Jim Volz

Getting to Center Stage

Theatre Professor Writes Guide to Careers in Performing Arts

March 5, 2007

By Gail Matsunaga

“I wish such a book was available when I was first starting out,” says R. Scott Phillips, festival director of the Utah Shakespearean Festival, of “The Back Stage Guide to Working in Regional Theater: Jobs for Actors and Other Theater Professionals,” by Jim Volz, professor of theatre and dance.

Just released, the book is a resource for those with fresh diplomas in hand, as well as theater professionals navigating the regional theater circuit. Volz interviewed more than 80 of the country’s top artistic directors, producers, playwrights, directors and others for job searching and career planning strategies, plus information on more than 1,000 places to work in the American theater.

For many performing arts graduates — and their parents — Volz hopes the guide will help answer the question, “What are they going to do with their degree? The book merges career planning with their theater training. It goes beyond theories.”

Among the many people Volz acknowledges in the book are Cal State Fullerton undergraduate and graduate students Nikki Allen, Heather Biehl, Dan Evers, Samantha Smith, Jenny Spear and Mary Waldron. Also cited in Volz’s thanks was Bruce H. Goodrich, associate professor of theatre and dance.

 “The students were terrific,” Volz says. “They helped organize and research information. Some of them used that experience to get other jobs or pursue international studies.”
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