Wenger E-Learning - Wenger Corporation
Wenger Corporation

Archived Webinars Available on Demand

Love music, but don’t know how to turn that into a career?

Wednesday, September 9, 2020
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. (CT)

Presented by: Patrick Finn and Bryan Bowser

The music industry is far more broad than most students realize. In addition to performance and education there are rewarding careers in music production, business, therapy, and more if you know how to find them. Join us for a discussion on what opportunities exist in the music industry and how you can set yourself up for a career in these fields. This class is targeted at high school students and will be recorded for teachers to integrate into their classroom instruction.

About Patrick Finn, Performing Arts Product Manager, Wenger Corporation
Patrick studied music at Baldwin-Wallace University. After graduation he worked in opera and theatre production up and down the east coast. Prior to joining Wenger | JR Clancy in 2009, he worked as a theatre consultant designing performance spaces and rehearsal halls. He is now the Performing Arts Product Manager where he develops technical and equipment solutions to artistic challenges and works with designers to help bring their ideas to life.

About Bryan Bowser, Program Director and Assistant Professors of Arts Management & Entrepreneurship; Department Chair, Interdisciplinary Studies, Baldwin Wallace University
Bryan has a strong record of leadership in the Cleveland arts and non-profit community and is a passionate advocate for arts education and inclusion. Previously he served as associate director, external affairs, for the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music where he managed the community arts, summer music, and opera programs, in addition to consulting on matters of conservatory fundraising, marketing, student recruitment and alumni relations. Following three seasons as director of operations and development at Lyric Opera Cleveland, Bowser returned to Baldwin Wallace as director of the conservatory outreach department; he was appointed assistant director of the Conservatory in 2004 and assistant professor in 2015. He holds a Master of Business Administration in entrepreneurship and Bachelor of Music Education from Baldwin Wallace.

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Reopening Equipment Inspection: A Guide for your Performance Space

Wednesday, October 7, 2020
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. (CT)

Presented by: Patrick Finn, Eric Huss and Andy Knapp

As performance spaces begin to reopen it is essential that we keep safety at the forefront. There are numerous reopening guides, resources and new safety protocol information available within the industry, and this course will specifically review inspection information for your theatrical equipment. From rigging, to seating, acoustical shells, pit lifts, lighting systems and production shops; join our panel as they discuss safety as theatres reopen.

About Patrick Finn
Patrick grew up in Ohio where he started working in technical theatre at a young age. In addition to educational theatre he spent his summers in high school working in the lighting and scenery departments of the local summer stock theatre company. He continued to work in theatre professionally throughout his college career at Baldwin-Wallace College. After completing his studies he proceeded to work up and down the East Coast at regional theatres and opera companies.

After a particularly rewarding experience with a renovation, Patrick became interested in and found employment in theatre consulting, where he used his experience working in theatre to help others design new and renovated performance spaces. In 2009 he joined with J.R. Clancy to provide rigging and performing arts equipment to venues across the country and the world. His current position as Performing Arts Product Manager provides him with the opportunity to develop technical and equipment solutions to artistic challenges and to work with designers to help their ideas come to fruition.

About Eric Huss
Eric joined Wenger Corporation in 2013 as a Systems Integrator. Prior to this he worked as a theatre consultant for seven years on a wide variety of projects. Most recently, while working for Artec Consultants, he worked on projects including Darat King Abdullah II Performing Arts Centre in Amman, Jordan; Dr. Phillips Centre for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Fla.; Grand Theatre du Bouregreg in Rabat, Morocco; and the Star Performing Arts Centre in Singapore. He also spent time as a project manager for a scene shop building sets for Broadway, cruise ships, and industrial shows around the world.

About Andy Knapp
Andy grew up in Syracuse, NY, where he discovered his love for theater in high school. He pursued Theater Arts Performance studies at Nazareth College where he ultimately focused on Lighting and Technical Theater. After completing his studies, Andy moved to New York City to pursue an internship in Lighting at The Juilliard School, which ultimately shaped the rest of his technical theater career.

