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From Student to Staff Member: Johnny Macias is TFDP’s new Assistant Production Manager

Class of ‘19 alum, Johnny Macias, now works full-time in the department of TDFP at UC Riverside
By Alejandra Prado, Student Writer, CHASS Marketing and Communications |

From a former student to now a staff member, Johnny Macias looks forward to his next step in his career as Assistant Production Manager for UC Riverside’s department of Theater, Film, and Digital Production (TFDP).

“Transitioning from being in this department as a student to now a full-time staff member has been a rollercoaster of emotions, but in the best possible way I think,” Macias said.

Macias previously attended UCR as an undergraduate student in TFDP, graduating in 2019 with a degree in Production and Design—the first in his family to attend and graduate from a university. Before attending UCR, Macias grew up in Redlands, where his journey in theater started.

“During my senior year of high school, I really fell in love with doing technical work and stage managing, and I knew I could continue that in college and in life professionally as a career,” he said. “I chose TFDP and UCR because they were not too far from my family and friends in Redlands…and because I knew there would be opportunities to do what I am passionate about within the department.”

As a student, Macias learned to work with faculty, students, staff, and designers in the classroom and on a production set and was taught many lessons that he continues to carry. “To me, I would not change a thing about my experience as an undergrad in CHASS; I want to spend time learning from what I experienced rather than ruminating on what I should or could have done differently,” Macias said.

Shortly after graduation, Macias began to work in the same position part-time in the TFDP department in Fall 2019. As a new staff member, Macias had the support from colleagues he met during his time as an undergrad.

“From our first moments working together, I was impressed with his maturity, sense of responsibility, and commitment to making our shows the best they could be,” said Ben Tusher, Production Director for the Performing Arts and Production Manager for TFDP at CHASS. “As a result, one of my first decisions as production manager at UCR was to hire Johnny as a part-time employee and he was a tremendous help that first year as we pivoted from in-person to online productions in March 2020.”

As Assistant Production Manager, Macias assists in the execution and development of production events and shows, and supervises operations of the front-of-house for productions.

“Johnny fits his new role wonderfully well,” said Kerry Jones, Scenic Artist and Properties Designer for TFDP. “I have no doubts about Johnny succeeding in anything he puts his mind to!”

“I am a firm believer in providing better for the generations to come, and I am thrilled to find more ways to support the students coming through the department,” Macias said. “I look forward to continuing to provide a safe environment for artists within theatre and film to create and collaborate with respect and love.”