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Student Leaders: Richard Snyder ’16 and Gabby Collado ’16 Student House Directors, Lenfest Center for the Arts

“Probably the most rewarding part for me is getting to meet and work with other students, and watch them take on a larger role in running things.” – Richard Snyder ’16

What first interested you in the Lenfest Center? How did you get involved?

Gabby: I started working at The Lenfest Center as a first-year work study student. I have always been interested in the performing arts, and I thought this would be a great way to keep the arts in my life while at W&L.

Richard: Lenfest is my work study as well — I was placed there more or less on accident my first year, since I was late getting assigned to a work study and Lenfest happened to be one of the last ones available. I actually didn’t know much about Lenfest or what working there would entail when I signed up for it.

What is your current role in the organization, and what are some of the challenges and
rewards you’ve found in that role?

Gabby: Currently, my biggest role at the Lenfest Center is managing the house for different events. I love that I have gotten to know the Lexington community outside of our campus while having the opportunity to see all of the fun performances.

Richard: As a House Directors, we are responsible for supervising other work study students, training other students to run house, helping to make sure front of house and backstage work together smoothly, and dealing with any other issues which might arise. Probably the most rewarding part for me is getting to meet and work with other students, and watch them take on a larger role in running things–although sometimes sitting back, delegating duties, and letting someone else handle the details can be difficult.

How do you divide the responsibilities?

Gabby: Richard and I work together to train and manage our team.

Richard: Typically Gabby and I are both at shows, so we both can be there in case there are any problems that we need to deal with. When one of us can’t be at a show, the other one covers it. In general, we don’t usually have too many things that need our attention other than making sure our other student workers have everything covered.

How would you characterize your experience in one word?

Richard: Ultimately it’s been a lot of fun — I’ve gotten to meet a lot of great people, seen a lot of shows I wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and it’s generally a laid back place to work.

Gabby: Satisfying. I have been able to take part in the arts, while still focusing on my studies.

What has been the most rewarding experience with this organization?

Richard: I think the opportunity to get a look at what goes on behind the scenes of a live theater performance–both in terms of the actual performers, and the preparations that the venue must make in order for everything to run smoothly. It’s given me a much greater appreciation for what goes into these kinds of performances.

Gabby: Interacting with the people: The W&L students and family, and the Lexington community.

What has been the most challenging experience?

Richard: Learning to juggle several things at once, and especially learning to trust other people to handle some of those things, has been both very challenging and very valuable.

What have you learned about leadership in this role, and what other lessons will you take with you going forward?

Gabby: I have gained a lot of management skills as well as problem solving skills. I really learned to think on my feet when solving problems for patrons.

Richard: I’ve learned a lot about dealing with people, which I think is an important lesson for people planning on entering the professional world.

What advice would you give to students who may be interested in getting involved?

Richard: Try things outside of your comfort zone. The experiences outside of class that I’ve enjoyed the most were the kind of things that I never expected to do before I came to W&L. There’s such a breadth of opportunities here, take advantage of it while you can.

Gabby: The Lenfest Center is a great place to spend time between classes, whether you want to perform or watch others perform.

Richard Snyder

Class Year: 2016
Hometown: Danville, VA
Major: Physics-Engineering
Other Activities: Men’s Glee Club

Gabby Collado

Class Year: 2016
Hometown: Miami, FL
Major: Chemistry
Other Activities: Cantatrici (Women’s choir), Pi Beta Phi (Panhellenic sorority), Rho Gamma (recruitment counselor)