Nation’s second oldest amusement park knows it can count on NSU theater and dance students

One of the nation’s oldest theme parks turns to Northwestern State University when it needs to hire employees to help create a memorable experience for its guests.

Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, is the second oldest amusement park in North America. It’s home to 72 rides, a mile-long beach, on-site accommodations and more. The park bills itself as the roller coaster capital of the world with 17 world class roller coasters. Cedar Point celebrated its 150e birthday last summer.

Motel 6

Each summer, up to 20 NSU theater and dance students work with Cedar Point Live Entertainment, filling various roles in performance, technique, and costume / prop.

“One of the many reasons we love working with NSU students is the professionalism they demonstrate,” said Lisa Jones, director of the live entertainment department at Cedar Point. “They come to work focused, attentive, respectful and ready to work. Their work ethic is excellent. Most of the positions we hire for are skilled positions – some level of training is often required for what the job entails. NSU students bring strong skills, but also tend to want to know more.

Jones said the eagerness to work hard and learn all they can will continue to serve students well beyond their time at Cedar Point.

“Several NSU students originally hired as performers or technicians have also been elevated to managerial positions within our department as performance captains, technicians team leaders, supervisors, assistant choreographers and others,” Jones said. “I believe that speaks to the foundation they are receiving at NSU.”

Cedar Point recruiters travel to NSU each year to meet with students and audition for summer employment.

“Several years ago, as we attended the Southeastern Theater Conference, we noticed that there seemed to be a high percentage of talented students from one particular school. This school was Northwestern State, ”Jones said. “The students who caught our attention were dancers, singers, actors, technicians and costume designers. There was such a variety of skill areas, with one school in common.

Jones said the conference fell late into Cedar Point’s summer audition season and several positions were often filled at that time.

“We contacted NSU staff and arranged an earlier hearing date for the following year to allow more opportunities for their students,” Jones said. “This year alone, these opportunities gave NSU students the chance to participate in our 150ebirthday parade, or be part of the inaugural cast of our all-new Snake River Expedition boat ride – the only interactive ride experience of its kind – not to mention the many other great shows, hangouts, interactive attractions and beloved character experiences by the nearly three million guests who have visited Cedar Point this year. We hope to continue to be able to work with the students of the NSU in the years to come. “

Harold B. McConnell