#PittsburghMe: Meet Matt Spadaccia, Theatre Production: Stage-Management Major Student Profile
Meet Matt Spadaccia
- Theatre Production (stage management)
- April 2019
- Bethlehem, Pa.
- High School
- Liberty High School
- Dream Job
- A job in the event management field or a director of student involvement/affairs
"The new Pittsburgh Playhouse is just simply astounding ... While the walls have changed, the people haven’t. It’s still the same staff that my fellow students and I have come to love. It’s not about the building you’re in, it’s the people that are in it that make the Pittsburgh Playhouse home."
Why did you choose Point Park?
Not many schools offer a program for stage-management. I knew that I didn’t want to go to a large school where you become just a number, and the stage-management program here starts you off as a production assistant or assistant stage manager your first semester. Point Park offers so much from its Downtown Pittsburgh location. I never thought that I would be living in a city on the 14th floor of a building my freshman year, but I knew that it would be the different experience I was looking for.
How are you involved on campus?
As a stage-management major, I have the opportunity to work on multiple shows a year. I have stage-managed for theatre and dance, as well as special events such as TEDxPointParkUniversity. In addition to stage-managing, I am also an apprentice in the prop shop at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, where I help design and build props for all of the Playhouse productions.
I am also involved with the Campus Activities Board, which I joined my freshman year. Joining CAB’s special event committee as a freshman was a way for me to continue to do something that I loved doing in high school. Over the years, I have been able to grow and work my way up to the executive board. I have been the membership coordinator, vice president of programing, and I am currently the spirits and traditions coordinator.
In addition, I am a senator on the United Student Government for the Conservatory of Preforming Arts. Having never been a part of USG before this year, it has been such a great learning experience for me to try something new while supporting my fellow students.
Where is your favorite place on campus and why?
I am constantly running all over campus with my busy schedule, but when I get the chance to sit down, along the railings of the lobby in the Playhouse is a great place to relax and eat a meal. You are able to watch people go to class and walk through the Playhouse, but can still get work done.
Compare your experience working at the old and new Pittsburgh Playhouse.
The old Pittsburgh Playhouse was a time capsule filled with halls where greats like Shirley Jones and Gene Kelly once preformed. We had rehearsal studios that often leaked when it rained, a former restaurant that would serve hundreds of guests before a show, and of course, five ghosts. Although I never saw any ghosts, I would often have to navigate my way around the maze-like halls to rehearsal, class, or to search in the restaurant alone to find a prop.
The new Pittsburgh Playhouse is just simply astounding. Besides the breathtaking architecture, we are now able to put things on wheels (thanks to elevators) and we have live audio/video feeds of the theatre to the dressing rooms. There are huge lobbies for when shows are going on and more spacious rooms for shops. This is a building that is meant for theatre. While the walls have changed, the people haven’t. It’s still the same staff that my fellow students and I have come to love. It’s not about the building you’re in, it’s the people that are in it that make the Pittsburgh Playhouse home.
Where is your favorite place to grab a bite in Pittsburgh?
If you are ever in Oakland, about an eight-minute walk along Forbes Avenue from the old Pittsburgh Playhouse is Piada Italian Street Food. It is a great alternative to Chipotle or Moe’s, as they are very similar to each other. My recommendation is the carbonara pasta with chicken and cannoli chips for dessert.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
I have two pieces of advice to give. The first is to get involved. Do something that interests you and pushes you out of your comfort zone. I would not have had so many leadership and personal growth opportunities if I did not become involved on campus.
My second piece of advice is that it is okay if you feel lost or confused. College is such a new experience for everyone. Find that group of friends that you trust. I would have not made it to senior year if it had not been for my best friend who I met freshmen year. College is what you make it and you get out what you put into the experience. If you’re feeling lost or worn out, just remember to breathe, grab coffee with a friend, go for a walk to The Point and just keep smiling.
Text by Sydney Patton, senior sports, arts, and entertainment management major
Photo by Grace Ruiz, junior sports, arts, and entertainment management major