Behind the Stage at Stambaugh Auditorium

By Marah J. Morrison

Youngstown State University students and the surrounding community have the opportunity to work behind the scenes of Stambaugh Auditorium, a neighboring venue that hosts concerts, lectures and various events.

Jamie Fleeson, the director of advertising and design at Stambaugh Auditorium, said all of the events at the auditorium bring in a boost to the economy.

“It brings people into the area that would typically not come to the area,” Fleeson said, “and for students, we have a lot of different opportunities.”

The auditorium offers positions in guest services, ticket-taking, concessions and bartending for each of the events they have. Fleeson said if students are interested in seeing some concerts but wouldn’t mind working or volunteering, opportunities are available for them.

“With any of our shows, we work with our booking agent,” Fleeson said, “and our booking agent helps us go and talk to management of the artist.”

Fleeson said it’s fun seeing all of the employees at the auditorium work together and is always excited for the shows they host.

Richard Marx performed at the auditorium on Sept. 24. Marx played acoustic guitar and the piano while singing some of his hit singles, including “Satisfied,” “Should’ve Known Better,” “Endless Summer Nights” and “Right Here Waiting.”

Carole Williams, one of the guest services employees at the auditorium, said events like this one show locals the type of shows that they have that can be appealing to all ages.

“When you attend one of our events here, you see the amount of people that are attending,” Williams said, “and it’s always been a good concert, any concert that they’ve had here and a good opportunity for people.”

Williams said she loves working at the auditorium and said that every day is a new event.

“I’ve been here for quite a while now and every day I see something new,” Williams said.

Paula Ferguson, another guest services employee, said she’s been in this line of work for over 30 years and has worked in many different venues. She has met many famous artists and has worked backstage as well.

“You see them come, you see them go,” Ferguson said. “You set up, you tear down, they go home, you go home, that’s it.”

For the last ten years, Ferguson has been the venue manager at Westminster College and they have similar concert series to the ones at Stambaugh Auditorium.

Ferguson said she thinks college students benefit from attending events like this because they could hear a genre of music that they aren’t familiar with and broaden their horizons.

Upcoming events at this venue include The Texas Tenors on Oct. 22, the 20th Annual Stambaugh Auditorium Fashion Show on Nov. 1 and Michael Bolton live in concert on Dec. 7.