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Roar of the Greasepaint

Starring Photography by Carol Rosegg

You know you’ve arrived when you see your work plastered on the side of a building in Australia. That was the experience of Carol Rosegg, J76, one of Manhattan’s leading theatrical and dance photographers, whose milieu includes the New York City Opera and Broadway shows such as The Producers and Fiddler on the Roof.

After graduating from Tufts in French and art history, she did a stint tearing tickets at a theater in New York. That led to a job assisting Martha Swope, the doyenne of Broadway photography, and a steady climb to the top of a field Rosegg had never even heard of. “There was no training to do theater photography,” she says. “I never thought, ‘Oh, when I grow up I want to be a theater photographer.’ ”

Each show poses its own challenges. “There’s no stamp, no cookie-cutter way of looking at things.” What she loves is “the interaction, the immediacy, the quickness.” We asked Rosegg to comment on some of her favorite photos.

“For Neil Goldberg’s Cirque, I shot four or five hours of setups, or posed photos, before photographing the show. Watching the contortionists get into position is like watching ballet, very slow and beautiful.”
Neil Goldberg’s Cirque
Atlantic City, 2006

“I am an incredibly lucky person who fell into a great profession that I didn’t even know existed.”
Fiddler on the Roof
Broadway, 2004

“A lot of what makes my life exciting is the people I get to work with. I watched some of these people on television when I was growing up, and now I’m photographing them.”
Woody Allen directing Writer’s Block
Atlantic Theater Company, 2003

“Avenue Q was a very, very difficult show to figure out how to market. It was a puppet show, but it was not for children. Do we show the puppeteers? Do we show the puppets? Now it’s very clear that we needed to show both.”
John Tartaglia and Princeton
Avenue Q
Broadway, 2003

“This is a dress rehearsal, so I was probably in the seventh to tenth row of the orchestra. Even though it’s not a perfect photo—obviously someone’s walking past her—there’s this intensity in her face. You can see she’s totally into the show.”
Kathleen Turner
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Broadway, 2005

  © 2006 Tufts University Tufts Publications, 200 Boston Ave., Suite 4600, Medford, MA 02155