Beyond the Classroom: Jesse Panico, an Act for Theatre Arts

Rowan Music Performance major Jesse Panico next to the Henry Rowan statue

Meet Jesse Panico, a junior Music Performance major with a specialization in Voice from Magnolia, NJ (Camden County). He is also the senior student technician for Rowan’s Theatre Arts Management.

Rowan offers many flexible job opportunities for its students. After meeting his (now) supervisors at Theatre Arts Management through other networking, Jesse asked them for a job, filled out some paperwork “and since then it’s been wonderful!” Jesse said.

Jesse helps runs events in both Pfleeger Concert Hall and Boyd Recital Hall

“It greatly benefits me working there because I’m always there and the bookings are often from my own peers. Being able to work a recital (in Boyd Hall) and the person working it is someone you know and trust really takes the pressure off of the person performing,” he said. The work he does in Pfleeger Hall is little bit of everything, from ushering to lighting. 

His behind-the-scenes knowledge with Theatre Arts has helped him with his own student work as well. 

Rowan Music Performance major Jesse Panico in the Rowan Opera

“Knowing everything off-hand helps me plan as a student. When I was planning my Junior Recital, I knew how far to plan in advance, what works and what doesn’t,” Jesse said. 

“Rowan best prepared me by giving me to opportunity work with the technical side of what I want to do. I love to perform. It is very near and dear to my heart. It gives me insight on how to do certain things on stage — such as, many people think to stand right in the middle of the spotlight. But you actually should stand in front of the spotlight so you don’t have the lower half of your body cut off,” he said. 

Jesse noted that Theatre Arts Management tries to emphasize working all parts of the theatre so you get a better understanding of what goes into everything.

“I have developed a lot of people skills from starting as a house manager, which deals with the public saying ‘No ma’am, you can’t bring food in.’ A lot of the training was learning as I go. The high-stress environment helped me to learn quickly. I’ve learned everything from lights and rigging to building the sets.

“I feel at home in Pfleeger Concert Hall,” Jesse said.

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Story and photography by:
Justin Borelli, senior advertising major