Theatre Business Major Sets the Stage for His Future

Noah Zaken is managing a lot as a student at Seton Hill University. The junior theatre business major is also a campus tour guide and the current president of the Student Theatre Activities Council – and he still finds the time to stage manage several productions down at Seton Hill’s Performing Arts Center.

“I was looking for a school that had a strong dedication to the arts, but also felt like home. It’s kind of a hard balance to strike – conservatory environments push the fact of how much work it is, but I wanted somewhere that would look at me as a person and not just a student.”

In the last three years, Noah has stage managed Seton Hill University productions of Company, Godspell, The Winter’s Tale, and two one act plays for other Seton Hill students. He spends a good amount of time at Seton Hill’s Performing Arts Center in downtown Greensburg, where a variety of productions take place each year.

“I did one major visit during my audition. It was really the Performing Arts Center tour that sold me, because I hadn’t really realized how much [Seton Hill] put into their arts. When I saw the PAC, I was really impressed.”

“I was looking for a school that had a strong dedication to the arts, but also felt like home."

With the knowledge he has gained from his experiences within his program and the liberal arts curriculum, Noah feels prepared to move into a position stage managing after he graduates. Ideally, he would like to someday focus on the administrative side of theatre, specifically in development and getting patrons to come see the shows. “There’s an importance to keeping things energetic and helping the energy in a room. The business classes have affected my theatre work more because they’ve helped me in communicating with people and problem solving. They teach us technical skills in theatre but, in those leadership positions that are a part of the business side of theatre, we need skills in communication and leadership.”