Episode 5 – Bringing Team to Theatre: It’s More Than Acting

Even when you are on stage for the first time as an actor, it is very clear that success is only possible if the entire cast works seamlessly together as a team. But what does that really mean? Tracy Tollmann, the Chair of The Bonn Players Committee, asserts that it is much more than just acting – that it requires a focus on the needs and interests of the entire membership. You will want to be ready to take notes as she shares her ideas and experiences with making team the core principle of managing amateur theatre.

Tracy Tollmann

Tracy Tollmann was born in the UK and moved to Bonn, Germany in 1988. She now holds dual citizenship. Fascinated by the performing arts as a young child, she debuted her acting talents as Cinderella at the age of seven and studied dance, choreography and theatre arts in school. In 1978 she toured France with the National Youth Theatre. 

About her work as a registered nurse, she writes that she “gained a deep and abiding respect for my fellow man (and woman) and … a wicked sense of humour.” Her passion for rowing (5 years with Sons of the Thames in Hammersmith, London) instilled in her a profound sense of team and the importance of doing her part.

Marriage, children and passion about addressing climate change and environmental issues took her away from theatre for a time. Working for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for 23 years, she has excelled at organization and process management. One of the core elements of her success was applying a problem-solving approach that was based on creating agreement and synergy among team members with divergent objectives.

Her success in an unexpected acting opportunity in 2013 led to an invitation to join The Bonn Players and then The Bonn University Shakespeare Company (BUSC) where she has acted, directed and produced plays, helped backstage and has run workshops on pronunciation and diction for Shakespeare plays.

Despite the time demands of her continuing career at the UN, she agreed to serve as the Vice-Chair of The Bonn Players Committee in 2019 and as the Chair since 2020. She places great value in fostering increased synergy between the members and among the Bonn-based English-language theatre groups.  Even with the challenges and constraints of the Covid pandemic, she has facilitated growth and excitement as well as streamlining many of the administrative management tasks.

You can read more about the Bonn Players here: www.bonnplayers.de

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All Things Theatre podcast episode 5
Title: Bringing Team to Theatre: It’s More Than Acting
Guest: Tracy Tollmann
Host: Roger Voight
You can contact the podcast creators at allthingstheatre@entitytheatre.org or complete the comment form below.

Photo: Tracy Tollmann
Graphics: Katrin Fegert (Drama icon: Aham Brahma)
Support: Bogdan Tabacaru

This episode of the All Things Theater podcast is brought to you by Entity Theatre’s production of The Dark – A Halloween Radio Play (directed by Jim Nellis, produced by Katrin Fegert), performing live 28–31 October 2021 at Amerikahaus München. WNTT Radio Theatre presents some of the scariest, creepiest, most shocking short stories from the deepest catacombs of radio plays adapted to the stage. The audience will be stage-side as the WNTT broadcast team streams live news, weather, sports, and our featured ensemble cast performing classic programs from the frightening days of radio. ​Listeners at home can tune in to the LIVE broadcast on Halloween night. https://entitytheatre.com/the-dark-a-halloween-radio-play