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MSLCE Students Get Professional Leads, Advice at Theatre Networking Event

By John Hounihan

As winter quarter marches on, the MSLCE students have a lot on our minds.

Perhaps nothing is more center than our search for internships. No matter our corner of the sector, we are deep into applications and interviews at organizations across the nation. On Feb. 6, our performing arts focused students got an incredible opportunity to launch that search to other levels at the EPICS program Theater Speed Meet networking event

At the event, professionals from all facets of the theatre world – performance, production, administration, etc. – met with students from the MSLCE program along with other theatre related majors and programs.

The format of the event was simple – speed dating for a professional theatre network. Groups of 2-4 students stayed at one station while 10 professionals rotated in 10 minute rounds. Business cards, elevator pitches, advice, and opportunities changed hands as Chicago’s theatre community met with its hopeful future. The key to this event seemed to be finding value on all sides. With the student to professional ratio, it was not an environment to ask for specific opportunities. What the event did provide was an opportunity to get some solid advice from individuals with successful history and broad ties in the Chicago theatre community.

There was a lot to be learned for all, and the connections students made here could lead to not only internships, but the foundations for a wide professional network, gearing up for a long future in the performing arts. Personally, I made a few very solid connections that have potential to lead to future opportunities, but the advice that all 10 professionals could provide had perhaps more value as I hope to build a strong career.

In the end, interacting with professionals and performers from shows such as Blue Man Group Chicago, The Book of Mormon National Tour, and Gloria at the Goodman Theatre was about as enriching and enticing as a networking event can be.

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