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Lee Street director disputes Catawba student rumors

SALISBURY — Lee Street Theatre Executive Director Rod Oden said a rumor that the company is no longer hiring Catawba College students is unfounded.

Oden said the rumor is “uniquely hurtful.” With changes happening at Lee Street, people have begun to assume that their affiliation with Catawba students would change too, Oden said.

“I don’t like rumors to be spread about things that are untrue.” Oden said.

Lee Street has an incredibly close partnership with Catawba College, he said.

“We very much value the relationship we have between Catawba and Lee Street,” Oden said.

Roughly a year ago, when Oden was technical director at Lee Street, the same rumor was circulating. When Oden first heard the rumor back then, he immediately shut it down and continued to hire Catawba students and graduates.

The rumor specifically was that Catawba technicians were not being hired for the Polar Express. Every Christmas season, Lee Street has an affiliation with the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer to bring in a holiday favorite to life. Several Catawba students have been involved with the Polar Express in previous years, and that is not going to stop, Oden said.

“Lee Street will hire whoever Lee Street needs to hire and who will best suit the job we are hiring for,” Oden said.

He mentioned the rumor to his interns, one of them a Catawba student. Rising sophomore Miranda Sibbett said she also had heard the rumor. Thus, Oden said he believes that more than one person is targeting Lee Street Theatre.

“We are no way in a position to turn down work from any qualified technician, let alone be so picky as to single out Catawba,” Oden said.

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