Long Wharf Theatre Hires 2019 Theatre Production (Technical Design/Management) Alumna as Scenic Carpenter Alumni Profile
Meet Natalie Kandra
- Job Title & Employer
- Scenic Carpenter, Long Wharf Theatre
- Theatre Production (design)
- April 2019
- Artistic Apprenticeship
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- High School
- The Ellis School
- Now Living In
- New Haven, Conn.
- Dream Job
- Technical director of a regional theatre
- Hobbies & Interests
- Playing musical instruments, table top board games and adventure books
"At Point Park, I was able to experience a real theatrical scene shop and experiment with various construction methods and techniques ... The production staff and teachers became more than my educators, they are my role models for a successful career in technical theatre."
What factors led you to pursue a B.F.A. in theatre production at Point Park University?
I joined my high school’s theatre club and really enjoyed creating art with my classmates. My junior year I was elected president of the club, and that summer I decided to pursue my interest by working at Quantum Theatre as a production intern. While there, I met Stephanie Mayer-Staley, M.F.A., a professor at Point Park, who gave me information about the theatre production program. I knew that Point Park was the right fit for me.
How did you land your current job as a scenic carpenter at Long Wharf Theatre?
I was finishing my summer apprenticeship at Santa Fe Opera and began to search for a full-time position to start my career. I was confident that I would be a valuable worker at Long Wharf Theatre after seeing their posting for a scenic carpenter. I also had connections through my professors at Point Park, and they were willing to serve as a reference. As a scenic carpenter, I construct the scenic elements for each show during the 2019-20 season.
In what ways has your college experience prepared you for your career?
At Point Park, I was able to experience a real theatrical scene shop and experiment with various construction methods and techniques. I learned how to network and how to design a portfolio/resume that concisely showed my work. The wide range of classes allowed me to explore other facets of theatre outside of just carpentry, and gave me a new outlook on the overall production needs for all departments. The production staff and teachers became more than my educators, they are my role models for a successful career in technical theatre.
What advice do you have for prospective Conservatory of Performing Arts students?
My advice would be to find what it is that makes theatre the most fun and to apply that to all of their classes. Also, take advantage of your education by taking as many different classes from the designated track as possible. It may be in that graphic design class or English literature course that a new hobby or interest grows. I strongly encourage being present and active in the program, the academic rewards and personal growth from it will boost any chosen career path.