BGSU grad wrangles ‘Wicked’ crew PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Arts & Entertainment Editor   
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 10:09
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BGSU graduate Kevin Beebee is seen speaking to the media at Stranahan Theater in Toledo. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Kevin Beebee felt he'd lost his direction as a criminal justice major.
So on the advice of a mentor he transferred to Bowling Green State University to study what he loved, theater.
Now the 2005 BGSU graduate is directing traffic for the 75-member crew and cast of the Theater League's road show production of "Wicked." As company manager, he also hires another 45 crew members locally.  
The musical opens a three-week run today at the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns, Toledo. The show continues through Sept. 1. For information on showtimes and tickets visit stranahantheater.org. The show, based on a 1995 novel by Gregory Maquire, tells the story of the witches of Oz before Dorothy arrives.
On Tuesday morning, as Beebee met with the press in the aisle of the theater, he had an ear cocked to listen in as the crew swarmed over the stage to set up the show. He stops at one point, thinking he heard something that may require his attention.
The crew in turn teases him about the amount of press attention he's getting.
They had just 30 hours to get the elaborate fantastical set up for opening night.  The show just closed in Houston Sunday night, and then the production was hauled in 13 tractor-trailer trucks to Toledo.
Already looming above the Stranahan stage is a gigantic dragon's head.
Company manager is an all-encompassing job. It means making travel and hotel arrangements, finding local doctors, arranging rental cars, overseeing budgeting and a host of other business details.
The show is by far the largest Beebee has wrangled.
After graduating he managed a small theater. He got a call from fellow BGSU alumnus Shaun Moorman, who was company manager on "Mamma Mia!" about an opening on that show.
Moorman, Beebee said, has led the way for BGSU graduates to enter this side of the theater business. Now the university has a number of graduates touring the country as company managers.
While at BGSU, Beebee performed in the musicals "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Children of Eden."
He served as stage manager for many other productions. His interest in theater goes back to his days in high school at East Lansing, Mich., where he performed in a number of shows.
And while he gets the occasional urge to be on stage, he said, "I love the management side" of the theater world.
The cast and crew needs a break. So he also scouts out activities for them on their one day off, Monday. A group trip to Cedar Point is planned, he said.
"We're like a large family," he said.
The Toledo visit is a homecoming for Beebee. He remembers traveling from campus to Toledo to see the Theater League productions at the Stranahan. He'll have family coming from Michigan to see "Wicked." While here Beebee will also speak to several classes at BGSU, and will bring some cast members to work with students.
While he usually does some of this at stops along the way, he's doing far more here because of his ties to campus.
 

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