact businesses as well as much more!
Where do you hope your career in Stage Management and performing arts will take you in the future?
In the future I hope to get to work on a large variety of projects, but I have a particular interest in Musical Theatre and (as of this year) Opera! I also hope that my career is filled with getting to work and learn from a large variety of people. I also would love to get to work on productions all around the world as I also love to travel.
In your application, you mentioned one of your non-theatre interests was “all forms of potatoes”. Can you elaborate on that? It’s certainly a unique interest!
Haha! Potatoes are just so versatile! You’ve got mashed, baked, hot chippos, crisps and don’t even get me started on sweet potatoes! Too good!
You can keep up to date with Ella via her Instagram @ella_theatre