Sonya Thiel (Company Management)
I graduated Fall 2018 from Centenary University with my BA in Production Management and Technical Theatre. Since Graduation I have been working full time at Goodspeed Musicals in Company Management. I have also worked at Forestburgh Playhouse, Chautauqua Theater Company, John W. Engeman Theater, Off-Broadway and more. Working as everything from an Assistant Director to a Scenic Artist, I have seen and learned a lot. Without the connections Centenary allowed me to make, I would not be where I am today.
With Centenary Stage Co. attached to the program, you get to work side-by-side with working professionals who have the potential of getting you jobs later on. A play called Hitler’s Tasters written by Michelle Kholos Brooks and directed by Sarah Norris, premiered at CSC and I was assigned to be Assistant Director and Company Manager for the run. Later that same year, the show went to New York City Off-Broadway and Sarah asked me to if I would be her Assistant again. I will be forever grateful for the amazing opportunity that Centenary allowed me to have with Hitler’s Tasters, I never thought I would have been working in the city before I even graduated.
Not only do you get to work with professional playwrights and directors, you also get to work with professional designers. While working with them, you can learn about the design process, what it takes to put up a show, and what it is like to work professionally. With so many designers coming through, you have the opportunity to stand out in the crowd and maybe even get asked to join them for a job down the road. The theater world is very small and everyone knows everyone, all you need to do is get your foot in the door. You never know who will be the next person to get you a job.
Centenary’s Technical and Management Program is incense, demanding, and challenging. But it taught me how to network, work hard, and stand out. With the hands-on experience with professionals that Centenary provides, if you take advantage of really getting to know the people who come through, you will have no problem staying employed once you graduate.