Amanda Fine, Stage Manager and Stage Mom written by Jane Orme
Amanda Fine is a jewel–she is stage manager for Beauty and the Beast. As the director of said show, I am so lucky to have her by my side, so before you read further about this remarkable volunteer extraordinaire, let me say thank you so much for all you do for The Merc Playhouse!
As stage manager, Amanda Fine works closely with me and the actors. Amanda explains how she landed at The Merc: “I was happy I was available and could say YES! My son (Orlo) is in the show and I thought it would be a great way to meet some of the younger members of our community.”
Amanda attends all rehearsals, “holding book” so that when actors forget a line, she prompts them, and working with actors on entrances, exits, and transitions backstage. Also at rehearsals, she takes detailed notes from Missi’s choreography sessions. During all of the performances, Amanda is the “go-to” for costume changes, props, problem solver, timekeeper, and full-fledged “Manager of Backstage.”
I asked her to “Sell” Beauty and the Beast to our readers and here’s what she said: “It is a classic story. You will be amazed how poignantly these kids portray their roles. You will love the energy on stage. You will see the love that has gone into making the magic happen. The cast has worked hard and they are ready to entertain YOU!”
I couldn’t describe it better.
The first time I heard about Amanda’s generosity as a volunteer was when she opened her home to one of our directors of The Merc Children’s Camp last summer for a week! Then she played Annie in The One Act Play That Goes Wrong in the fall. Volunteerism runs in the family. Her son Orlo has either been in or stage managed every show at The Merc since July, and her husband designed and built a fantastic set piece for Beauty and the Beast.
Who is Amanda Fine? Amanda grew up outside Philadelphia and participated in school theater productions but chose another path in college. She completed a veterinary degree at the University of Pennsylvania and later took up a position in Mongolia, where, as she describes, “my career evolved from livestock medicine to wildlife conservation.”
She married, had Orlo, and after eight years in Mongolia, they lived and worked in Viet Nam. From Viet Nam, they moved to Twisp in the summer of 2021. It was in Mongolia that Amanda reconnected with theater. She tells this amazing story below:
“When living in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, I was part of a community theater group called the UB Players. One of the more memorable events was a full production of The Sound of Music directed by the US Ambassador. I was asked to be the stage manager for the production and the cast and crew were an eclectic mix of diplomats, international school teachers, Peace Corps volunteers, missionaries, and some very talented Mongolian musicians. It was incredible to see the show come together through the collective efforts of people from so many different countries and walks of life.”
So what brought Amanda, her husband, and Orlo to the Methow? She states that in many ways Twisp reminds them of the small town life they experienced while living and working in Mongolia. They were familiar with the valley and its many wonderful ski trails.
Amanda says The Merc Playhouse is a “very special place” with its dynamic live theater scene providing so many opportunities for youth. The Merc brings people together and “gives individuals a place to shine.”
Thank you, Amanda, for being the stage manager for BATB, for sharing Orlo with us, and having a husband who is willing to contribute his expertise.
We are so thrilled to have Amanda on our team!