During the course of my undergraduate career, I stage managed one show after another in the Agassiz Theater, beginning with The Gondoliers in the spring of my sophomore year. Seeing the theater full of people during a performance was always a special experience, but my favorite moments in the Ag were the quiet ones. While the seats were still empty and the dressing rooms not yet buzzing with the sound of actors getting into costume and warming up, I used to turn on the aisle lights and sit on the edge of the stage. In those moments, I always imagined I could feel the theater waiting, wanting to be filled with music and laughter and life.
One of the last visits I made before leaving campus in March 2020 was to the Ag. Fellow board member CRBS turned on the light board, and we made the stage glow purple and teal and amber while we played music, danced, and soaked up our last moments in the theater. Eventually, the others headed off to pack and make plans for their departures. Left alone in the space and not knowing how long I might be away, I turned off the light board and returned to my familiar seat on the edge of the stage. The aisle lights cast a gentle glow, appearing in the darkness of the theater like rows of perfectly aligned stars.
As my time at Harvard comes to an end, so too does my career as a stage manager. I may never again be the one to open the theater, to feel the quiet anticipation that fills the Ag in the hours before a performance. But I will remember that feeling forever.