Michelle Fraioli (Class of ’10), is currently the Theatre Manager at New World Stages in New York. She is proof that perseverance and tenacity do pay off and should be an inspiration to our students. After earning her BFA in Acting, she returned to her hometown New York and got a job working in the Box Office for Shakespeare in the Park with The Public theatre, where she interned as a high school student. Within a year, Michelle began working as an Usher at New World Stages. That job was a stepping stone to becoming Assistant House Manager, where she provided administrative support to the Main House Manager. She left New World Stages briefly to work with their sister company Stage Entertainment, but returned to New World as Theatre Manager and has been in this position for over six months.
“New World Stages is a state of the art theatrical complex just off Times Square, which has served as the home of Tony award winning, Guinness Record setting and Pulitzer Prize earning shows.” There are five theatres within NWS, (with a seating capacity of up to four hundred and ninety nine), two bars and the Time Out New York Lounge which hosts karaoke nights, holds auditions and is a hot spot for cabarets and one man/woman shows to be performed.
As Theatre Manager, her responsibilities include coordinating with Producers, Company Managers and Stage Managers of each show to ensure all requests are met, hiring and overseeing the house and bar staff, managing the five theatres within New World Stages, selecting late night programming for the lounge, responding to any complaints or issues that arise during performances, producing performance reports, attending weekly status meetings and many other administrative roles.
As a young girl, Michelle dreamt of running The Public theatre. While she enjoys acting and performance, she was always interested in the administrative aspect of the entertainment business. She attributes a great deal of her knowledge to Phillip Church and Marilyn Skow, both of whom provided her with a wealth of information about theatre management, especially through The Alternative Theatre Festival.
When asked if she had any advice for our current students, Michelle responded, “It is a wonderful, tough, sometimes frustrating business, but don’t give up. Try to get your name out there and take advantage of any opportunities you are given in this business. There is a growing FIU Theatre community in New York. I am a part of it and you can be too. It took me three years to get this job that I love, so believe me it’s possible.”
We are very proud of Michelle and wish her continued success.