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Miguel Urbino is a senior at Marymount Manhattan College working on a B.A. in Theatre Arts, with a concentration in Design and Technical Production, focusing on Scenic and Costume Design.
Scenic design credits include: NYC: The Widow of Tom's Hill (59E59, Off-
(Photo Credit: Lillian Sun)
When did you decide you wanted to pursue a career in technical theatre?
I didn’t know that I wanted a future career in technical theatre until my senior year of high school. In high school I was a performer primarily, but I was always more interested in the technical aspect of theatre. I didn’t get into technical theatre until my sophomore year, when my high school went to the Northeast Educational Theatre Festival in Connecticut. There was a room with students and their dioramas and I found out that there were design individual events. I got so excited and then taught myself how to design and make models and entered the following year. That year, I got a Superior rating at Northeast and First Place at the NJ Thespian Festival which qualified me to take my design of the musical Chicago to the International Thespian Festival Nebraska.
How has being a Thespian shaped you in your everyday life?
If I weren't a Thespian, I wouldn't have been introduced to the career that I am in now. In fact, most of the jobs that I have are because of networking and the connections that I have made through the people I’ve met being a Thespian.
What advice would you give to a student would is looking to make technical theatre their career?
The world of technical theatre is so small, so your work ethic in one place can really affect your chances of working in other places. It is also very important to be open to trying everything. I started out as a scenic designer, but then became really interested in costume design, and now lighting design. I also didn't just design. Getting into deeper aspects of each design field is also very important. Work in the scene, paint, and costume shops, and work light hangs. Being an all-
As a former STO, how has that experience better prepared you for the professional world?
Leadership and collaboration is very important in any career, and being a Thespian and STO have helped so much in preparing me for the professional world. In the technical theatre world, one must understand that you have to climb up the ladder. No one just hands you design jobs without knowing how well you work with others. In working up the ladder, you experience different modes of leadership and collaboration. Those are skills that you really get to exercise as Thespians and STO members. Egos cannot get in the way when working with others. Team work is just as important in a board of student leaders as it is in a production or creative team, or cast or crew.
What is the most interesting project you have been able to work on? What was interesting about it?
The most interesting project I have worked on would probably be my first 'big’ design which was The Light in the Piazza at Marymount Manhattan College. It is rare that students get to design the set for the main stage productions, let alone the main stage musical while being a junior. I felt like I was jumping into the deep end of the pool, but with the support of my mentors and friends it was a dream come true. It was the first time that I was able to design a show with a shop to build the set and a sizable enough budget to explore my design limits. I have done other shows after that, but I think that project was just so special that it doesn't compare to any other design experience.