Baldwin alumni go behind the scenes to help with musicals
One year after Connor Doran stared in his final high school musical, he continues to perfect vocal performances inside the Baldwin High School performing arts center.
Only now, he's helping younger generations of Highlanders excel on the stage where he once did.
“The experience that I had and the opportunities that it gave me were incredible,” said Doran, 18, a 2013 Baldwin graduate who attends Duquesne University with a major in music education. “I paid my dues. Now I feel like I get to help others and hold their hands while they're going through it.”
Familiar faces are returning to the performing arts center to assist behind the scenes with the school's spring show, “Shrek the Musical,” as Baldwin alumni help with the sets, choreography and vocal performances. The show debuted last night and will run tonight through Saturday with 7 p.m. performances in the school's auditorium.
“I think it's really great that we all went through this program. We helped build this program and we're continuing to help the program,” said Joshua Zietak, 20, a 2012 Baldwin High School graduate, who now works as the auditorium manager at the school and helped to build the sets, hang lighting and manage the area for this year's show.
Other Baldwin alumni working on Shrek include Renee Jasczesko, a choreographer, and Doran, who serves as the vocal director.
Having graduated from Baldwin, everyone knows their faces and they know the equipment and students, which comes in handy, Zietak said.
As a high school freshman, Zietak was interested in technology and sound and “fell in love” with working on the stage crew.
After graduating, he attended Point Park University with a major in lighting design and returned to Baldwin last year to assist with the spring musical, “Hairspray,” working as a lighting intern. Shortly after, he was offered a job in Baldwin-Whitehall as auditorium coordinator, where he started last June.
Zietak works whenever the auditorium is booked, operating the equipment and teaching the students how to use it. Zietak, who is taking a year off from college, is working full time with Hear Corp as a lighting designer and master electrician.
Doran, who served as the student music director and a performer all four years as a Baldwin student, found his calling.
“It's been such a blessing just to be a part of the whole process,” he said.
Now, Doran helps teach the music to the ensemble, leads and works with the orchestra director. Also, he trains the students on healthy singing habits.
Some alumni have found careers in musical theater.
“It really shows the program had an effect on us,” Zietak said.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Baldwin-Whitehall students get serious about playing games
- Cultures unite for Thanksgiving celebration in Whitehall
- Obstetrics unit at Jefferson Hospital welcomes 1st arrivals
- Whitehall council votes to change borough’s alcohol policy
- Brentwood finds new use for old uniforms
- Students serving as representatives to West Jefferson Hills board
- Whitehall property owners sound off on storm water fee
- Glass Run Road in Baldwin to remain closed through December
- Book highlights Brentwood’s 100-year history
- Medic Rescue South to stuff ambulance with toys at Caste fest