Adrian Larkin joined Park Square Theatre two seasons ago as an usher in the Education Department, quickly rising to become Lead House Manager. As such, he must manage up to two stages as well as supervise a half dozen or more staff members and volunteers during shows. He must stay level-headed while coordinating with Production and other theatre staff, often as hordes of school groups also needing his attention stream in. In short, he is the calm in the middle of the storm.
According to his supervisor, Audience Services Director Amanda Lammert, “His calm, cool, easy way with students, teachers and his co-workers has been a JOY to watch.”
Most recently, we witnessed Adrian successfully calm a frustrated, restless autistic student to be able to enjoyably focus on watching A Raisin in the Sun (and later even participate in the post-show discussion). He did so by respectfully initiating a handshake agreement with him. The word “respect,” in fact, best describes Adrian’s signature relational mode of being, as described in a past Park Square blog post called “Cool, Calm, Collected (and Kind): The Qualities of a Good House Manager” (April 25, 2016).
Lammert further commented, “It’s that ability to read people and adapt, partly from his history in the restaurant service industry (Adrian is also a bartender and server at Great Waters Brewing Company) and partly from his extraordinary gifts as a jazz musician–look for him on opening night of The Soul of Gershwin playin’ his sax at the party–that make him so perfectly suited to this job. He’s not just turning on lights, training new hires, tearing tickets and directing kids and teachers to their seats. He’s an educator, shaping the minds and hearts of a new generation of theatre-goers–HUMANS. Big stuff.”
Originally from Dallas, Adrian came to Minnesota to earn his degrees in Music Production and Recording Technology from the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. For almost ten years, he has been a freelance musician, composer and horn arranger. Two years ago, he was recruited by Park Square Marketing Director Connie Shaver to work annually at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.
“In addition to his commitment to Park Square, Adrian has a passion for jazz and is an accomplished sax player,” said Shaver. “During the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Adrian is willing to get up early in the morning to assist with live television interviews and continue through the day working on festival logistics. Just like at Park Square, he’s willing to step in to help anytime needed.”
As a daytime usher for the Education Program, it has been a great pleasure for me to work alongside–notably not “under”–this warm-hearted Texan. A new usher claims him as “my first friend here,” and a few of us more senior ushers have “adopted” this young man and watch with pride as he composes his life.
At Park Square Theatre, Adrian Larkin has definitely earned our respect. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition!