Whether it’s Romeo and Juliet or Big: The Musical, you can bet that off in the wings, stage right and in the shadows is Michael Meuche. The 1997 graduate is responsible for, well, just about everything that makes a production successful at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater at the Aronoff Center for the Arts in downtown Cincinnati. He took the position after being bitten by the theater bug while a stage hand for the Xavier theater, running the lights, sound and other production tasks for three years.
He liked it so much that, despite earning a degree in electronic media that prepared him for television, he left jobs with ESPN and a Cincinnati television station to work for the Cincinnati Stage Employees Local, which led to his hiring by the association that runs the Aronoff. Now he makes sure the theater has the necessary equipment for a production and that everything—from light panels and sound boards to traveling drapes and set rails—is working properly.
“I like it because no production is the same,” he says. “There are different people and different sets, ideas or concepts. Most exciting is when you have a full house and the feedback is positive. It affects the actors’ performances, and you just feel better about a production.”