By Rachel Myers, staff writer
After three years, Theatre Technical Director Ben Juhnke is back on the Newman theatre scene.
Juhnke is no stranger to DeMattias Hall. He was previously employed as the technical director from 2006 to 2009, before Newman University cut its theatre program.
“The theatre program, when it was cut, was just at the cusp of beginning to become something great,” Juhnke said.
After the department was cut, Juhnke found new employment in the restaurant business. For a side job, he bought and owned local bakery Dolci and Joes. While owning the bakery, he was also a business agent for the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).
Juhnke’s 300 employees under IATSE produced national shows throughout the area. He worked on shows such as “Wicked,” “The Lion King,” The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi and Michael Bublé.
Last April, Juhnke got a chance to come back to NU when Deanne Zogleman, director of the music department, asked him to help design “Broadway Bound,” Chorale’s spring show.
This would not be Juhnke’s last time at Newman.
When former technical director Rod James left the university after his first year, Juhnke was hired to fill his shoes.
He now does lighting, stage construction, and sound work for all of Newman’s shows, including the fall musical, “Something’s Afoot.”
Juhnke said he is excited to be back at Newman to help build the program.
“When I was here at Newman it felt so right,” Juhnke said. “I missed the students and the theatre program here.”