Center stage: Sinfonicron Assistant Director Sofia Quinteiro ’20 blends leadership, artistic vision

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As an assistant stage manager for Sinfonicron productions such as “The Sorcerer” and “The Grand Duke,” and as Assistant Director for Sinfonicron’s latest performance, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Sofia Quinteiro’s ’20 love for theater is evident.

From a young age, Quinteiro felt called to the stage. At five years old, her grandmother took her to see a performance of the musical “Oliver!” When the song, “As Long as He Needs Me” started, musical theater immediately meant something more than just entertainment to Quinteiro.

“Even when I was little, I understood, just from the orchestration, the emotions and the voice that there was something there,” Quinteiro said. “Something about music is very empowering [and] moving to me, and that was probably the first song I heard that I was like, I want to know more.”

Quinteiro’s curiosity for playwriting began at age nine, and she started acting at age 7. When Quinteiro arrived at the College of William and Mary, she knew she wanted to major in theater, and quickly searched for activities on campus that could supplement her theater experience.

“I went to auditions, which was a little hard because I also went to school, and I didn’t have an agent, so it really wasn’t my main priority, but I spent a lot of time going to summer camps and doing training,” Quinteiro said.

Quinteiro’s interest in stage management culminated as a teenager. It became the field that she wanted to focus on as she moved forward.

“I wondered if there’s a way to combine theatrical leadership with the artistic side of creating a show, and I sort of realized that I wanted to go in the direction of being an artistic director, and that’s what I came into college knowing…I wanted to do,” Quinteiro said.

Knowing that stage management was the area she wanted to specialize in, Quinteiro asked stage managers in the theater, speech and dance department if they needed students to help with their productions, but no positions were available. Through open houses sponsored by the theater program, Quinteiro was able to build a network that would lead her to Sinfonicron, where she was eventually hired as Assistant Director for “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Quinteiro rushed Nu Kappa Epsilon, the music sorority at the College, and one of the sisters at the open house introduced her to Sinfonicron and helped her become involved in the organization.

Although she is invisible onstage when attending a Sinfonicron performance such as “Our Lady of Kibeho” which she stage managed for in 2017, Quinteiro plays a big role in making sure the production runs smoothly.

“The stage manager is … the person who’s in charge of managing the actors, making sure they are where they are supposed to be for every part of the rehearsal process,” Quinteiro said. “[The stage manager] sits in on every single rehearsal and takes notes in the form of a report and sends it out to all of the departments to make sure people are communicating with each other and that nothing goes unsaid.”

Quinteiro recognized the importance of representation in musical theater at a young age, and it continues to be a key priority for her.

“I could tell that there was a certain type of person that theater stereotypes,” Quinteiro said. “[It] expects women to be [a certain type], especially in musical theater, which was what I was most interested in. Everyone expects everybody to look and sound exactly the same, and people tend to be almost interchangeable in a lot of ways, and I didn’t really like that.”

The main message Quinteiro wants to spread is inclusiveness and representation on campus — both of which are important to her, especially among the Sinfonicron community.

“The thought of a company where everyone’s role matters, is something that matters to me a lot, and making people feel welcome in that environment, and trying to make it something that is more accessible is something that is really important to me,” Quinteiro said.

Quinteiro recently received a rose from the Ladies of Alpha, a secret society at the College for the work she does with Sinfonicron. The Ladies of Alpha gives roses to women from the College for the  various achievements, leadership and contributions they bring to the College.

“I knew that I had to go pick it up, and it was shocking at the beginning because there are so many amazing women involved in Sinfonicron, I would have thought they would have picked our producer, or one of the lead designers who are women or any of those girls who have been with Sinfonicron for a long time and are about to graduate,” Quinteiro said. “I just sort of expected they would have picked somebody else.”

Receiving the flower from the Ladies of Alpha was an honor to Quinteiro — one that shocked her, but put her role as a leader on campus into perspective. 

“What’s keeping me going is making sure that other people feel like they are important, and they are being spoken for, and comfortable and happy, that’s something that is important to me,” Quinteiro said.

 

Correction: A former version of this article incorrectly stated that Quinteiro was stage manager for Sinfonicron’s “The Drowsy Chaperone,” when Quinteiro was the actually Assistant Director. The article referred to Quinteiro as the stage manager for the latest Sinfonicron performance, but has been corrected to clarify that Quinteiro was a stage manager for Sinfonicron’s 2017 performance of “Our Lady of Kibeho.” Quinteiro is also currently serving as stage manager for the senior directorial show going up in March.