July 15, 2011
College of Wooster students and recent graduates working with Ohio Light Opera this summer are (front row, from left): Christina Polet, Michaela Boros, Caroline Drozdiak, and (back row, from left) Eva Hendrix-Shovlin, Noah Dresser, George Myatt. Not pictured are Nicole Sacharow, Etienne Massicotte, and Kaleigh Richards.
WOOSTER, Ohio — Record numbers of College of Wooster students and recent graduates are taking advantage of opportunities to gain experience with a professional theatre company by working at Ohio Light Opera this summer. Whether it be as assistant stage manager, house manager, violinist, violist, box-office assistant, cast member, or some other position, these nine company members are building a résumé for future careers in music, theatre, education, and elsewhere.
George Myatt, who graduated in May, is thankful for the chance to work as assistant stage manager in a “real-world” setting. “I wanted to continue (building) my skills in arts management in a company that developed multiple shows in a short period of time,” he said. “I’m really enjoying my experience here… I can challenge myself.” And he didn’t have to wait long to be challenged by others. He was promoted to stage manager for the production of “Madame Pompadour,” which premieres on July 20 in Freedlander Theatre.
Fellow graduate Caroline Drozdiak, a violinist, is in her third year with the OLO orchestra, but she still has a hard time believing that she is working for a professional company. “You really get to do a lot of different kinds of (music) with a lot of different people,” she said, adding that OLO’s incredible pace will give her a taste of what will be expected of her in the future. With only a few rehearsals, Drozdiak says sight-reading is essential. After the season ends in August, she plans to take a year off to practice so that she can enroll in a graduate school music program.
Michaela Boros, a rising sophomore at Wooster, is thrilled to be a house manager in her first season with the company. Her responsibilities include ensuring that every facet of the lobby is running smoothly. As a music composition major, the bright-eyed and personable Boros believes the summer job provides a wealth of useful experience that will prepare her to someday pursue a career as a professor and composer. “The theater is very (much) related to music… I feel like it’s all useful,” she said. With opportunities to see dress rehearsals and productions for free, and making friends with fellow crewmembers, the perks make the job even more attractive.
Christina Polet, a rising junior, is in her second year as a box-office assistant with the company. “I kind of do everything for everyone,” she said, listing such duties as reserving tickets and helping with special events. The student employment office helped her to get the box office gig, where she also works during the school year. Besides being a job that she calls “fun,” Polet also enjoys the setting that accompanies it. “It’s like a whole different community that you don’t know is here… (OLO’s) like a family.”
Eva Hendrix-Shovlin, a mezzo-soprano who earned a degree in music education this past spring, said that Carrie deLapp Culver, associate professor of music at Wooster, encouraged her to apply for the position with OLO, and assisted her in preparing for the audition. She says that the opportunity has provided her with “a glimpse into another venue where I might be successful.” Despite the amount of work involved, Hendrix-Shovlin is having fun; “a lot of days it feels like working at Disneyland,” she said. With her newfound confidence and experience, Hendrix-Shovlin will go from OLO to Hollywood, where she will work with homeless youth at “My Friend’s Place,” a volunteer program organized through the Presbyterian Church.
Rounding out the list of Wooster students and recent graduates are Noah Dresser, a rising senior and a violist with the orchestra; Nicole Sacharow, a rising sophomore who works in properties; Etienne Massicotte, a rising senior and a member of the orchestra; and Kaleigh Richards, a rising junior who works in the costume shop.
“These types of opportunities are highly valued among young people across the country,” said Laura Neill, executive director of Ohio Light Opera. “The experience they gain prepares them for future openings and fulfills the educational mission of both the college and the company.”
- Story by Libby Fackler '13
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