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Monday, August 08, 2011

USI theatre majors given opportunities to gain professional experience

News and Information Article Photo
Ashley Riester,(right) junior theatre arts major, has trained for the last three years in the area of stage management. She's been given the responsibility of actively calling performances of Avenue X, overseen by professional union stage manager, Liz Reddick.
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Photo Provided
Contact for more information:
Angela Torres
Managing/Marketing Director
New Harmony Theatre/USI Theatres
University of Southern Indiana theatre arts majors are encouraged to seek summer employment in their field of interest at professional theatres all over the world, one of which is USI's own New Harmony Theatre. As students return to the classroom after an adventurous summer, they bring different perspectives and share what was learned from the summer positions.

"New Harmony Theatre has been my home away from home for the past three years," said Ashley Riester, a junior theatre arts major. "In this time, I have been given so many opportunities to strengthen my abilities as a stage manager, but this year I was given the opportunity to call the cues for our musical, Avenue X, in preparation for my fall show, Rent. With the help of the Production Stage Manager, Liz Reddick, and the unfaltering support from my incredible cast and crew, I was able to call the show three times in the second weekend of performances. It was an adrenaline rush, but I had a blast! I've learned a lot, and I now feel ready to tackle Rent."

Riester's work in stage management for New Harmony Theatre and for the Repertory Project, has led her to earn credits toward membership in the professional stage union, Actors' Equity Association. Once Riester graduates, she will be well on her way to having the credentials to work at a professional theatre.

New Harmony Theatre recently ended the 2011 summer season with the a capella musical Avenue X, and preparations are already beginning for the USI Theatre fall productions of Shakespeare's R&J by Joe Calarco, running October 14-21, and Rent, with book, music, and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, running November 11-18.

Additional information about USI Theatre productions can be found online at For information about the Department of Performing Arts or majoring in theatre arts, visit

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