Tip of the Week: Stools?

Dear Miss Managers,

Could you explain to me in more detail why the volunteers who work ticket taking must sit in the balcony and why ushers must sit on a stool?  Let me just say, it’s not comfortable.


Dare E. Air


Dear Dare E. Air,

As you know, our Guest Services Department strives to provide exceptional customer service.  Before, the late-seating holds in the back of the venue were almost completely occupied with ushers, from ticket takers to ushers inside the venue.  It became very difficult to seat late patrons since the late-seating options were taken.  As opposed to standing, we wanted to give you somewhere to sit; so stools were purchased so that ushers wouldn’t have to stand the full duration of a performance.


Miss Managers


Student Staff Highlight: Student Summers

Welcome back, students! We’ve missed you!

Before we start hiring the new student ushers, we had a chance to catch up with our current students. Here are some of their adventures from this summer:

hiking2Geri Lanham – Junior
“I spent the majority of my summer living with my grandparents while interning with US Congressman John Shimkus. During this time I played lots of pinochle and researched an odd hodgepodge of topics relating to the various casework being undertaken by the Congressional staffers, while also answering the phone and hearing wild tales from throughout the district. I wrapped up my time away by climbing to the highest points in Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado with my parents and younger brother. Frank.”

Gaby Mercurio – Sophomore


“Filled with arts and crafts, research presentations, new friends, box-packing, and communicating with business partners, my internship at Epson, Inc. was definitely an eclectic one.  I interned for six weeks with the Home Entertainment department, working particularly on home projectors and label makers.  On the projector side, I conducted demos and researched competitor products.  On the label maker side, I helped brainstorm creative ways to use label makers and ribbon printers and assisted in bringing those projects to life.   Working at Epson proved both educational and extremely enjoyable.  When the internship ended, I spent my summer days soaking up the sun, hanging out with my brothers, and relishing the California weather.”

Mitch McNanna – Junior

atmi“So I haven’t really been doing anything at all over the summer, just working full time at a local concrete casting company called ATMI Precast, helping them reorganize their file archive rooms and cleaning up their machine maintenance department.”

Eric Zidarich – Sophomore

drafting“As for my summer, I can’t say I did a whole heck of a lot of interesting things… I stayed with my girlfriend’s family in my hometown and worked for my dad, digging holes, moving equipment, and directing traffic for his contracting company. It was hard, but I got a killer farmer’s tan. When I wasn’t working, I spent time with friends and worked on a perspective drawing of the house I grew up in to keep my drafting skills from getting too rusty. ”

Nick Goldsmith – Junior
“I had an awesome summer!  After leaving DPAC in May, I traveled to Spain with the Glee Club and had a great time on our 16 day trip.  It was my first time out of the country so I experienced a lot of new things that helped me to expand my outlook on life.  After returning from Spain, I began my summer internship with music group Tonic Sol-fa in Minnesota.  This was a very rewarding opportunity and helped me to start learning the ropes in the music industry.


I traveled with the group for shows, helped them with marketing, and even got to record in a professional studio in Minneapolis.  I also took a class at St. Cloud State University.  After finishing my class and internship, I moved back to Des Moines, IA and then went on vacation with my family.  We traveled to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and we have our own beach house with a private beach area.  We are just an hour away from New Orleans, LA and are planning a couple of day trips to the area.  I will be moving back to South Bend next week and I’m looking forward to a new school year!”

Jason Hofmeister – Sophomore

“As always, this summer went by very quickly. Partially because it’s summer, and that’s what it does, but also because of how busy I was. While at home in New York I worked 4 different jobs.


A 3 day a week internship for a solar energy company, 2 days a week with my uncle, a contractor, and one day a week running deliveries for my dad’s florist shop. I spent one week on Cape Cod with extended family as a vacation and then two weeks in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of New York as a camp counselor. My two weeks at camp were amazing and I can’t believe it’s already over. I have been going to this same camp for 11 years now. Even though this summer was crazy busy, I was still able to enjoy a lot of time with friends.”

