5 July 2016 • Gate Theatre
Interview with: Jake StepanskyTell us a bit about your job at the Gate?
I’m an intern focusing the bulk of my work in the development department, which means I’m involved in a number of projects that help the Gate achieve its fundraising targets. Development is an entirely new domain for me, so I’ve been learning nonstop since I’ve arrived a month ago. I also help out wherever I’m needed around the office and try to absorb as many lessons from everyone here as possible.
In an alternate universe, what would your ideal job be?
I would love to be a professional scuba diver. I’m 85% certain that that is not a real job, but I’d make it happen. More realistically, I’d love to be a world famous chef at a restaurant that serves something like 100 clients per year for thousands of dollars (or pounds) per plate.
What is the best show you have ever seen?
As everyone has said, that’s an incredibly difficult question. I’d have to narrow it down to Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon and Rick Elice’s Peter and the Starcatcher. Both of these productions capitalized on minimalist staging, music, and the human imagination to thoroughly explore their respective themes - race and performance in the former and the childhood-to-adulthood transition in the latter. I’m also a sucker for a good spectacle…
If you could swap places with anyone for one day, who would it be?
Music is an enormous part of my life, so I’d absolutely want to swap with one of my favourite musicians of all time – Chris Thile. He’s arguably the best in the world at his instrument, the mandolin, and he’s a kickass performer who oozes charisma and virtuosity. So yeah, him!
Why does theatre matter?
I come from an education-focused background, so one big reason that theatre matters for me is that it can engage and inspire students, improve educational outcomes, and change the world by changing lives. That really hit home for me when a friend told me that she wouldn’t have made it through high school if she hadn’t been a part of our theatre program. Beyond that, theatre makes you think and feel in a world that sometimes makes it hard to do either.