Erika Thiede Greeley
PRTC Apprenticeship Credits:
- “Annapurna” by Sharr White
- “Steel Magnolias” by Robert Harling
- “Talley’s Folley” by Lanford Wilson
- “2AZ” by Michael Brian Ogden
What or who inspired you to become an apprentice at The Purple Rose?
I took a couple of acting classes at The Purple Rose (Monologue Intensive and Actor/Director Lab) with Michelle Mountain (Director of Educational Programming) and Guy Sanville (Artistic Director) that changed my life; I studied theatre in college, but had never had classes like these. Everything clicked. I wanted to learn as much as possible and the apprenticeship was the obvious choice for completely immersing myself into this very specific world of theatre.
What is the most useful skill or piece of knowledge you gained from your apprenticeship?
Some experiences are like a marathon, not a sprint…but the kind of marathon where you end up sprinting most of the time; you must learn how to pace yourself while pushing yourself.
What job opportunities (theatre-related or otherwise) have you had following your apprenticeship?
I made my professional debut as Fiona in the world premiere of Jeff Daniel’s “Casting Session” and have been lucky enough to participate in a handful of greenhouses for new plays, including former apprentice Megan Pinto’s “Winter In Eden.”
How has your apprenticeship prepared you for/contributed to your current job?
I was a Purple Rose Apprentice; I can do anything. I’m not kidding.
Do you have a funny or embarrassing story from your time as an apprentice?
As an apprentice, there isn’t much time for things like eating; you learn to carry portable, ready-to-eat foods and I came to rely heavily on bananas. I started to measure the stress level of my day by the number of bananas I consumed. One evening, when Stage Manager Thomas Macias asked me how I was doing, I responded: “Today is a three-banana kind of day.”
Of the shows on which you worked, which one was your favorite? Why?
I loved “Annapurna.” As AME (Assistant Master Electrician), I saw the show from the booth over and over, and always got something new out of it, an “Aha” moment; that – to me – is a sign of great theatre.