Michelle McCarthy – Sophomore

“While I spent much of my summer working as a Mail Handler for the U.S. Postal Service, I was also lucky to do some traveling with friends and family! mailhandler I attended a French music festival in Montreal, explored a few museums in New York City, and spent a considerable amount of time reading beachside in Maine.  While the East Coast has been great, I could not be more excited for this upcoming year at ND!”

Cale Gaffy – Sophomore


“I hope all of your summers went well.  I had a pretty tame summer this year at home.  I worked for Magic Bounce, a small inflatable company nearby my town, putting in about 50 hours a week.  When I wasn’t delivering beautiful bouncy bundles of joy to children, I spent my time reading, playing guitar, or hanging out with my girlfriend and family.  I’m even more excited to return to school this year and continue my experiences at Notre Dame!”

Wayne Huang – Sophomore

“I think all I’m missing is Mississippi and Alaska. “Over the summer I’ve been working at an insurance company doing super fun insurance stuff! I’ve also rounded out my life long goal of visiting all of the states in the country by passing through the Atlanta airport in July.


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Michael Chernauskas – Senior

“I interned this summer at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York in the investment banking department with a focus on Consumer and Retail companies.
I received a full-time offer and will be returning there after graduation.”

National Theatre Live presents The Audience

The Royal National Theatre, known to most as the National Theatre, is one of the two prominent publicly funded theatre companies alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. The National Theatre has been presenting performances of Shakespeare and other international classic drama since 1963.  Then in 2009, the theatre began a program of simulcasts of their live performances to cinemas around the world.    The first National Theatre Live (NTL) performance, Phedre starring Helen Mirren, was screened live in 70 countries across the UK.  Since then, NTL productions have been broadcast to over 700 venues in 22 countries around the world.  Coming to the Browning Cinema the first week in September, Helen Mirren stars again in the highly-anticipated performance of The Audience.


“For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace – a meeting like no other in British public life – it is private. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said. Not even to their spouses. The Audience breaks this contract of silence – and imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister has used these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional – sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive.”

The Audience, September 5th-8th, in the Browning Cinema.

Shakespeare Staff Highlight: Grant Mudge


He wears many hats as a theatre professional:  Actor, director, playwright, and teacher.  Beginning last season, we welcomed the talented Grant Mudge as Artistic Director for the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival!   During upcoming performances of Richard III, Grant will be a presence at each performance, facilitating the Pre-Talks in the Philbin, giving the pre-performance curtain speech, or visiting with patrons in the lobby before, during, and after each performance.  Grant’s enthusiasm for the Shakespeare Festival is palpable; when asked how he feels about Richard III opening, he tells us, “On the first big opening as the Ryan Producing Artistic Director it’s of course a bundle of excitement, apprehension, joy, love, and perhaps most of all, hope that folks really will enjoy what we have prepared to share with them.  I’m hopeful that audiences will take advantage of the pre-show talks (1-hour prior to curtain) if they have questions about the play…..and especially to hearing their slightly-unsettled laughter as Richard nearly woos us into rooting for him—on his diabolical quest to become King.”  As excited as Grant is, he is full of gratitude to our ushers, “Let me extend a big note of thanks to all of the ushers, who just seem just to ‘get it.’  For their big smiles of welcome to all of our patrons, their patience as folks find seats on a first, unfamiliar visit (or look for restrooms).  Even more, for their sincere caring of everyone who visits us for a performance.  I’ve seen it time and time again: they are marvelous hosts, and I cannot thank them enough.”

We wish him well in his tenure as Artistic Director!

Modern Times

It’s the season to inspire us and Be Open, and this year why not give modern dance a try.  Whether it’s Momix or Diavolo, patrons will have two opportunities to experience a modern dance performance.  But what is this unique dance form all about?  Let’s sashay our way through the world of modern dance.

