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From the Spotlight to the Wings: Working in the Theatre

On-campus jobs are plentiful at Grove City College. Whether it’s working the sidelines of a Grove City football game or handling orders at the print shop, Grove City offers a multitude of options for work opportunities. For the last three years I’ve had the pleasure of working as a Pew Fine Arts Center Technician, which has been an interesting change from my first stage experience performing in Les Miserables.

Over the years, we’ve had a few leadership and job description changes, but the end goal of the PFAC Techs, as we affectionately call ourselves, has always been to run events held in Grove City College’s Ketler Auditorium, the primary stage on campus.

During both the Fall and the Spring semesters, Ketler houses theatre productions, dance shows, orchestra concerts, jazz band concerts, admitted students presentations, prospective student presentations, and, honestly, more than that.

10626373_10152448628047647_2978170312094587328_oMedia Services is the branch of Grove City’s faculty and student employees charged with bringing together multimedia events across campus. The PFAC Techs are a special group of Media Services employees dedicated to the events that occur in Ketler.

It’s been an honor to work with a group of such passionate individuals in such a fast paced setting like Ketler. The employees traditionally are involved in the theatre department’s technical aspects and are then directed to apply to the PFAC techs.

The events we work typically aren’t overly demanding, but they still require our utmost attention. Say I was working audio for an orchestra concert, and I forgot to turn the microphone on. If this happened, and I were also on friendly terms with the conductor, theoretically the conductor may embarrass me by calling my name out in front of the audience and then continue to thank me for turning the microphone on every time he spoke. Not that that has happened… But if it did, the audience and the conductor and I would have gotten a kick out of it.

All of the shenanigans aside though, there’s nothing like working backstage, providing the technical support for the likes of President McNulty and, coming up, Mark Levin. There’s a service aspect that is oft overlooked, but it’s at the core of what we do. We’re employed to assist. We’re not the stars. We’re not under the lights. The lights, however, wouldn’t be on if we weren’t there.

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