Conservatory of Performing Arts

Theatre Production Alumnus Installs Stage Rigging in New Pittsburgh Playhouse

Friday, September 15, 2017

Alumnus Phillip Irvin Installs Stage Rigging for Point Park's New Pittsburgh Playhouse. Photo | Chris Rolinson

Meet Philip Irvin 

Job title and employer: Stage Rigging Installer, Pittsburgh Stage, Inc.
Degree earned: B.F.A. in Theatre Production, 2014
College activity: Scene shop apprentice
Hometown: State College, Pa.
High school: State College Area High School 
Now living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: My wife and I sell LuLaRoe. But in my free time, I like to hunt and golf.

Tell us about your current position with Pittsburgh Stage, Inc.

As a stage rigging installer, I travel about 40 weeks out of the year. My job consists of demolishing old rigging set ups and installing new ones. We make and install our own curtains as well as inspect stages to make sure they meet safety regulations. One of my current projects is working on Point Park University's new Pittsburgh Playhouse, Downtown. 

"Working on Point Park's new Pittsburgh Playhouse is amazing! I worked in the existing Playhouse in Oakland and am very familiar with those theaters. I can only imagine what faculty and students will be able to do in the new Playhouse."

-- Philip Irvin


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What’s it like working on the new Pittsburgh Playhouse as an alumnus? 

Working on Point Park's new Pittsburgh Playhouse is amazing! I worked in the existing Playhouse in Oakland and am very familiar with those theaters. I can only imagine what faculty and students will be able to do in the new Playhouse. I have to admit that I am a little jealous of the students who get to work in this incredible new space.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I've always been a theatre nerd and love to see how different places operate. Having the chance to see/work on different stages is pretty cool. 

Who impacted you most from Point Park's theatre program?

While I could say something about everyone I worked with, the two people who made the biggest impact on me are Associate Professor Aaron Bollinger and James Dworek, technical director at the Playhouse.

What are some of your favorite college memories?

Working at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, meeting my wife and pulling pranks on roommates/friends. 

What are your career goals and what role has Point Park played in helping you reach them?

Ever since I started at Point Park I wanted to teach technical theatre in a university setting — like at Point Park one day. My college experience showed me that my dream is possible, but first I need real-world experience to teach this subject well. Technical theatre isn't like any other job. Everyone can have a different idea, and all of them could be right and work. You get to integrate them together to create the best outcome.

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