MIAMI, Oklahoma — Students from the NEO Theatre Experience were invited to assist a professional crew for the Broadway tour, “An American in Paris” in early March. The production was part of the “Best of Broadway” series at the Bicknell Center for the Arts at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.
“You never really understand how much work goes into something like this until you are part of it,” said Dustin Warner, a sophomore Music major. “Making sure everything was connected properly, secure, ready to be hoisted.”
In assisting the professional crew, NEO students helped unload semi-trucks transporting the production equipment. Following the conclusion of the show on March 4, the NEO team helped break the show down and load the trucks for the next venue.
Incredibly, setup, performance, and breakdown all occurred in a SINGLE day. This allowed NEO students a chance to see how professionals streamline their effort.
“I am very proud of our students and the process we use here at NEO,” said Aaron Smith, NEO Theatre Experience Coordinator. “Students were thrown in with professionals and never missed a beat. They were doing things they have done before, just at a higher level.”
“It was refreshing to see union pros having fun backstage during the show like we do at NEO,” added Warner. “It was a long, exhausting seventeen-hour day, but I would gladly do it again.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of the remainder of the NEO Theatre Experience season, the program is currently recruiting for the fall semester and season passes can be pre-purchased by contacting Aaron Smith at email@example.com.