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MSLCE Student Hopes to Pivot from Theater Teacher to Administrator

By Jacob Nelson

Joe Giovannetti has known he wanted to pursue a career in theater since high school. Not as a student, but as a teacher. Giovannetti was the director of choral activities at Arlington Heights High School.

“I taught choir and theater at the high school level, and so what interested me is that I found what I loved about the job is the creation of concerts and musicals,” Giovannetti said. “So I wanted to do that at a higher level and make a career out of it.”

Giovannetti is heading to the MSLCE program to get the skills he needs to pursue a career in theater administration. Because when it comes to the creative side of theater, he’s already got plenty of experience. While overseeing the choir programming in Arlington Heights, he produced choir concerts to musicals, including a staging of The Music Man with over a hundred students.

“It was pretty awesome,” he said about the experience. “I enjoy putting together big shows like that.”

Though he’s unsure exactly what role he’d like to end up in, Giovannetti hopes to be the person “who sets it all in motion” when it comes to theatrical performances.

“I could really see myself essentially being an artistic director of a musical theater company,” he said.

In order to do that, he wants to learn more about the theater industry, which he hopes to do at Northwestern this year. He specifically wants to learn more about the economics of theater to balance out his music degree from Indiana University and his production experience as an educator.

“What I really want to gain is a better understanding of the business side of things,” he said. “I want to have a better understanding of how these industries work, and how I can effect change at a higher level, how to keep a business going, how to best contribute my strength in the field.”

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