Modern dance developed out of a desire to express individual ideas and emotions instead of performing established dance forms, such as ballet. It continues to evolve with each individual’s interpretation of its founders ideas. You’ll typically find that choreographers turn to current ideas and social themes for inspiration. There are multiple styles of modern dance; Narrative (expresses a message or tells a story), Chance (random selection of movement, performers will not establish order of dance moves until night of show), Contact improvisation (a duet or large group where dancers create moves based on other person), Improvisation (spontaneous movements), Post-modern (evolved during the 60’s and 70’s, also called experimental or minimalist dance.)   With so many ways to express oneself through modern dance, what can you expect to see at the center this season?

In September, the center will showcase Momix. This run of performances will illuminate “The Four Seasons” through magnificent color, props, and jaw-dropping physical ability. If, after this performance you are longing for more, join us for a Post-Performance Talk. This Post-Talk will be hosted by the artists and will have an open Q&A session.Momix-Botanica

Then, springing into February, patrons will have the joy of experiencing the Diavolo Dance Theatre. This group of athletic dancers performs a piece entitled “Fluid Infinities,” set to Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 3, the dancers reach and seek to discover life. With such physically demanding movements, the dance highlights the sheer strength and muscle control it takes to entrance the audience. Similar to Momix, reach for a better understanding of the performance and its dancers, join us for a Post-Performance Talk.diavolo223mv

Be OPEN Beyond the Stage:

  • Whether you usher Momix or Diavolo, what type of modern dance best describes the performance?
  • Will you be ushering both dance performances?  Compare and contrast the two dance companies.
  • Was your attention drawn to a particular dancer? Why?

Tip of the Week: Football Fridays at Notre Dame

Dear Miss Managers,

I’m a huge Notre Dame football fan and will be coming to town on Friday before the home game.  What is campus like before a home football game?


Completely Clueless


Dear Completely Clueless,

Have we got a surprise for you!  There is nothing quite like the frenetic energy on the weekend of a Notre Dame home football game!  Excited football fans from all over the country converge on campus to shop at the bookstores, attend special events, reunite with classmates, take tours of buildings, and attend the Pep Rally.  Since you are coming to campus, you should stop by the Performing Arts Center from 12-4 on any home-game Fridays to take a tour of the 5 performance venues.  An usher will be waiting in the main lobby to escort you on a 15-minute guided tour, telling you little-known facts about each space.  Be sure to stop by!

Peppy As Ever,

Miss Managers

Welcome Students Back to School (and IMPORTANT parking lot closures during Richard the III)

Well, it’s that time of year again…the time that reminds us of the staples commercial below…it’s Back to School!

Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, and Holy Cross College students are starting to move back into the area starting this weekend throughout August 26.  What does this look like around the Bend? Clogged roads full of drivers new to the area (that are currently being paved and causing construction ALL OVER the Michiana area), pallets of “college necessities” jutting into the aisles of Target, Wal-mart, and Meijer, sold-out hotel rooms, and two-hour waits at your favorite restaurant.

The new students are busy attending orientation, moving in, meeting new students, buying books, running from the embarrassment of their parents sobbing that their baby is growing up, freshmen dorm activities, a frosh-o (freshman orientation) dance in the Joyce Center, and a whirlwind of remembering all the dorms and places in South Bend, and not to mention trying to wrap their heads around the millions of acronyms and nicknames that only ND students would know (“Let’s go Right Right; Right Left is always packed,” “Let’s go to La Fun,” Stonehenge, Touchdown Jesus, First Down Moses, Steds, Far Quad, God Quad, Mod Quad, P-Dub, JACC, DPAC, DBART, MCOB, etc. etc. etc.).

So, how do we prepare? We recommend you plan ahead for traffic and parking issues.

For parking during Richard III next week, here are the times when the B lot (located northwest of the center) is available/closed:

  • Tuesday, August 20th – B lot open after 4:30
  • Wednesday, August 21st – B lot CLOSED
  • Thursday, August 22nd – B lot CLOSED
  • Friday, August 23rd – B lot CLOSED
  • Saturday, August 24th – B lot open for Shakespeare matinee
  • Sunday, August 25th – B lot CLOSED

We suggest you use the visitor’s lot (which is free during move-in week) or the stadium lots to the east of the center.