Tales from the Booth with Stefan Kahlstorf

A lot of work goes into each and every production done at the Playhouse. It may sound cliche, but many hours of blood, sweat and tears really do go into each show. It’s a heckuva lot of work, but ask any of the actors on stage or crew members running things behind-the-scenes, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of putting on a production for hundreds (or thousands!) of people.

The Children’s Theatre season opener of ‘Sideways Stories of Wayside School‘ has a lots of cool technical elements to see and hear. If you haven’t already seen the show (which you should. Get your tickets here.) From eerie sound effects to laptop-exploding projections (again, you’ll have to come see the show to find out what we mean!), it’s all in thanks to our behind-the-scene helpers, like Stefan Kahlstorf.

Meet Stefan, and learn what it’s like being a part of the Playhouse.

Stefan Kahlstorf


“When I started acting, I wouldn’t have guessed that I would get into the tech side of theatre as well. But as I was given the opportunity to be the stage manager for Metamorphoses during the summer of 2013, I realized I like it. It doesn’t have the same pulse-racing, light-soaked appeal as acting that gives me a feeling like nothing else does, but I like it none the less. Since then, I’ve been the assistant director for Hairspray, and the front of house lead for Thoroughly Modern Millie. During Millie, a mic wrangler was needed backstage for the run of the show, and I thought I’d give it a try. I had my foot in the door for sound work.

Stefan (wearing the long black coat back left) served as assistant director in the Children's Theatre production of 'Hairspray.'

Stefan (wearing the long black coat back left) served as assistant director in the Children’s Theatre production of ‘Hairspray.’

Sideways Stories from Wayside School is a zany, fun-filled show that is perfect for the Playhouse Children’s Theatre season opener. Although I wasn’t able to audition because I had already been cast in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing with Wise Fool Shakespeare, my younger brother Aidan was cast in Wayside. Tales closed and I had a break. After all, I had been in Hamlet and Tales during the same period of time, and a break is always nice.

The tech for Wayside needed a crew, and although I had only had a week off, that’s really the longest I can stay away from theatre. A soundboard/ projections operator was needed, and that’s what I’m currently doing. It’s been fun, and although with any tech it can be stressful, I’ve loved this opportunity and have learned a lot.

Stefan (center) in the Children's Theatre production of 'Hamlet.'

Stefan (center) in the Children’s Theatre production of ‘Hamlet.’

I’m currently preparing for many auditions that range from shows coming up at the Playhouse, the Children’s Theatre Shrek and Willy Wonka, to auditioning for theatre programs in colleges around the U.S., and will keep the appreciation for the technical side of acting. Even though it’s a lot of work, teching can be fun and educational, and I hope everyone has a chance to do something with the technical side of theatre, so they can appreciate it as well.”


Come see ‘Sideways Stories of Wayside School.’

WHERE: The Duluth Playhouse
WHEN: October 23 – 26
TIMES: Thurs-Fri @ 7:00pm, Saturday @ 1:00pm and 4:00pm, Sunday @ 2:00pm

TICKETS: Purchase online, call 218.733.7555, or stop by our offices (506 W. Michigan St., in the Duluth Depot building)
PRICES: Adults – $14, Students/Youth (17 and under) – $12


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