St. Paul, Minnesota
Originally, Angie wasn’t even planning on attending Luther. She didn’t understand what a liberal arts education meant, and she didn’t want to attend because her brother went here. However, all it took was a visit to the campus and the Theater/Dance Department (now the Visual and Performing Arts) and she knew is was the place for her. “I liked how intimate the department was. It felt like a family that would give me opportunities and guide me rather than Universities where it felt more competitive and less one on one,” she said.
The turning point in her studies came when she was stage-managing Waiting for Godot. She had been bouncing back and forth between performing and set design for a while then she noticed during rehearsal that she was imagining how she would design the set rather than actor placement and character development. She received a lot of great insight from her professors that encouraged her to delve into set design.
An internship with a local non-profit arts organization, ArtHaus, also had a huge impact on her education. She interned with them for a semester and stage-managed/student directed three of their children’s productions. Working with Kristin Underwood (co-director of ArtHaus) provided her a mentor with insight and encouragement. Her connection to the faculty was also a huge part of her experience. She still contacts them when she needs input about her work in theater. “Bob Larson will always be a huge part of my experience and guidance in not only theatre but also life. Bob is wise. He knows a lot of things,” she said.
She is now the Product Manager for When I Work, managing clients and the apps provided for them. She helps test the products before they hit the market, and then maintains relationships with clients and creates support content.
Because Luther is a liberal arts school she was given the opportunity to not only focus on her major, Theatre/dance, but to also study outside the department. She studied business because she knew business and theatre was something she wanted to intertwine with her future. Her work requires creative thought as well as strategic thinking, which, she says, is the perfect mix.
I studied in the UK over J-term 2012 with Bob Larson and Lisa Lantz, seeing 20 shows in 23 days. The theatre scene there is crazy awesome!
Being an artist, whether it is in theatre, dance, or art is going to be hard. Really hard. If you are really passionate about it and are happy when you practice your art then you can push through the negative comments and competitive job market.
There was a time where the theatre/dance majors sat in the atrium of the CFA during chapel break. I looked forward to this every morning. We would get cinnamon rolls and coffee and discuss theatre classes, professors, and productions we were working on.
In the first year after graduation, I designed three sets and stage-managed two shows.
Angela Pidde can be contacted via her LinkedIn.