“I had a production position my first semester. I went up to my technical theatre teacher on the first day of class and was like ‘Is there anything I can do? I would love to be involved.’”
When UB faculty stage their own projects in the community or when performers visit campus for events like SpringFest, students like Chris are often hired, allowing them to grow as artists as they gain real-world experience.
And the best part is that it’s not just student productions he’s working on. When UB theatre faculty stage their own projects in the community or when performers visit campus for events like SpringFest, students like Chris are often hired, allowing them to grow as artists as they gain real-world experience.
“The opportunities I’ve been given, the amount of trust that I feel like I’ve been given, is incredible,” Chris said. “There’s so much latitude that I have to explore who I am as an artist, as a designer, and as a person, while at the same time learning things.”
The full cast sings the title song of “Rent.”
One of the biggest opportunities for Chris came in his sophomore year, when he was unexpectedly asked to do the set design for UB’s production of “Rent.” Although there were some minor bumps in the course of the preparation, the show went off without a hitch, and Chris’ projections for the show were even exhibited in the Prague Quadrennial International Competitive Exhibition of Scenography.
Chris sketched a ground plan illustrating his concept for the arrangement of platforms in “Rent.”
“That was my first really big assignment,” Chris said. “I formed some really close friendships with the people in that company. Some of my best friends here came out of that experience. It taught me a lot and gave me a lot.”
Chris has also found support from the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities. CURCA grants allowed Chris to do two separate projects, including presenting his design of “Oleanna” at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 2 conference, where it was a finalist for the National Barbizon Scenic Design Award.
A scene from “Oleanna.”
“My professor, Lynne Koscielniak, who’s our director of design technology, has been a really big supporter of CURCA and really tries to use it because design technology is all technology,” said Chris, who works as a freelance website designer in his spare time. “We need to experience the latest and greatest technology and then figure out how it will apply to our workflow to make us more efficient and better professionals in the long run.”
Last updated: May 21, 2013 3:32 am EST