“I frequently have the urge to hug random [Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club (HRDC)] members when I pass them,” says Elizabeth J. Krane ’11. Given the love that the Harvard theater community has for Krane, winner of the Louise Donovan Award for behind-the-scenes contributions in theater, these hugs are likely less awkward than they sound.
“She’s just done so much, so well, and she’s built up such a good reputation for herself. Everyone in Harvard theater trusts her implicitly,” says Ali R. Leskowitz ’11, a friend and coworker and a Crimson arts editor.
Even listing her accomplishments is a tiring task. Formerly the President of the HRDC, Krane now works for the Office for the Arts, sings in the Holden Choir, and has been involved in over 30 different productions in roles ranging from producer to set designer to choreographer.
The legacy she will leave is not just of numerous producing credits or phenomenal shows, but of helping to forge a sense community within the HRDC. “Since it’s all different shows, we’re not really cohesive as an organization,” Krane says. “But one of my proudest moments was opening night of ‘The Balcony,’ because we really had the entire theater community come together for the Mainstage opening.” Another proud moment was the first annual HRDC pre-Housing Day River Run, which was just as integral in helping create the sense of community within the organization.
Before she entered Harvard, though, Krane was primarily interested in the acting side of theater. “I never would have expected myself to be involved in [behind-the-scenes roles],” says Krane. Since stage managing “Tick, Tick ... Boom!” her freshman year, though, she hasn’t looked back.
Her varied roles in a multitude of productions underlie her dependable reputation. “I’m sure if you ask anyone in the theater community who the most respected person is, it would definitely have to be Liz,” Leskowitz says. Fellow theater veteran Bryce J. Gilfillian ’12 concurs. “She’s one that people fight over to work with every single semester because she is so ridiculously competent, and she makes life so much easier,” he said.
For Krane’s part, she enjoys staying behind the scenes. “I have learned so much about how to support other people’s creativity,” says Krane. Another benefit of the supporting role is that it allows her to step back and observe every step of a successful production. She tries to help share everything the cast and staff bring to the table with the audience. “As soon as you have a cast of enthusiastic people come together, that enthusiasm stretches to not only the cast but also to any audience member, and the relationship is real and magical in the end,” says Krane.
Krane will be taking the show on the road next year to New York City, where she hopes to work in theater administration. Reflecting on her experience, she has trouble picking out a favorite moment. Two incidents of very different natures have stayed with her. The first is the opening of “Nine,” on which she earned her first producing credit. The second is a trip to a faraway junkyard looking for materials for a show. As this trek demonstrates, Krane does not just focus on her own work; she enjoys contributing to and improving everybody’s shows. “I love being the resource and making sure Harvard theater happens,” she says.
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