Having trouble on the stages? Need a hand with construction rules? Want to know the do’s and don’ts of the new stages? Then you need to talk to Marita Tyler (MFA/Film Production & Cinematography ’11), Dodge College’s new Stage Manager!

We obviously like to keep it within the Chapman family here, hiring alums to help keep the place they love running, and Marita is no exception. She attended her undergraduate degree at Missouri State University before coming to Chapman for her Masters.

“The economy tanked after I graduated undergrad, so all my professors suggested going to grad school to help ease the transition a bit,” she said. She began looking for a good school that would help her learn the industry better, and Chapman’s program was one of the few they told her to apply to.

“It quickly became my first choice, and I applied early. I found out early on in spring that I was accepted,” she said. She paid her deposit before even hearing back from anywhere else she applied.

After completing her Master’s Degree here, she did a lot of freelance AC and grip work, and ultimately wound up in the equipment room at the New York Film Academy. However, due to her hard work and impress skills, she was managing the equipment room in their acting department within a year.

Marita Tyler

She also worked as R.J. Cutler’s personal assistant, and loved building a relationship with him. She still babysits his child, and his dog is her favorite person in the world.

“He’s so cute!” she exclaimed, after showing me a picture. And she’s right. He’s pretty adorable.

But now she is back at Dodge again, managing the stages both in Marion Knott Studios and the new Chapman Studios West. In fact, this isn’t even her first job at Dodge, since she worked with both Justin Lutsky and Jim Smith in the Folino during her master’s program.

“I love Chapman, and I loved going here. I play it up whenever I can. It’s a great learning environment and everyone is so collaborative,” she said.

As part of her job, she will be maintaining the sound stages, doing the scheduling, and provide support for teachers and students who are on the stage. She will also have a lot of hands-on interaction with the students, helping them learn the craft with production workshops. You will have to meet with her before even thinking about shooting on the stages (or in the lobby or any Dodge classrooms, for that matter).

She’s also the world’s biggest Harry Potter fan, who flew to England specifically to go on the Studio Tour.

“It was worth every, single penny,” she said.

In her spare time, she likes to take photos of her nieces and nephews on 35MM film (she even took the fantastic cover photo for this piece), and she also bakes artisan bread.

So these coming semesters, when you need some help on the stages, Marita is the woman to talk to. Be sure to stop by and say hello to her!