Spartans of UD: Randy Schultz
Oct 2, 2019
Spartans of UD highlights what makes University of Dubuque special – the people who live, work, and study on campus.
Randy Schultz is the technical director/production manager at Heritage Center
1. What is your background in theater? How did you get to University of Dubuque?
“I have been interested in technical theater since middle school and have been involved at some level since then. Before coming to UD in 2015 I was the technical director/facility manager for the Schauer Art Center in Wisconsin from 2001 to 2015. Prior to 2001, along with my full-time career as a project manager for a manufacturing company, I had my hand in many different theaters as a freelancer in addition to being the assistant technical director for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Young Auditorium. You can say that UW-Whitewater is actually part of the reason I am at UD. During my time at UW-Whitewater, Tom Robbins was also on staff at the theater. When he became the executive director at the Schauer Arts Center, he brought me onboard in 2001 as the technical director. Tom took the position of executive director of Heritage Center in 2012 and I was offered my current position at Heritage Center in 2015.”
2. What does a technical director/production manager do?
“I am responsible for all of the technical needs of an event which include, but are not limited to, lighting, sound, staging, student crew, and artist hospitality. I am also responsible for the upkeep and inventory of all of Heritage Center’s theater equipment along with the safety of all that use the facility and equipment.”
3. Can you describe what makes RENT 20th Anniversary Tour unique? It’s the first production to have three semis, right?
“RENT 20th Anniversary Tour will be our first ‘three semi show.’ We have had two semis in the past. To give you some sense of the size of the show, typically a Heritage Center show requires two to six technical crew staff members for the run of a show. However, RENT requires Heritage Center to supply 50 crew people. To accomplish this, I recruited technical staff from other professional theaters along with UD alumni, UD faculty and staff, and people who are normally our volunteer ushers. The semis and buses arrive at 7 a.m. on Wednesday and we will have the show up and running that evening. After the Thursday night show is over, we will have the semis and buses back on the road by 2 a.m. Friday. Total Heritage Center crew hours will be just under 800 for the run of the show in two days. We are very fortunate to have a facility like Heritage Center with a space like Butler Hall where the stage area is designed and built for shows of this size and nothing has to be compromised in the production.”
4. What advice do you have for students interested in theater?
“Technical theater is one of those careers that the more hands-on you can be the more you will learn. We are fortunate to have a professional facility that is able to bring in the professional shows that allow for hands-on interactions with many different types of entertainment that all require a little different technical support.”
5. What is your favorite spot on campus? Why?
“Of course my favorite spot on campus is Butler Hall. When we are not in the middle of an event or getting ready for an event, it’s probably one of the most quiet spaces on campus.”