When Wagner College announced plans for an on-campus semester last fall, one of the big questions was, “Will we be able to stage live theater performances?”
“We were thinking about that even before plans were announced,” said Phill Hickox, who heads the Wagner College Theatre program’s design, technology and management track.
With indoor gatherings restricted, the WCT decided to move its 2020-21 season outdoors — which meant they would have to build an outdoor stage. From scratch.
The stage, which stands 3 feet off the ground in the parking lot adjacent to Main Hall, measures 16 by 20 feet.
The original plan for a sound system, Hickox told us, was a boombox on the front of the stage.
But then a group of recent alumnae enrolled in the college’s new Presidential Fellowship program stepped in.
Conchetta Aronowitz ’20, herself one of Hickox’s DTM graduates, took charge of building an outdoor sound system from equipment the college already had on hand.
“For me, there’s not a lot of theater happening,” Aronowitz said, “so this was awesome.”
Three more Presidential Fellows pitched in — Emmy Steele, Emily Lagace and Ruth Kupperberg, all 2020 grads — as well as the students currently enrolled in Hickox’s DTM program. Adjunct professor Victoria Neal, a scene and lighting designer, helped finish the job.
“They all did yeoman’s work at something we never do: adapting indoor equipment for outdoor use,” Hickox said.
“The Other Side of the Rainbow” (Sept. 18), “A Doll’s House, Part 2” (Nov. 4) and “The Queen’s Men” (Nov. 12) were performed by students on an outdoor stage behind Main Hall.
Photographer: Seth Jolles