Students work backstage at Underwood concert

By Hope Eckley, Staff Writer

A group of Newman’s theatre students got the chance to be within feet of Carrie Underwood at her last concert at Intrust Bank Arena.

“Myself and a few other theater majors were sent information about the gig from our advisor, Mark Mannette, the previous week thinking we might be interested in getting stagehand experience. I got in contact with the guy from Stagehands Unions, filled out a mountain of paperwork, and was on my way,” said theatre major Roo Rusk.

The opportunity gave the students the chance to gain experience in the field that they are looking to go into. “Intrust Bank Arena was the perfect place to get their foot in the door because it is nearby and has many huge events,” theatre student Brenden Schwartz said.

This opportunity is perfect for the students even if they already have a job. The students sometimes only work backstage once or twice a month, for a few hours usually at late hours of the night, Rusk said.

“The backstage job is not only a fun and great experience, but will also be a great addition to a resume in the future,” Rusk said. “This is the first time Newman students have been asked to do something like this, and now that they have their foot in the door, there will be more opportunities.”

The students were able to open the door to future possibilities with Intrust Bank Arena. They four students now have a chance to work backstage for future shows, Schwartz said.

“It takes a village to put on a show, so the more hands, the better for them. Meeting new people is cool, tearing down a football sized set in a couple hours was cool, seeing Carrie Underwood just casually pass by us was pretty cool, heck even getting yelled at by security for talking too loud backstage was cool honestly,” Rusk said.

The students were able to gain more knowledge about the field they are going into. It allowed many of the students to work lighting, audio, video, carpentry, electrical, or trucking. Not only did the students enjoy the opportunity they were given, but they also made a good amount of money, Schwartz said.

“Let’s just say, after an hour’s work, I could afford a pretty good meal,” Schwartz said.

PHOTO: Courtesy Photo, Intrust Bank Area Facebook