Arts and Architecture

Watch: 'This is Penn State' puts spotlight on the magic of theater

Erica Durham played the lead role of Lizzie Curry in the Penn State Centre Stage production of "110 in the Shade." Credit: Patrick Mansell / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Last spring, a drought-stricken town received the renewing downpour it needed. It all happened inside the Playhouse Theatre — a bit of magic courtesy of Penn State Centre Stage. 

In the next episode of "This is Penn State," the crew hits the stage to document the technical ingenuity behind the production of "110 in the Shade." Chris Swetcky, the School of Theatre's technical director, comes out from behind-the-scenes to give a glimpse at the production's ambitious rain effect, capable of producing a storm that drops 300 gallons of water during a single production. 

A parched earth gets relief and an audience is transported -- all thanks to the magic of live theater. Chris Swetcky, the School of Theatre's technical director, offers a bottom-to-top look at the scenic technology that brought "110 in the Shade" to life.  Credit: C Roy Parker

"This is Penn State" is a web series offering a slice-of-life look at Penn State. Each new episode is featured on Penn State News, Penn State's YouTube channel, University social media and WTAJ's "Central PA Live." To view past episodes, go to 

Last Updated March 29, 2017