This blog was written by Chris Kelly, associate vice president for university marketing and communication.
Many people don’t know this about me, but I’m a recovering thespian. I was first bitten by the theater bug during my sophomore year at Independence Community College, when I made my stage debut as “Arab” in West Side Story. (It was an incredibly moving performance … at least that’s what my parents told me)
Although I had attended plays before, it wasn’t until I was in one that I began to understand the incredible teamwork and dedication it takes to put on a successful performance. The actors on the stage may be the ones in the spotlight, but it is the crew behind the scenes who provide the arena and atmosphere (lights, staging, directing, producing, tickets, etc.) that allows them to shine.
In recent years I’ve been fortunate to be involved in game preparations at Carnie Smith Stadium and I’ve discovered that theater and football have a great deal in common.
A home football game isn't just a competition, it is a performance. On Saturday, Carnie Smith Stadium will be transformed into a giant stage complete with performers (coaches and players), supporting cast members (concession operators, security personnel, broadcasters), stage designers (physical plant employees, custodial services), orchestra (band, yell leaders, dance squad members), directors (Jungletron Operators, public address operators), publicity (marketing & sales staff, sports information directors), and producers (administrators).
Each and every one of these people are committed to providing the audience, in this case the fans, with the very best game experience possible. (Want to see what goes into a game? Here’s a quick video!)
In order for a play to be truly dynamic though, the audience must be an active part of the performance. When an actor knows that he or she has the support of the audience, there’s no limit to what he or she can accomplish.
Last year’s semi-final game against Delta State is the perfect example of what can happen when everyone … team, supporting cast, and fans … work together. The atmosphere was electric, and the experience one that Gorilla fans will never forget.
This Saturday at 6 p.m. the curtain will rise and it will again be time for opening night at Carnie Smith Stadium. I can’t wait!
Pittsburg State University fans celebrate the 2011 semi-final playoff victory over Delta State at Carnie Smith Stadium.
** Pittsburg State will play their home-opener against the University of Central Oklahoma on Saturday, September 8 at Carnie Smith Stadium. Kick-off is set for 6:05 p.m. Tickets are on sale at pittstate.edu/tickets.