Taking over the lights and sound: Stefan Billups brings energy and expertise to the Fine Arts Center production staff

New technological production Manager Stefan Billups poses for a picture.

VTSU Castleton campus’ technological production manager’s office is located in the scene shop in the Fine Arts Center, where a new technological production manager has occupied the space since the start of this spring semester. 

When walking into the scene shop, Stefan Billups was wearing gloves while lifting up wood with Steven Gross. He told Gross he would be right back after the interview and entered his office. 

Billups pushed away a cart with 15 microphones on top and a list of actors who are using the equipment. Giant speakers lay on top of his table against the wall. His computer displays a document with a checklist on what projections still need completion for “She Kills Monsters,” the mainstage play. A mini fridge with a cappuccino machine flanks the chairs as Billups offered this reporter sparkling water and soda. 

“OMG! He’s perfect! He is such a kind person,” said Marisa Valent-Altland, FAC director and Soundings manager. “He is personable as well, which is huge because he has to work with so many different departments and so many different students.” 

Excitement has been buzzing around the FAC, specifically from the theater department, because of Billups and his experience, which has positively impacted those who work with the technological production manager. 

“He has definitely been an asset to us. He knows what he is doing for sure, which is usually rare in this field. He really cares about us,” said Hannah Bowie, a sophomore sound board operator. “And last semester we only had Rome, who was a student here, so it was different to have someone with actual experience from the real world.” 

“He is passionate about theater, so he is making a lot of changes to our department. He is trying to make it more advanced,” said Vidur Katyal, a junior theater major. 

“We are very lucky to have him and I hope he stays forever.” –Marisa Valent-Altland

Some of the advances that Billups intends to make start by being more involved with the theater department and what goes on in the FAC. 

“My role already is to oversee lights, sounds, video, and all the technical aspects of productions here in Casella and of course in other parts of the campus as well,” Billups said. “But my primary role is here at Casella to make sure all shows and performances go off without a hitch.” 

Gross has been impressed with Billups. 

“[Stefan] just started this semester, but he sort of dove right into it and has been a very active member of the production team. He provides very valuable input and the work he is doing is fantastic,” said Gross, chair of the department of music, theater, and technology. 

Gross said Billups is willing to help anyone, and if he doesn’t know something, he is willing to ask anyone for help. 

He called Billups very “passionate,” and it is because “he cares about the students.” 

As Billups continues his journey here at VTSU Castleton campus, he plans to make additional changes within the FAC by upgrading the technology in the theater so it can be up to date with the rest of the world. 

He has already made small steps toward this goal by upgrading the sound quality from moving the sound booth into Casella. 

“We are very lucky to have him and I hope he stays forever,” Valent-Altland said. “Also, he makes a really good latte.” 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post Burlington rapper making a name in VT, wants to play Castleton
Next post Question and answer with grad student Marty Kelly