By: Christian Sarna
For some students, the simple yellow room and ticket slot of the Western Box Office are the window to a world of possibilities.
The Potter Hall Theater hosts productions put on by the department of theatre, cinema and dance. The box office organizes ticketing and seating for these productions. A senior business major, Natalie Lombardi, said her involvement with the box office has helped her develop human resources skills while doing something she loves.
“I’m just really involved with customer service, and these are all things that I am going to need for my future career,” Lombardi said. “It’s been really helpful, and it also allows me to get involved in theatre.”
Lombardi, who has been a student-employee in the box office for over two years, said that students of any major can be involved if they are dedicated.
Libby Denny is a senior theatre major. She has worked in the box office since she was a second-semester freshman and encourages anyone, regardless of their association with Western, to get involved in theatre.
“You don’t have to be in school to audition,” Denny said. “We’ve had people from the community; we’ve had high schoolers come and audition and get roles.”
Denny has performed in several productions at Western, such as “Little Women,” “Spring Awakening” and “Blithe Spirit.”
She said that her experiences on both sides of the box office helped her become more well-rounded and knowledgeable about what goes into a full production.
“It’s just a really good way not to limit yourself,” Denny said. “It’s good to see all sides: on stage, off stage, behind the scenes.”
The box office provides many services besides ticketing. Denny explained that students interested in more short-term involvement could help as ushers.
In addition to taking tickets and greeting patrons, ushers help theatergoers with mobility devices like walkers or wheelchairs get to their seats. For patrons who are hard of hearing, the theater provides hearing devices that directly connect to the sound system for a more enjoyable experience. Denny’s experience has certainly been enjoyable.
“I’ve never worked with someone in the box office that I’m just like, ‘I can’t stand this person,’” Denny said. “When you work together, you have one common goal; this is what we’re gonna do; this is our procedure. We’re all on the same page, and it’s great.”
For students on the fence about getting involved with the box office or theatre, in general, Denny had one simple piece of advice: do it.