Hazel Le '22
Jasper Gitlitz ’22 brightens any room he walks into, even when the room is a dimly-lighted one on the third floor of Flagg Hall. His room vibrates his energy and personality with the LGBTQIA+ flag hung above his bed and pictures of his friends taped against the wall.
As Jasper sat comfortably on the maroon leather chair in the corner of the room, he started to reflect on his journey to explore his passion—theater.
“I started theater in sixth grade, so I was eleven. I remembered I got into the technical side of theater because my two friends did it and told me to join. So I joined, and I fell in love with it even more than they did,” Jasper said.
In middle school, Jasper worked on the soundboard and lightboard for play productions. While he learned the basics of theater production at his old sound and light club, Jasper is self-taught in other aspects of theater production such as changing colors, patterns, and moving lights.
When Jasper began his sophomore year at Loomis Chaffee, he had the opportunity to step in for stage management once again.
“I had stage management at my old school before but it was so different. Ms. Chirgotis [the former Theatre and Dance Department head] would help me if I asked for anything…[but] most of the time the other stage managers and I just figured it out as we went,” Jasper said.
Jasper’s current position as a stage manager entails running rehearsals and ensuring everything stays on schedule. What many people don’t expect about Jasper’s responsibilities, however, is the paperwork.
“I have about 15 to 25 files on Google Docs per show, plus the two scripts, one for blocking and one for my cues. I often go back to the dorm after theater and fill up information, write up reports, go through my script, corroborate the changes of the lines, and put them up. That takes a lot of my time,” Jasper said.
Jasper opened his bottom drawers and showed me the stack of original documents he has accumulated over the years. Despite the rigorous hours to run the productions smoothly, to Jasper, hearing the audiences’ reactions after the play makes it all worth the hard work.
“I love hearing people talk about [the plays] afterward. It’s even just the little things like ‘oh I love the props’… I just feel really proud because one of the things I love about being a stage manager is that I’m really involved in every aspect of the show,” Jasper said.
Besides stage management in theater, Jasper is also in charge of the Student Productions club (StuPro) on campus, which allows him to continue exploring his technical skills.
“Now I’m at a point where I’m using a light board which is basically like a software program on a giant keyboard with a ton of buttons and styles. For the Lip Sync Battle, I actually pre-programmed it all on my computer. The board that [Loomis] has is very old and simple. Luckily it does have a USB port so I can download it from my computer to program,” Jasper said.
Jasper’s professionalism and passion for theater has been instrumental in shaping his identity.
“If I can describe myself in three words, they would be: sociable, creative, and dramatic —pun totally intended,” Jasper said.