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October 3, 2012

Staff Profile – Andrew Hillman, Associate Technical Director

Andrew Hillman

How long have you worked for Soulpepper and tell us a little bit about what you do.

I’ve been with Soulpepper for a little over a year and a half now. Very briefly, I put the shows onstage. Longer explanation is that I communicate with the designers and directors, create working drawings, make custom excel programs, manage the schedules and technicians, and endeavor to make it all come out within budget.

What has your job consisted of lately?

The last few months were a flurry of putting shows onstage. We had five shows in two theatres open this summer so there was always something going on. I was largely occupied with making walls move smoothly, making sure witches didn’t fly off the stage, chandeliers stop spinning, and that everything offstage was hidden.

Our biggest challenge is always where to put all the set pieces, props and costume racks for the shows that aren’t onstage that night. This summer was especially tricky since all five shows had fairly large or complicated set pieces. It’s good to know that all those years playing Tetris amounted to something.

What kinds of shows/productions/events have you been involved in outside of work?

In the past, I’ve had pieces in art festivals, played violin or percussion in orchestras, created websites and logos, and made sets and props for a few student films. My schedule lately hasn’t allowed a lot of time for these, so I’ve mostly been working on my own stuff.

When you’re not at work, what are you doing?

As many around the office have had to put up with, I’m always making something, whether it’s the plethora of cartoons that have started covering the walls or making wire sculptures that hover over my desk. Actually the wire creatures have been taking most of my spare time. Creating birds, dragons and fish out of steel and brass and then making them move is a challenge I really enjoy. Currently I’m working on adding a galloping horse to my collection.

Between the sculptures and work I haven’t gotten up to too much trouble. There’s been a noticeable lack of pranks recently, but I’ve mostly been recharging my batteries by going out bowling with friends and catching up on my favourite Whovian TV shows.

What do you love about being a part of the staff at Soulpepper/Young Centre?

The people. We come from such diverse backgrounds and experience, but it all meshes so well together and everyone seems willing to pitch in and lend a hand. Everyone is happy and friendly from the upper management to the actors. And even the jobs that usually have a stigma of grumpy unhelpful staff aren’t that way at Soulpepper. It makes it really easy to come to work each day knowing that no one’s malicious, everyone’s appreciated, and it’s never ever dull.

Photos by Nathan Kelly.