Rabbit Hole, PDST’s first production of this semester, opens this Friday! You can buy tickets or will call them at pipedreams.ticketleap.com. You got a little inside look at Rabbit Hole last week and if you follow our facebook or twitter you’ll see we have a video on the production as well. You’re all ready to go see Rabbit Hole because of last week’s blog so in this weeks’ blog we’re going to give you a backstage look at PDST. First let me establish some ethos on my character so you know why I have the credibility to talk on this subject.

If you haven’t gathered, my name is Jane Davis. I’m a junior stage management major at Millikin University. I’ve been involved with PDST since the fall of 2010 where I was Production Manager for a semester. It only took a semester for me to learn production manager and stage manager have no similarities except that we both have manager in our title. So I got out of that realllll fast. The next semester, spring of 2011, I was Production Assistant. This really means I created all the bio boards and programs and was social media manager, so I was in charge of updating the facebook and twitter. I studied abroad in London, England for the fall semester for 2011 so I had a semester break from PDST. I just couldn’t stay away so now its spring of 2012 and I am back. This semester I’m in the same position I left. I’m in charge of the social media sites, now including this awesome word press blog, and create programs and digital bio boards. With three semesters under my belt of PDST it’s safe to say I know a little bit about it, its values, and why it’s so important on campus. If I didn’t love the company, I wouldn’t keep coming back and plan to come back. Now let’s take a backstage look at PDST.

PDST is fully a student run company. We have one faculty advisor who sees us twice a week to make sure we’re not burning down the theatre. Twice or so a semester we report to a board of Department of Theatre and Dance faculty members who double check that we’re not burning down the theatre, but other than that, PDST is the product of about twenty students working really hard to put up shows, get the word out, and make some great art. Most of us have no business background or even previous experience in the current job we are fulfilling. That may sound silly, to have people with no experience running a company, running a company, but actually that’s the most exciting part of it all. PDST is a place where you can come and try something brand new in a safe and encouraging environment. It’s hard to build experience when most places require previous experience to get the job. At PDST you find an environment that allows you to try completely new things. Are you an actor who wants to see what all this lighting design is about? PDST is your place. Are you a stage manager who wants to be on the other side of the rehearsal room performing? PDST is the place. Are you someone who wants to take pictures of a bunch of marshmallow peeps on PDST equipment? That’s me. So don’t take away my fun. But PDST is a place where you can bring your new ideas and your new interests and try them out. You can even try being a part of the PDST Artistic Board, the ones that have the largest hand in running the company. In running this company we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t with our seasons. We’ve learned that making money is crucial to a company’s longevity. We’ve learned that running a company takes a lot of work. And we’ve learned these things through trial and error, something PDST allows because it is a learning environment.

Without PDST on campus, Millikin students would have a considerably smaller pool of learning opportunities. There would be fewer performances per semester on campus so less performance opportunities for our performance majors. There would be less stage management opportunities for our stage management students. There would be less design opportunities for our design students. There would be less theatre administration opportunities for our theatre administration students. There would be less directing opportunities for students interested in directing. If you haven’t gotten the point now that PDST provides a lot of opportunities to Millikin students, then you should just stop reading. Without PDST, you’ve lost a safe place for us, the Millikin students to try new things and experiment and play. Right now, there is no end in sight for PDST but there will be if we don’t have student involvement. We are a company run by really smart students, so we need your help. So with this post, I’m trying to encourage you to become involved with PDST. Help by seeing a show, volunteering to usher or be a house manager, or interview to be on the PDST staff or Artistic Board. We’d be more than happy to have you on any of our teams. If you’re a community member interested in supporting PDST, come see our shows, come see our shows, and come see our shows. Community members are just as important as our staff members. You provide us with someone to please and give us some of the best feedback. We would love to see more community members at our show because we want to see new faces in PDST!

Now that you have an inside look at how PDST is run and you have your inside look at Rabbit Hole, take your internet browser to http://www.pipedreams.ticketleap.com and get a ticket to see Rabbit Hole this weekend. Tickets are $5 for Millikin students and $8 dollars for non Millikin students, pretty cheap theatre if you ask me. There is an 8pm show Friday and Saturday and a 2pm show on Saturday and Sunday at our location on the corner of Oakland and Wood Street in Decatur, Illinois. Hope to see you there and while you’re there, stop one of the people working the show and ask them about why they like working in PDST. Don’t be surprised when they all say it’s because they love this company.

-Jane Davis