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“I really cannot imagine a better place to be right now than Point Park. You really are encouraged to go out and take on new challenges and gain new experiences."

Megan Bibbs, sophomore SAEM major

Associate Professor Paige Beal’s Marketing and Promotions for SAEM 202 classes are gaining hands-on theatre industry experience working directly with Director Dave Solomon to promote the rock musical PUMP UP THE VOLUME, premiering at the Pittsburgh Playhouse April 3.

"It was really wonderful getting to visit Professor Beal's classes and hear what the students were working on and discussing in relation to our show. What I found most fascinating was that a lot of their thoughts, as well as areas that they pinpointed as potential challenges, were similar to some of those we have already been discussing with our producers. And it was also beneficial to hear from a group of students, who are closer in age to the characters in our show, what some of their strategies were to get a show about teenagers in 1990 appeal to their demographic in 2020," Solomon explained.

"It was extremely helpful, informative and fun to start this conversation with the marketing students and see them get more interested and excited about the show and the possibilities of what it can do and who we can reach," he added.

Additionally, Beal’s classes are working with information technology alumnus Wade Tucker ’15, founder of TrendTeams, LLC, on the marketing strategy for his new app, Fantasy Social Media.

“Having the students work in teams and with a client gives them a more genuine experience as they learn marketing. A simple lecture style classroom puts students in a passive role, consuming and memorizing information. Contrast that to being an active part of a marketing team making real decisions that apply what they are learning about marketing to real entertainment clients,” Beal said.

PUMP UP THE VOLUME tells the story of Mark, a shy outsider who rocks a small town by launching a Pirate Radio Station in his parents' basement, broadcasting nightly as his raucous, no-holds-barred shock jock alter ego “Hard Harry.” Under the cover of darkness, Mark bravely speaks truth to power. However, when tragedy strikes, Mark must decide whether to sign off radio for good, or pump up the volume.

“We are trying to determine the best strategy for inspiring audiences, young and old, to see the show by doing research on audience demographics, competing shows in the area and trends in the theatre industry,” said Megan Bibbs, a sophomore sports, arts and entertainment management major and graduate of The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School.

“This experience has been a really great opportunity for understanding marketing in the context of the performing arts,” Bibbs added.

“Students taking an active role really engage with the material and learn the art/science nature of marketing. In addition, they learn what it is like to work well as a team and interface with an entertainment client. To bring the client into the classroom also allows the client to get a true sense of Generation Z with a focus group perspective. It’s a win-win situation for students and clients," Beal explained.

“What I've loved about working on these projects is that we are really dealing with the quantitative side of the marketing world. Most of the marketing work I've done in the past was all about creating content and making flyers or Instagram posts, so it's nice to be on the flip side and focus on the marketing logistics and generating the perfect flow for our market,” said Lily Scott, a sophomore dance and SAEM double major from St. Agnes Academy in Memphis, Tenn.

After graduation, Scott would like to pursue a marketing and communications career in the arts industry. 

“I know Point Park can for sure get me to where I want because we are constantly being surrounded by professionals who know every part of the industry. This is the only program I've heard of that puts as much emphasis on in-classroom learning, as well as real-world learning. It's also great to know that your peers have just as big of plans as you, and we're able to help each other grow in the way that we need,” Scott said.

Bibbs added: “I really cannot imagine a better place to be right now than Point Park. You really are encouraged to go out and take on new challenges and gain new experiences. While that scared me at first, it has also really helped me to feel more confident in my future. I don’t think I’d have these kinds of opportunities anywhere else.”

More About: Rowland School of Business, sports, arts and entertainment management, dance, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Sports, Arts, Entertainment and Music Partnerships, The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, Conservatory of Performing Arts