Letters from Backstage: Jessica Schwarz

Stage manager, producer and director bonding time!

Hello from Load-In!!!

I’m Jessica, the proud producer of FTC’s The Shadow Box!

Our day started bright and early (but we did get a bonus hour of sleep!). We headed to the PAC shop to eat our quick breakfast of bagels, coffee, and orange juice (and a few cupcakes too…). Our first task was to load the set pieces into the U-Haul truck. While this sounds like a semi-simple task with our 35 person production staff, we faced two challenges: 1. The literal TON of wood we had to carry and 2. The 25 mph winds with gusts up to 44 mph. Who knew flats behaved like kites in the wind?

Driving that U-Haul…

The next task set out for our mobile army of production staff members was to carry the wood, props, and costumes out of the truck and up the winding staircase to our beloved home in Houston Hall Class of ’49. After two hours and several sore muscles later, the set crew started to construct the massive set. Over a short 11-hour time span I watched a house spring to life complete with a porch, kitchen, and living room. However, during this time the other members of the production team were completing a myriad of other tasks. From painting a banner, to postering, to essential CVS runs, the mobilized forces divided and conquered. From time to time I gazed in awe at the incredible group of people with whom I spend so much time. I admire them all for their varied and unique talents.

Building a house one platform at a time.

Day one of tech week was an incredible success. We left tired and fatigued, but with pride in our work, love for each other, and excitement for the rest of the week ahead.

I am so grateful to the FTC board for the opportunity to produce this show. I can not wait to share this production with our friends, family, and the rest of the Penn community. I hope to see you all at the shows this weekend!

FTC Love,




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