Matthew Boring, associate director of marketing and patron development for the Lied Center for Performing Arts, said he started his Lied career as a marketing intern when he was a student. Because of that internship, he said he got a job at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
“It was a major experience for me my senior year of college,” Boring said. “... It’s a program that’s personally really important to me.”
That’s why Boring and the rest of the Lied are excited to have students back after a year of livestreams due to COVID-19.
Along with internships, Boring said students have several opportunities at the Lied, including seeing shows through the Arts for All program at discounted prices, joining the Lied Center Student Council and becoming a Student LIEDer to help out at shows.
Depending on the show, the Arts for All program allows University of Nebraska-Lincoln students to get free or discounted tickets to performances at the Lied Center. Tickets are available online as of last week.
“Many students are excited to see the biggest Broadway shows, symphony orchestras, dance companies back in Lincoln this season,” Boring said. “This season really marks the return of Broadway’s top shows and a lot of those major events to our campus and to the Lied Center, so we’re really excited about that.”
The first Broadway show at the Lied for the season is “Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville” from Sept. 10-12.
Another way for students to get involved is the Lied Center Student Council. The council meets Mondays at 3 p.m. in the Lied Commons. Jane Schiermeyer Hansen, the Lied’s education and community engagement director and student advisor for the Lied Center Student Council, said the council is mostly performance students. However, there are also other majors represented, like education and speech and pathology students.
“It is open to everyone,” she said. “You don’t have to be a musical theatre major or a trumpet performance major to be involved at the Lied Center. We actually find it so valuable to have different perspectives from across campus.”
The student council makes many decisions regarding the Lied. They have helped decide shows coming to the Lied and put on events, such as a “Mamma Mia!” outdoor movie marathon last year.
“That was a large-scale event to put together and it was pretty well attended,” Schiermeyer Hansen said. “They did a great job promoting it and it had to get rescheduled … twice because of rain.”
Schiermeyer Hansen said the council is resilient and dedicated to promoting the arts, which they proved by ensuring the movie marathon happened and making it through the pandemic.
Another opportunity students can partake in at the Lied Center is their Student LIEDer program, where students can help out at shows through ushering, taking tickets and handing out programs. Boring said Student LIEDers have the opportunity to see the shows they usher, as well as work with a dedicated group of people.
“That connection between students who may be new to the Lied Center and new to campus and some of our ushers who have been at the Lied for a long time is really special,” Boring said.
Student LIEDers are required to usher for six performances between September and May, including events outside of their season. Boring said applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
According to Boring, audiences were disconnected from the true, in-person theater in this past year of livestreams. Boring said live performances are an experience unlike any other, and he is excited to give that opportunity to students to be at the Lied Center.
“Seeing a live performance, it really is an experience that is unlike anything else,” Boring said. “In Lincoln, Nebraska, you don’t have to travel to Chicago or Los Angeles to see ‘Come From Away,’ one of the top Broadway shows nominated for best musical. ‘The Band’s Visit’ won ten Tony awards, including best musical, and you can see it right here in Lincoln, Nebraska.”