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Submitted photo / Rachel Bentz holds an ETC Source 4 spotlight, one of the tools of the trade in technical theatre.
LA GRANDE, Ore. May 31, 2016 – Eastern Oregon University senior Rachel Bentz is sailing out of her college career and into a job with Royal Caribbean Cruises.
After she graduates in June and her passport arrives, Bentz will join the technical stage staff on board a ship stationed in Shanghai, China. The theatre student from John Day anticipates being able to start work in July and is excited to see many different locales including Japan and Thailand.
“I’m really looking forward to exploring the port cities we visit, as well as the opportunity to work with the latest in theatre technology,” Bentz said.
Her duties will include moving sets and props, maintaining equipment, running light and sound and assisting with setup and teardown of mobile units for events.
“Technical theatre is like playing with Legos,” she explained. “It’s about how all the components – sound, color, texture and light – come together to tell a story, not a dialogue. My experience as the McKenzie Theatre technician has really prepared me for the best in my upcoming career.”
Bentz has been involved with numerous EOU shows in various capacities, including serving as stage manager for the collaborative production of “King Lear” with the La Grande Shakespeare Company that opened in February.
She was part of the running crew, the team that builds and positions set pieces, for “The Secret Garden” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and was cast in “Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical,” “Les Miserables,” “Life is a Dream” and “Eurydice.”
“Rachel’s love for theatre coupled with her technical work ethic to do the best job possible within the confines of the stage, and her will to learn the design and technical aspects of live performance, have served her well in landing her first post-college career position,” said Michael Heather, associate professor of theatre. “We will miss her not being in the McKenzie Theatre, taking care of business and keeping the ‘theatre ghost’ company.”
Heather and others at EOU played significant roles in Bentz’ training and continued growth, including Luke McKern, audio visual technician with the College of Arts and Sciences, and Gibb Pollard, equipment systems specialist with the Information Technology department.
“I’ve worked with coordinators from both the university and community, and the wide range of events has been beneficial in expanding my range of expertise,” Bentz said.
EOU’s Career Services Center is also crucial in helping students find career development opportunities while they are still students and as they move forward after college.
“Rachel is a great example of a successful Mountaineer who has developed her skill set to match her passions and meet the needs of a specific industry,” said Justin Chin, Career Center director. “She demonstrates all of the qualities that employers are looking for and I couldn’t be happier for her as she begins this new adventure.”
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