Finding your dream job can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

When Maggie Perrino had people saying, “You’d be great for that,” and “Take a look at it,” she was encouraged to “throw her name into the hat” to be The Carnegie’s new theater director.

She got the job.

At The Carnegie, Perrino will be in charge of specialty events, running the theater, maintaining contracts, helping to choose the season’s shows and so much more.

“The Carnegie prides itself on employing local and regional artists, actors and actresses, and Maggie understands that need and matches The Carnegie’s mission,” says Katie Brass, who has been executive director of The Carnegie since October 2008.

Brass says that Perrino’s predecessor, Joshua Steele “brought the theater program to life” and that Perrino will continue to do that.

Previously the head of the theater program at Notre Dame Academy in Park Hills, Perrino—who has worked as an actor, director, choreographer, dancer and educator—wanted to take her career to the next level by taking on a leadership role.

“I realized more and more [that] I liked to be the person crafting the journey,” she says.

She got her wish even before her official start date in January.

The Carnegie staff asked Perrino to assist with the production of West Side Story, giving her an inside look at parts of her new job.

“It’s been a change adjusting to a new role, but I feel very confident about it,” says Perrino. “I enjoy learning.”

While the transition was difficult, Brass says, “Maggie knows what she is doing and will get it done.”

Considering that Perrino has to sift through more than 1,000 possible shows for the coming season, she wants to make sure that the shows picked are what people want to see.

Perrino has some help making decisions and can bounce show ideas off of her colleagues, too. She says that the technical director and box office director are a big help because of their “experience and love of the theater.”

“I’m a collaborative person, so I like people’s opinions and receiving feedback,” says Perrino.

Perrino also has to consider what shows will fit on The Carnegie’s historic stage, who owns the rights to the show, the cost of it and more.

She remembers that one of the first shows she saw at The Carnegie was the ballet performance of Carousel.

“It was beautiful and stunning. I was taken in by the theater and the old-timey architecture,” she says.

Perrino has also seen previous performances of Chicago, Sweeny Todd and Driving Miss Daisy, which she says is an absolute favorite, at The Carnegie.

No longer just a spectator, but as head of the department, Perrino finishes up the 2014-2015 season with The Underpants.

While the 2015-2016 season has yet to be announced, Perrino says that if you are attending a show at The Carnegie “rest assured that you will see my face.”