Behind the Scenes

PROVO, Utah – Mar 26, 2018 – On opening night of a show, the stage manager enters the control booth with the script in hand, prepared to call each light and sound cue throughout the performance. Similarly, a project manager directs a team to ensure that software development projects happen on time and on budget. Stage management and project management have a lot in common, and Julianne Francisco excels at both. 

Francisco, a second-year MISM student from Riverside, California, has managed productions for the BYU Department of Theatre since 2014. She has worked on multiple shows, including Our Town, The Crucible, and Into the Woods.

“I’ve loved theater since performing in my first school play when I was five years old,” Francisco says. “But I’ve found that I like being backstage better than being onstage.”

Francisco’s talent for stage managing results from her communication and organizational skills, as well as her ability to stay calm under pressure. These same characteristics enable Francisco to succeed in her academic and professional career.

As an undergraduate student, Francisco started out in human resource management before switching to information systems. She was hooked on the subject after taking the introductory IS class.

“I love the material and how it challenges me,” Francisco says. “My favorite part of the program is the support I’ve received from the professors.”

Francisco worked with professors Mark Keith and Greg Anderson for her capstone project. They researched how different combinations of personalities affect team learning and performance within an IS context. Their paper was submitted to the Hawaii International Conference on Social Systems, which Francisco was able to attend in January.

“Being at the conference opened my eyes to all the different things you can do with information systems,” Francisco says. “I am now considering pursuing a PhD because of that experience.”

Outside the classroom, Francisco had the opportunity to get involved with BYU’s Camp Kesem, which helps children cope with their parent’s cancer diagnosis. She spent four summers working as a camp counselor and will miss the children when she graduates.

Francisco will graduate from BYU Marriott in April with her bachelor’s in information systems and MISM degrees. She is spending her final semester on a study abroad in London, Paris, and Rome. She is enjoying the sights and the opportunity to learn more about music, art, and literature.

“I’ve never taken classes like this during my time at BYU,” Francisco says. “It’s been great to broaden my horizons. I’m grateful for all the opportunities BYU has given me.”

Upon graduating, Francisco will head to Nashville to work at Nissan. She had an internship with the company last summer and will return as a full-time project manager.

“As project manager, I make sure the projects go smoothly, and as stage manager, I keep the show running,” Francisco says. “I enjoy being the support system behind the scenes.”

Julianne Francisco is a second-year MISM student
Second-year MISM student Julianne Francisco will graduate in April.
Julianne Francisco is in London for a study abroad
Francisco is spending her final semester on a study abroad in London, Rome, and Paris.
Francisco stage manages for many BYU theater productions
Francisco has managed multiple BYU theater productions, including "Into the Woods" last fall.

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Maggie Kuta