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Swimming in Team Dynamics: Collaborative Immersion in The Cherry Orchard

  • Author(s): Nussbaum, Amanda Charlotte
  • Advisor(s): Porter, Lisa
  • et al.
Abstract

During my graduate studies, I have grown to understand the complexity of leading an exceptional stage management team. I am departing with a deep curiosity about how to nourish and cultivate future team collaborations. The Cherry Orchard team was the highest functioning team that I have cultivated during my time at UC San Diego. Upon reflection, there were many disappointing moments when I craved a higher level of performance from the team. My expectations of teams began to form at a young age through competitive athletics. I was a nationally ranked water polo player and was taught to embody the physical struggle and mental grit required of an emerging professional

athlete. That mental and physical toughness has formed my identity and continues to inform my ideas about discipline, value, and working for a goal that is far larger than what I could accomplish on my own.

While my approach to team dynamics served me well in competitive athletics, some of my ideas have failed me while working on teams outside of the regulated structure of sports. Live performance is the ultimate group collaboration and I have fought to form strong and trusting stage management teams. When I started graduate school, I had a tendency to do everything myself and continued to strive for improbable perfection, performing as an unstoppable one-woman show. My experience on The Cherry Orchard illuminated a path to cultivating resilient teams that is informed equally by athletic discipline and the deep curiosity of collaboration.

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