101 Stories: IATSE LOCAL 5

By The Children's Theatre

Celebrate TCT’s 101st season as it comes to a close as we applaud and appreciate those who contributed to the organization’s magic throughout our century-long journey.  During 10 weeks of recognition, we honor individuals who have been instrumental in the success of TCT, and who have not only helped TCT grow in mission, but also thrive, thanks to their passion.  It is these people and their moments in our history that shaped TCT to become what it is today. We encourage you to consider giving a gift in their honor to ensure the sustainability of TCT’s mission for the next 100+ years. 

Stagehands backstage at 2016’s Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR.

Founded in 1893, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) represents workers in the entertainment industry. Members work in all forms of live theater, motion picture and television production, trade shows and exhibitions, television broadcasting, concerts, and the equipment and construction shops that support all these areas of the entertainment industry. They represent virtually all behind-the-scenes workers necessary to the functioning of the entertainment industry, from all forms of live entertainment to motion picture and televisions to conventions and trade shows.

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has been incredibly fortunate to work with IATSE Cincinnati Stage Employees Local 5 at the Taft Theatre.  Mr. Thomas L. Guidugli Jr. is IATSE Local 5’s Business Representative and serves as the Vice Mayor of the City of Newport.

Mr. Guidugli has been an integral player in the entertainment and fine arts world for nearly 30 years.  In his current role since 2000 as the Business Representative for the Cincinnati chapter, he manages a multi-million dollar budget and over 400 full and part-time employees.  He has built strong relationships with all the local venues, including the Taft Theatre where TCT performs, while improving the standard of living for the employees he represents.  Given that his job is an elected position, it speaks volumes that he has been elected for six consecutive terms. 

A hard worker by temperament, Mr. Guidugli worked all through college to pay for his education at Northern Kentucky University and is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Finance. He received his Master’s degree at Chase Law School in 2018. He is always working on a new project to improve his world, either through home repairs or by executing a successful production for the audience.

Mr. Guidugli has served as the President of the Performing Arts Technical Scholarship fund since 2001 to support and nurture Cincinnati youth in the pursuit of technical excellence in the performing arts. The PATS Fund was an initiative of the Corbett Foundation.  The fund provides financial support to local college students pursuing careers in technical fields of the performing arts in the Cincinnati area.  The fund also allows apprentices of Cincinnati Stage Employees to learn the latest technology through continuing education programs approved by the PATS Fund Board of Trustees. Mr. Guidugli is passionate about the stagehand craft. He believes that “Education and training are greatly needed to ensure that our technical pool remains state of the art- and our city remains on every producer’s tour list.” 

Mr. Guidugli is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).  He has traveled with several theatrical shows, including WickedLion King, The Producers, Miss Saigon, Beauty and the Beast,and Fiddler on the Roof.  He worked as a movie Grip and Gaffer on locally produced movies, including receiving film credits for Shawshank Redemption, Milk Money, and Lost in Yonkers.   

Mr. Guidugli is a natural leader demonstrated by his statewide positions within IATSE and in personal endeavors as a member of the Campbell County Democratic Executive Committee.  Mr. Guidugli also serves on the board of the Boys and Girls Club Board. He is married to Heather Rahn Guidugli and they reside in the East Row Historic District of Newport with their children, Gia and Louie.

Mr. Guidugli shared his thoughts about TCT with us:

“From the very humble beginning The Children’s  Theatre of Cincinnati, The Cincinnati Stage Employees, IATSE Local 5 were the professional production team who executed the shows.  From venue to venue, These Stagehands have remained perfect partners elevating the production for The Children’s Theatre and the Cincinnati theater community.”

Would you honor IATSE LOCAL 5 with a gift to recognize the impact made on TCT?


Mr. Tom Guidugli and family