David Santangelo '09

November 4, 2013

Major: Theatre

Minor: English

Residence: Indianapolis, IN

What are you doing now?

I am the Box Office Manager at the Phoenix Theatre in downtown Indianapolis. My job deals with the day to day operations of the Box Office; selling tickets to patrons, keeping track of tickets sold, calling patrons to promote upcoming shows, and answering questions they have. I also serve as the theatre's Literary Manager which entails reading new scripts for potential performances at the theatre. In addition to reading new scripts, I create reference guides for actors to define some elements that they may be unfamiliar with such as places and things. Additionally, I create lobby display boards for patrons that give them information about a show.

Why did you choose SJC?

I liked the friendly atmosphere that I found from everyone. It was warm and welcoming. I also liked that it was a small college. I came from a large high school, so I thought I could get more individual attention. The idea being able to start my major and minor the first day was also appealing.

What experiences did you appreciate most in the SJC Theatre Department?

I really liked the individual attention I got from my professors. They were always approachable and willing to answer any questions that I had. They all knew who I was and what my interests were. It felt like what I was doing was tailored to me.

As a student, what was your experience like at SJC?

I had a great four years at the college; I met a lot of great people and was involved in numerous clubs and organizations, mainly: Columbian Players, Production Under Construction Improv, and Measure. I also appeared in three productions on the SJC stage. On the academic side, I was involved with Alpha Lambda Delta and Delta Epsilon Sigma Honor Societies. My junior year, I spent a semester studying abroad in England.

How did Core integrate with your major?

The Core program I think gave me a more rounded education. I was exposed to many different fields: Literature, Religion, Philosophy, History, and Science. It really showed me that everything is interconnected and all of these different perspectives help me appreciate different viewpoints.

What advice would you give to a prospective student looking to major in Theatre at SJC?

Theatre, I think, is one of the best majors because it highlights many elements that are vital in the "real world" such as being flexible and adaptable as well as building communication skills. All of these are very important in all work fields, and theatre helps in developing these skills. Also be open to what you want to do in Theatre. I started wanting to be an actor, but when I came to college, it opened up new avenues that I wouldn't have considered such as being a Literary Manager. I didn't know this position existed until John told me about it. Also, I served as an Assistant Stage Manager for the Phoenix Theatre's production of August: Osage County after graduation. I wouldn't have considered this before I came to SJC. You never know what you will find and what you will be interested in when you explore your major, so keep all possibilities open.

How were the faculty members in your department helpful to you?

My Professor, John Rahe, always knew my interests and he was the one who told me about the grad school where I eventually went and the summer between my Sophomore and Junior years I was the Literary Intern for the Phoenix Theatre, where I now work. John was the one who told me about the Phoenix and set up the internship. He kind of zeroed in what I am doing now. Dr. Robert Garrity was also vital in instilling my love of Shakespeare.

How prepared did you feel for employment after graduation? How quickly did you find your first job? Did SJC have any involvement in helping you get your first job or any other job?

It took me about a year to find a job after I got finished with grad school, but I would say SJC had a big part in my finding my current job. Through my previous internship, I think it offered a good foot in the door.

How did SJC prepare you for the "real world"?

I think going through the internship gave me a bird's eye view of the inner workings of a professional theatre and the Core program definitely broadened my horizons and taught me to be open to new perspectives, definitely a good thing when working in theatre, or in any field, for that matter.

Did you continue your education after graduating from SJC? 

When I graduated in 2009, I went directly to grad school at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. I studied Shakespeare and Performance with a concentration in Dramaturgy. I got my Master of Letters degree in May 2011.

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