“Art + OCD” is how Amanda West describes being the Director of Production at AT&T Performing Arts Center, where she’s in charge backstage.
Amanda has worked at the AT&T Performing Arts Center for almost seven years, while also freelancing for companies like Theatre Three, Uptown Players and The Drama Club. Her work can be seen all over Dallas, but her time at the Center has included embarrassing moments with both Oprah and Al Pacino – plus a flood in the Wyly Theatre.
What is your favorite show/program/series to work?
TITAS Presents. Working on every one of their shows for all these years I have seen soooo much amazing work and have worked with so many artists from across the world. It’s really fascinating.
Who’s your favorite performing artist?
I have lots of favorites but if I had to pick one it’s probably Prince.
Oooh or Tina Turner!
Favorite Center venue?
The Winspear Opera House, my home away from home.
Favorite memory at the Center?
Years ago, there was a big flood at the Wyly Theatre. Water was inside and all over tons of machinery and electrical and audio systems. My crew had been up all night long trying to clean and salvage everything they could. I didn’t even know it happened until about 7 a.m. and I headed straight for the theatre. The guys looked dog tired, but diligently spent the next fifteen minutes giving me a detailed update of all the damage and outcomes. When they finished, I said “Hey, on the bright side, there’s a girl in a bikini and high heels doing a photo shoot on the reflecting pool.” And there was. And they were suddenly full of energy and felt the need to sweep all the sidewalks around the pool.
But really, war stories are the best stories. We’ve been through some crazy schedules, super-demanding shows, for days and weeks. Coming out of it on the other side, no matter how good or bad it was, and saying goodnight to the crew as everyone goes home is my favorite.
Also there was that time I mistook Al Pacino for a stagehand.
Most embarrassing moment at the Center?
Did I mention I thought Al Pacino was a stagehand?
Or maybe Oprah being on our stage and having to wing it due to the biggest live performance technical failure ever (not our fault).
Are you involved in the performing arts outside of your work at the Center?
Yes yes. I am a freelance lighting designer for Theatre Three, Uptown Players, and The Drama Club. And I’m about to do my first lighting design for Bruce Wood Dance Project!
How does the Center fulfill its mission to be a gathering place that strengthens community and fosters creativity?
Our support of our resident companies, Aurora, and initiatives like the Elevator Project are the ones I like the best. I like seeing local artists getting to show their work on campus.
What’s the best part of living in Dallas?
1. I get work in the arts every day and don’t have to move to New York to do it.
2. Food. Being a chef’s wife in this town is pretty cool.*
3. Good people.
*Amanda’s husband Michael is a chef at Stocks & Bondy at the Dallas Farmers Market.
Favorite Dallas sports team?
What are sports?
But really, I watch boxing.
Finish this sentence: “When I’m not at the Center, you can find me…”
Amanda earned a BFA degree from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. Her experience ranges from theatre to commercial construction, technical direction to bartending during intermission. She is primarily a lighting designer and has done so for more than 45 professional shows since 2002, and is looking forward to celebrating her 50th before the end of 2016. Her work can regularly be seen on the stages of Theatre Three, Uptown Players and The Drama Club, and has received multiple local awards and nominations.