Wind in their sails: Cincinnati performing arts students build success behind the scenes at SCPA

Theater designers see career options

CINCINNATI - Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts  may be best known for alumni and former students such as Nick and Drew Lachey, Carmen Electra and Sarah Jessica Parker. But students who want more career stability might find a better bet in the school’s scenic theater shop, where students can focus on scenic, lighting or costume design.

Handfuls of SCPA graduates have worked on some of the world’s biggest stage productions and concert tours, and it’s easy to see why: the hands on experience students get every day. But just as with the school’s performance majors, scenic design students must audition to get into the program.

While some are eyeing careers in theater, senior Lonnia Berry thinks she wants to take her skills to Habitat for Humanity.

“I know what all these things are called and how to use all these tools,” she said. “Habitat for Humanity needs people to build houses, and I like to help people, so I thought ‘This is what I want to do after high school.’”

WCPO arts reporter Matt Peiken went behind the scenes to talk with students and the school’s technical director, 1990 SCPA graduate Brad Gerard, as they prepared staging and costumes for SCPA’s fall musical, “Peter Pan.” You can see the fruits of their labor in performances Nov. 7-10 in the Corbett Theater.

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