Joe Hopper | MAC Employee of the Month

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joseph-hopperJoe Hopper | Production Manager, McAninch Arts Center

What’s the most intricate performance you’ve been a part of since being at the MAC?
In March the MAC had its grand reopening celebration and there were a lot moving parts. We had all three theaters running, plus events in the lobby and the Cleve Carney Art Gallery. It was a lot of fun, but there were lots of details.

How did you get started in the performing arts?
I’ve been working in technical theater since high school. After leaving the College of DuPage, I studied Performing Arts Management at Columbia College. I would still freelance at the MAC while in school. An opportunity presented itself to become a member of the MAC staff and I took it.

You must have some great behind-the-scenes stories, considering you’re the production manager. Can you share a particularly good behind-the-scenes story with us?
Nothing I’d like to put into writing. Next question 🙂

How would you describe the daily happenings of the production crew and some of the typical duties associated with putting on a great show?
I spend most of my days scheduling staff for performances, talking with artist’s road managers, and talking with community members who have rented the MAC for their own performances. It’s a lot of time on the phone and email to ensure all the needs are met for a performance.

What’s the best part about being the MAC production manager?
I get to meet the coolest people. I work with every performer and their staff that comes to the MAC.

What’s the most challenging part about being the MAC production manager?
The schedule is the most challenging part. I love my job and can’t imagine doing anything else, but it’s a lot of nights and weekends. I have great family and friends that respect what I do and will work around my schedule, or understand that I’m going to be showing up late to things.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, who would you prefer to be stranded with: a musician, a dancer, or an actor?
I think I would prefer to be stranded with a dancer. I’m not a dancer myself, but the dancers in all the companies that have come through the MAC are always incredibly friendly.