Cast&Crew Q&A with Nicole Gladwin

Nicole Gladwin. Credit Elizabeth Eve.
Nicole Gladwin. Credit Elizabeth Eve.


Nicole Gladwin has been stage managing all over Portland for the past fifteen years. Favorite past shows at the CoHo Theatre include Faust. Us.,The Mark, (Stark Raving Theatre), Hamlet (CoHo/Chris Murray), Kid Simple: a radio play in the flesh (CoHo/call in sick productions), and The Centering. Nicole has special affinity for truck drivers—her grandfather was a Teamster and driver for Kellogg’s Freight, and she is delighted to take a peek into the stories of people in this industry.


Do you have any personal relationship with long-haul trucking?

Almost, but not quite! My grandfather drove a freight truck in San Francisco, but he would’ve made sure to point out he wasn’t a “trucker” because he didn’t own his own rig and didn’t do contract hauling, so he referred to himself as a “driver”. His working experience was different than the truckers our story talks about, because he worked regular hours and went home every day. But, he still had a fairly isolating work life, as he was the only driver his freight company had working the night shift. (He jokingly called himself the VP of Night Operations, which my dad remembers bragging about when he was a kid.)

Did that affect your perspectives while working on this production?

Absolutely. I thought about how different my grandma’s life would have been if my grandpa had been gone for long stretches of time instead of staying local. She worked full time too, and they had three sons, so she’d have effectively been a single parent. It would have been a lonely life for them both.

What does it mean to have a play about an unlikely subject – truckers – be produced on stage?

Stories of unlikely subjects are exactly the things I want to be seeing onstage! My favorite kinds of storytelling introduces me to people who are different than me, different than the people I know and work with, but teaches me about things we have in common. The truckers in our story are looking for human connection in a very straightforward way. These truckers spend most of their time alone, so connecting with other people is something they have to make a conscious effort to do. Those of us surrounded by other people in our day-to-day lives can still find ourselves feeling lonely amidst the crowds if we don’t work on our personal relationships. At the end of the day we’re all looking for meaningful connection.

What do you think about personal ads?

If I were to move to a new city I think I’d likely sign up for some sites to meet new people, but in my current “lived in Portland forever” life, nah, they aren’t for me. I recognize their utility, but no thanks.

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