May 03, 2019
The connections she made through our theatre program opened doors for Ashley Harman ’10—doors that led her to working with Cirque du Soleil.
“The firsthand experiences that I was able to have in our industry right from the very beginning opened so many doors for me,” she says, giving special thanks to her mentor Erik Viker, professor of theatre and theatre department chair.
Harman was a theatre production and design major at Susquehanna and focused on stage management and carpentry.
“The mentorship I received at SU was exactly the right mix of encouragement and tough love,” Harman says.
After graduating from Susquehanna, Harman received a master’s degree in scenic design from the University of Arkansas. While in her master’s program, Harman designed several productions and worked as an instructor in the theater’s shop.
Harman has since worked with three National Broadway tours around the U.S. and Canada as a deck carpenter and flyman and is currently working as the assistant head of carpentry for Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo Tour, traveling through North America, Russia, Europe and now South America for over a year and a half.
“Long distance and extended travel is thrilling and exhausting. I’m so lucky to have had the experiences I’ve been able to cultivate on the road,” Harman says.
She will soon take on the job of assistant head of carpentry for Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna Big Top Tour, a refreshing change of pace that will allow her to spend up to six weeks in each city.
“The aesthetic for both shows are downright stunning, and I love being a part of something so beautiful. Watching the show for the first time gave me goosebumps,” Harman says.