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What's in your backpack?: A day in the life of an international theatre production student

Jenna Perry's backpack includes her necessary textbooks and any supplies she may need as an international theatre production major (Northern Review photo/Holly Dyer)

Jenna Perry's backpack includes her necessary textbooks and any supplies she may need as an international theatre production major (Northern Review photo/Holly Dyer)

Freshman international theatre production major Jenna Perry carries an intriguing variety of textbooks and notebooks to classes required for her major. Her books carry titles such as “Illustrated Theatre Production” and “Stage Management," and cover topics specific to her studies and goals in stage management.

Perry also carries a few materials which are common among other Ohio Northern University freshmen, such as the required text for Writing Seminar. Her favorite class, however, is Advanced Stagecraft.

“I like advanced stagecraft because that’s probably what I’ll be doing after graduation,” she added. 

Like many International Theatre Design majors, Perry’s future career will likely involve fulfilling the roles of a props manager, technical director, and a carpenter. This calls for a variety of unique classes and supplies, which has included a tool box in a previous class.

Perry carries a notebook filled with aesthetic collages of magazine clippings. She said the piece is called a visual morgue. She started this notebook in her Introduction to Design course last semester and has continued to use it in her Fundamentals of Lighting and Sound course.

“It’s basically just a collection of clippings that inspire you. It’s practice for putting together a visual design portfolio," she said. 

Perry is a prop master for "Elysium," an upcoming drama about an Ohio family dying under the weight of its own secrets set for a world premiere at the Freed Center for the Performing Arts this weekend, Feb. 16-19. She is the primary stage manager for the International Play Festival and hopes to be the assistant technical director for the spring musical, Pirates of Penzance.

This high-caliber freshman also works two jobs on campus. She is a lifeguard in addition to working at the Freed Center Scene Shop.

We work on a lot of things--we can hang lights, we can focus lights, we do a lot of painting and a lot of times we just help with odds and ends around Freed. You might work on props, scenery, and more,” she explained.

Perry’s variety of responsibilities calls for a variety of materials, which has even included a toolbox for carpentry focused coursework in the past. The contents of her backpack give insight into her love of theatre management. The materials students carry with them often suggest a focus within their studies at Ohio Northern University. 

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