School of Theatre alumni to present mentoring event for students

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Networking, mentoring, the chance to learn directly from professionals in your industry — it’s what all students want. And it’s what Penn State theatre students will get, at the fourth annual STAGES — School of Theatre Alumni Giving Experience to Students — from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 26, in the Theatre Building. The event is open to all students regardless of major.

STAGES, presented by the School of Theatre Alumni Program Group (APG), was started to provide Penn State theatre students with the opportunity to connect with alumni and other professionals in the industry in an intimate setting. The event includes a day of masterclasses taught by actors, directors, designers, casting agents and other professionals who are currently working in the industry on and off Broadway. Topics include auditioning for musical theatre, scenic design, playwriting, working in Los Angeles, careers in arts administration and how to get an agent, among others.

Mike Karns, a 2011 bachelor of fine arts graduate in theatre and president of the School of Theatre APG, said one of the group’s primary goals is to create opportunities for alumni to not only connect with each other, but also with current students.

“We hope to provide a conduit for students to better transition them into the real world after graduation,” he said. “By establishing these connections early, we hope to provide students with a stronger set of connections, as well as real world knowledge as they begin planning their careers.”

According to Karns, STAGES is different from other mentoring opportunities because it’s a “concentrated” event with 15 professionals spanning a myriad of theatre professions. “Through the unique structure of the event, our students will have the ability to learn from them both in a group setting as well as on a one-on-one basis," said Karns.

Rob Schneider, a 2009 master of fine arts graduate in theatre and vice president of the School of Theatre APG, agrees STAGES is unique. “Penn State is one of the only colleges in America that offers a performing arts master class that is as intensive as STAGES. The amount of knowledge, artistry, and dedication to the craft that will be on display this Monday is very special and reinforces the idea that WE ARE carries beyond our campus and into Broadway and Hollywood," he said.

STAGES 2018 has been organized by Karns, Schneider, and APG student representatives Molly O’Keefe and Jonathan Savage. 

Last Updated February 22, 2018