Today we are profiling Sarah Mixter, our Audience Services Manager. Always ready to greet visitors with a smile, Sarah works tirelessly to make sure your experiences at Memorial Hall are A+. On top of managing over 50 student staffers, Sarah directs front-of-house operations for each event in Memorial Hall, Gerrard Hall, and Historic Playmakers Theater. Below, her thoughts on the arts and a look back at some of her favorite CPA performances.
How long have you been working for CPA?
I worked as a student usher/manager from 2009-2012, was an Artistic Assistant 2012-2013, and have been the Audience Services Manager since 2013.
What do the arts mean to you?
The arts have always had a strong influence in my life. My parents are both musicians and my father also works in arts administration. I grew up going to performances, playing instruments, dabbling in almost every art form (not very successfully). Dance has always been the most meaningful to me and I danced with a local studio for 13 years. I love the arts because there is such a range of what you can experience. There is no right reaction to seeing a performance or hearing a piece of music. There are no limitations to the emotions and thoughts that experiencing the arts can generate.
Do you have a favorite CPA performance?
My favorite CPA performance was Nederlands Dan Theater I in April 2013 as part of our Rite of Spring season. All of the pieces they performed over the 2 performances were amazing. Seeing the piece “Chamber” choreographed by Medhi Walerski that we commissioned for the Rite of Spring project was amazing. It was a piece that really captured the essence of the Rite of Spring to me. The raw power of the dancers was breathtaking and beautifully underscored by the lighting choices and the original score composed for the piece.
Another piece NDT performed that evening was “Speak for Yourself” which most audience members will remember because it was actually raining on stage. The choreography was incredibly executed by the dancers and their ability to move so gracefully on a wet slippery stage was fabulous. Seeing this piece also reminded me of how awesome our Production team is. Making it rain on stage during a performance and then cleaning it up is not something they do every day!
I also always love it when musicians that I listen to often and are on my playlists come to Carolina Performing Arts like The Punch Brothers, Abigail Washburn, Ben Sollee, and Trombone Shorty!
If you could play any instrument what would it be and why?
…If I had the skills, I would love to play the piano. I took a few lessons as a kid, apparently around Christmas, because all I can play are very bad versions of “Jingle Bells” and “Angels We Have Heard on High”…
What is your dream for the future of performing arts?
I would love to see stronger performing arts programs in K-12 schools. I think that introducing children to performances at a young age is really important. Exposing kids to different performances will open their experiences beyond the walls of the classroom and will ignite their creativity and curiosity in the arts!