Students ready to bring THON to viewers around the world with 46 LIVE

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — While hundreds of students will spend 46 hours dancing in an effort to battle childhood cancer this weekend in the Bryce Jordan Center, around 60 more students will be conducting the live webcast to bring Penn State Dance Marathon to viewers all over the world.

Last year, 46 LIVE reached viewers in more than 80 countries and tallied 234,463 total views. The webcast will begin at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 17 and will be live through the conclusion of THON at 4 p.m. Feb. 19. To watch the event, visit thon.org/webcast. You can also follow 46 LIVE on Twitter (@FortySixLIVE) and Facebook (facebook.com/46LIVE).

“Unfortunately, not everyone is able to be at Penn State for THON weekend. We want to bring THON to those people in the best way we know possible, through a broadcast,” said senior Dara Cooper, an executive producer who is in her third year with 46 LIVE. “THON is also very hard to describe to people who have never been before. Our goal is to try to capture the emotions, feelings and experiences that occur through 46 hours at THON, and bring them to people around the world."

46 LIVE, which also streams the THON Family Carnival each December, is a large production, with the work starting the first week of the fall semester in August. Since then, the group has met with THON student leaders regularly, put together pre-produced content, and has conducted training sessions for crew members. The pre-produced content includes interviews with dancers, directors and more.

The team of 60 students included producers, production assistants, camera and audio operators, and 15 hosts who will contribute to the live coverage. 46 LIVE will be based in a suite at the Jordan Center for the webcast. The webcast will have three cameras — one in the upper bowl of the arena and two on the floor.

Cooper is one of four executive producers along with Alyssa Gregory, Morganne Mallon and Analisa Seader. The group will begin setting up in the Jordan Center on Friday morning, with preparations wrapping up a couple of hours before the webcast goes live. At that point, the group readies for 46 hours of live coverage and hopes for a smooth broadcast.

“One of the things I love is looking out and seeing everyone else enjoying it,” said Cooper. “We get to capture everyone else’s joy and everyone else’s experiences through what we’re doing. We get to globalize that and put that out to the world, and I think that’s one of the coolest things.”

Support from the Telecommunications Club, the Department of Telecommunications, faculty and staff in the College of Communications, and several related units at Penn State has been integral to the success of 46 LIVE, which continues a tradition of communications students producing the webcast.

Last Updated February 15, 2017