For the next five years, Andy freelanced as a Master Electrician and Stage Electrician, working for The Metropolitan Opera, The Public Theater (including Shakespeare in the Park), NYC Fashion Week, and Saturday Night Live to name a few. He then worked in Production Management at The Public Theater for a number of years before returning to The Juilliard School as the Master Electrician of the Peter J. Sharp Theater, a 72 single purchase proscenium fly house. In December 2017, he relocated back to his hometown of Syracuse, NY, to join the Project Management team at Wenger Corporation’s J.R. Clancy facility. His current position as Service Project Manager provides him with the opportunity to work with end users on annual inspections and renovation assistance while answering questions about their equipment.

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The Benefits of Soundlok® Sound-Isolating Practice Rooms

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (CT)

Presented by: Jaed Parker & Michael Duba

In this course, we will discuss the benefits and functions of our Soundlok modular practice rooms. We will also compare and contrast to stick-built (constructed) practice rooms. We will explore beneficial add-on teaching tools and features that set these rooms apart from traditional practice rooms; an example being the Virtual Acoustic Environments (VAE) option for virtual acoustics.

About Jaed
Jaed Parker, Associate Product Manager within the Wenger Acoustics Group. Started with Wenger back in 2017. Prior to that, working with a small business as a Product and Project Lead. Among other job Jaed was a professional dancer/singer. Jaed is happy to find a job that he can use his B.S. degree in business and still be a part of the theater world.

About Michael
Michael is a Senior Regional Sales Manager at Wenger Corporation. He grew up in and currently lives in the suburbs about 30 miles North of Atlanta, GA. He attended Valdosta State University for both a BA and MBA degrees. A few years out of College, Michael spent 12 years working with a regional J.R. Clancy rigging dealer where he learned about all the equipment used inside Auditoriums and Performing Arts Centers. In late 2015, he joined Wenger Corporation as a Regional Sales Manager. By 2019, he was promoted to Senior Regional Sales Manager. Currently, Michael and his team of Regional Sales Managers cover 10 states in the South and Southeastern US.

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Careers in Theatre: Production jobs beyond the stage

Wednesday, October 21, 2020
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (CT)

Moderated by Ryan Cole, Project Manager, and Patrick Finn, Performing Arts Product Manager

The theatre industry is far more broad than most students realize. In addition to performance there are rewarding careers in education, regional theatre, union work, production shops, touring productions, theatre planning and consulting and permanent equipment and installations. Join our panel of experts for a discussion on what opportunities exist in theatre production and how you can set yourself up for a career in these fields. This class is targeted at high school students and individuals interested in a career in theatre and will be recorded for teachers to integrate into their classroom instruction.

Panelists include: Randy Steffen, Dave Piccola, Ben Neafus, Rachael Claxton and Heather McAvoy

Randy Steffen, Technical Director, Syracuse Stage; Instructor, Theater Design and Technology, Syracuse University
In addition to his role as a part-time instructor, Randy Steffen also serves as the full-time technical director for both the Department of Drama and Syracuse Stage. Randy received his B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa and hold an M.F.A. from Yale University.

Dave Piccola, Director of Venue Installations, Mountain Productions
David Piccola currently serves as the Director of Venue Installations for Mountain Productions. In this role, he works closely with decision-makers from various venues, stadiums, arenas, convention centers and theaters to design and implement customized, permanent solutions, including fall protection systems, arena reduction systems, sub-grids, automated intelligent control systems and virtually everything in between. He is dedicated to improving venue logistics for the organizations he works closely with, while saving their time and budget.

Dave’s passion for the entertainment production industry manifested while he was still in high school, where he spent all of his free time enrolled in shop and art courses and producing for a friend’s band. Continuing to pursue his love of all things mechanical and art-based, Piccola spent the next several years rigging, touring and taking calls through his IATSE local chapter, before rigging and advising the production of Cirque du Soleil based in Las Vegas. He brings with him thirty years of experience in the event production industry.

