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Otterbein alumna brings Broadway to Columbus

Otterbein alumna brings Broadway to Columbus

By Lauren Heberling ‘19

An empty stage, red-velvet seats and the sounds of instruments tuning fill the gold-plated Ohio Theatre. The show is about to begin and people are waiting in anticipation. The magic they are about to experience is unlike anything they have ever witnessed and will be a moment they will remember for the rest of their lives. 

For Lisa Minken ’03, there is nothing quite like creating that experience for people and seeing the looks on their faces. She currently holds her dream job as the Broadway in Columbus marketing manager at the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA). As a self-proclaimed Broadway nerd, she feels blessed to be immersed in the world of musical theatre.

“In fourth grade I was cast in the production of Annie as an extra orphan and was hooked ever since,” Minken said.

She recalls her most magical theatre experience was her first Broadway show where she saw Jekyll and Hyde.

“I now get the chance to share theatre magic with others,” she said.

Minken is responsible for the promotion of all touring Broadway shows that come to Columbus. Whether through advertising, marketing, media relations or social media, her job is never the same. In addition to her primary job requirements, she hosts a weekly web series called Broadway Dish, which includes a segment spin-off of carpool karaoke featuring the stars of in-town touring Broadway shows. Episodes of Broadway Dish are found at the Broadway in Columbus Facebook page. Minken also attends national theatre conventions, is present at every opening-night performance and is involved with community theatre through her church. 

While at Otterbein, Minken was a broadcasting and public relations double major with a deep passion for musicals. She found that she could combine her majors and her passion through arts administration. She was highly involved as a member of the speech and debate team and as a member of PRSSA, as well as working with the radio and TV station. 

After graduation, she accepted a job at an ad agency. It was there that she saw an ad for a marketing position open at Opera Columbus. From Opera Columbus she took another ad agency position, where she once again saw an ad for a marketing job opening at CAPA. After three years of conducting CAPA marketing efforts, Minken accepted her current position within the non-profit.

“What’s great about Columbus is that it has an amazing art scene—it is rich,” Minken said. “You are able to see Broadway tours, CATCO productions and amazing community theatres. You are able to be involved with theatre here.”

Through her work, Minken hopes to give people the same magical moments that she has had and is glad to play a small part in their overall theatre experience.