Staff Survey Series: Ariana Cook


Job at Undermain: Operations Manager

Describe your typical day/duties at the theatre. A little bit of everything. I coordinate meetings, manage accounts and negotiate rates, bookkeeping, marketing, place orders, and pay invoices. I typically oversee hiring of production assistants, box office staff, interns and carpenters. As Katherine likes to say, my job is to “make sure the trains run on time”.

When I am not at Undermain, I am at Texas Woman’s University working on my Graduate Degree in Drama. I also try to see as many productions around town as possible.

 My favorite play is Electra by Sophocles. There is something so visceral about Greek work that I love.  My BFA is in Musical Theatre, so I have a special place in my heart for musicals like A New Brain, Ragtime, anything Cole Porter and my guilty pleasure, the musical Legally Blonde…I know, I know.

I have been involved in theater since I was six years old; my mother took me to a teen production of “Snoopy” and subsequently enrolled me in community theatre classes. I guess I never stopped.

 I have seen more productions of Macbeth than any other play.

My favorite production at Undermain has been… That’s not fair! I love so many of them. Len Jenkin rocks my world every time, but I suppose it would be a tie between Eurydice and Endgame.

 Current non-theatrical obsession: I rarely watch movies, but I have seen almost every documentary known to man. I also love to knit.

 Favorite theatrical tradition: Before Mr. Midnight passed away, a show could not open without Mr. Midnight’s special opening night collar on and ready to go – that would just be asking for bad luck!

 My favorite aspect/quirk about Undermain is… “Never A Dull Day!” – This would be the chorus of the opening number if Undermain were to be turned into a musical. We sing this whenever something odd or crazy happens and we are in the theatre, and there is always something odd or crazy going on.

 If I could see any theatrical production in history, it would be the premiere of Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry in 1896.

 If I had to describe what love about theater in one word, it would be: Magic