Cody Mullen has been involved with Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette since a summer production of Carousel at the Tippecanoe County Amphitheater as part of the 2004-2005 Civic Under the Stars season.
Cody explained how he began to volunteer with Civic.
"I became involved after working the Tippecanoe School Corporation show that year and falling in love with the county amphitheater and atmosphere," he said. "I enjoyed working on shows there and wanted to spend more time out there than just the month of the TSC show."
After contacting the Civic Theatre office, Cody served as a sound assistant to the engineer hired to run Carousel.
He has been involved in more than 20 Mainstage and Civic Youth Theatre shows since then, holding the title of sound designer for all these shows. He also doubled as the sound board operator for half of them. His experiences with Civic haven't been limited only to sound, however.
"For the Civic Youth Theatre production of Schoolhouse Rock Junior I was the technical director. I ensured all technical positions were filled and the set was built," he said. "After Civic purchased its new computerized ticket system, I also have volunteered to work in the box office during shows."
Cody recalled working on his favorite Civic Theatre production, The Diary of Anne Frank directed by Susan Kisinger.
"It was my first Mainstage show and the most difficult theatrical show I have designed," he said. "Finding all of the sound effects that were era correct was quite difficult. I also had to track 20 voiceovers of Anne narrating her journal. I had a great sense of accomplishment once the design for that show was completed.
"The cast and crew of that show formed a very strong bond. We not only did the normal nine-show run, but extra shows were added into the run and then an outreach performance at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. This show was fun to be part of, and I also really enjoyed the show itself. I’m a huge history buff and really enjoyed the history surrounded with the story."
Cody explained that his favorite moment in the production process is opening night, feeling satisfied that all the work put into the show has been worthwhile because the audience enjoys the result.
"You also do not have to feel stress anymore about getting everything programmed into the sound board. You get to enjoy the show and the artistic power that comes when controlling the system and the fading of the volume and running between the cues," he said.
Cody concluded by encouraging people to become a volunteer with Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.
"Get involved in a show and see what happens. Once you do one show, you will be counting down the days until the next," he said. "Try a small role at first. If you enjoy the tech side, try being a board operator for sounds or lights or assist backstage. If you want to act, try a role that is considered an extra and does not have that many lines. After that you can find where your true passion is and try a more difficult role."