Ben Neafus, ESFX Technician 2, Sight & Sound Theatres
Benjamin Neafus has an accomplished career in theatre. He has worked in the entertainment business for the past 19 years. He has toured on multiple Broadway national tours such as: Les Miserable, Mary Poppins, and South Pacific as an Automation Programmer and Rigger. He has also been a Production Manager over several tours including: Blue Man Group, We Will Rock You, and Elf. He has worked all over the world in different capacities in the entertainment industry such as: Automation Programmer for Wicked in Brazil and South Korea, and Head Carpenter at Los Premios in Mexico. Ben has also worked as an Automation Specialist for PRG. In 2017 Ben decided to take a step off the road. He took a job at Sight and Sound Theatre in Branson Missouri where he is able to dedicate more time to his family. At Sight and Sound Ben gets the best of both worlds, being able to be with his wonderful wife and 2 great kids and work with cutting edge technology in theatrical automation. He is part of a specialized team that is constantly working on new ways to develop new technology and pushing the bounds of current tech.

Rachael Claxton, Charge Scenic Artist, 3dx Scenic
Rachael has worked across the country in theatre, television, and museum fabrication. Some of her favorite projects include time spent with the Cleveland Play House, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Lookingglass Theatre, and Harpo Studios. She is currently the Charge Artist with 3dx Scenic in Cincinnati, Ohio where she works on theme parks, theatre, and live events, and has served on the Board of the Guild of Scenic Artists for the past 2 years.

Heather McAvoyASTC, Principal, Schuler Shook, Inc.
Heather is a recognized leader in theatre planning and consulting, emphasizing collaboration and creativity in her approach to each project. She is a pragmatic and detail-oriented planner and designer with an extensive background in lighting design for live performance. She joined Schuler Shook in 2016, after thirty years as a theatre planner, principal and director for another firm, with involvement in over 250 theatre planning projects.

She brings to each project a fundamental knowledge of the process of live performance, with extensive experience not only in lighting design, but in stage and production management and technical direction. As a community volunteer, she is dedicated to promoting the value of theatrical production as an essential part of a quality education for the youth who are the future of our industry.

Ryan Cole, Project Manager, Wenger Corporation
Ryan joined Wenger | JR Clancy as a Project Management Intern in 2015 for his last year of graduate school before becoming a full-time Project Manager upon graduation in May 2016. In this role, he collaborates with teams of engineers, general contractors, architects, theatre consultants, and end users on projects both domestically and internationally. Prior to coming to Wenger | JR Clancy, Ryan worked as a Technical Director for the Contemporary American Theatre Festival and a Scenic Carpentry Intern for CENTERSTAGE Theatre. He holds a BFA in Theatre Arts: Design & Production from East Carolina University and a MFA in Technical Production from Florida State University.

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Expert Roundtable Discussion: Reopening Campuses to Student Athletes

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
2:00 - 3:30 p.m. (CT)

As athletic programs on college campuses begin the return to “normal” in 2021, what will that look like? How can we prepare? Hear from a panel of industry experts as they discuss student-athlete wellness, physical AND mental health, and what we have learned from leadership over the past year. Each will discuss best practices for reopening a facility during and after the pandemic.

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Panel Discussion: Belmont University and Designing the new Performing Arts Center

Wednesday, November 10, 2021
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. (CT)

Panel Members:
Mille Dixon, Director at Theatre Projects
David Minnigan, AIA, IIDA, LEED® AP, Principal at ESa
C. Russell Todd, Principal at Akustiks
Kellie Cultice, Wenger Corporation, Project Engineer
Nicholas Grossman, Wenger Corporation, Senior Design Engineer

Belmont University’s new Fisher Center for the Performing Arts opened in September 2021. In 2018, the university began work on a new 1,700-seat performing arts center to accommodate the school’s dance, theatre, and musical performances, as well as the Nashville Opera, traveling Broadway shows and international artists. From the beginning, the expectations were high and the design team had a complicated task ahead. During this panel discussion hear from the theatrical consultant, architect, acoustician and members of the Wenger engineering team to learn how this project came together to create a beautiful and functional space for Belmont University.

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